New obstetrics supervisor returns home to Western Slope |

New obstetrics supervisor returns home to Western Slope

Ben Bulkeley

When Tanya Surbeck moved away from Colorado, it was under very daunting circumstances.

After being diagnosed with thyroid cancer in January, 2007, Surbeck moved from her home state to Naples, Fla.

“I wanted to live by the beach before I died,” she said. “But, I’m a fighter.”

Since her last check-up six months ago, Surbeck has been deemed healthy and returned to what she loves most.


Surbeck, 44, recently was hired as the inpatient obstetrics supervisor for The Memorial Hospital.

She previously lived in Craig in 2003 and said she always has considered the Western Slope home.

“I love the small towns,” she said. “And when I had the opportunity to come home, I had to take it.”

Since graduating from Mesa State College in 1987, Surbeck has worked across the country, including stops in Kansas, California, Florida and Colorado.

But the one thing linking all of her travels has been the same.

“Babies are the bee’s knees,” she said.

During her more than 20 years in the field, Surbeck has assisted on about 500 births.

“No two births are the same,” she said. “And I’ve always thought it’s an honor to have been there when someone gives birth.”

Surbeck said obstetrics is a unique brand of medicine.

“It’s the only place where there are two patients and only one face,” she said. “You’re only seeing the mom, but you’re caring for two people.”

During her time working with expectant and new mothers, Surbeck said she has seen trends in how women want to deliver their babies.

“Everyone has their own idea of the perfect birth,” she said. “Some moms don’t want any pain, and some want to take it on as a challenge.

“We’ve seen less epidurals in recent years, and there also has been a return to the more holistic approach.”

Surbeck said she hasn’t slowed since arriving at TMH on March 30.

She said a lot of her days involve the “easy” work – working on scheduling, policy or education. On other days, however, she is called in to action.

“It’s exciting – nine months of waiting for a new member of your family to arrive,” she said. “You never get bored. We had four new moms come in just last week.”

Surbeck and her husband, Dale, have six children between ages 18 and 23.

She said her family was attracted to Craig because of the outdoor lifestyle – she admits to being an avid fisher – and because of the family atmosphere.

“There’s a very cool family dynamic here,” Surbeck said. “I want to work long enough to deliver a baby, then maybe 18- or 20 years later I want to deliver her baby.”

And, after moving all around the country, Surbeck said she’s ready to settle in.

“There are a lot of opportunities for nurses all over the country,” Surbeck said. “But, Craig chose me, and I chose Craig.”

“It’s nice to have roots.”

Ben Bulkeley can be reached at 875-1795 or

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