Feb 26, 2015

Cody hospital leader wins national award

A registered nurse who chairs West Park Hospital’s board of trustees has received a national honor from a health-care magazine.

Melissa Fraser
Modern Healthcare recently named West Park board chair Melissa Fraser of Cody as the recipient of its Excellence in Governance Award for small providers. In an article, the publication described the successful direction that Fraser has provided for the hospital and her “diverse background” in health care.

“As a nurse and business office manager at a medical practice, Melissa (Fraser)’s medical and business acumen has been the perfect expertise necessary to lead our 25-bed Critical Access Hospital in the ever-changing health care industry,” said a West Park news release announcing the award.

Fraser works in both Cody and Powell in the Big Horn Ankle and Foot Clinic.

Modern Healthcare said Fraser’s focus at West Park has been on establishing partnerships to increase access to care, including helping raise money for the Spirit Mountain Hospice House and joining forces with Nashville, Tenn.-based Dialysis Clinic Inc. to open a bigger dialysis center that can serve locals and tourists who pass through the area.

The news release said Fraser also led partnerships with Billings Clinic for hospitalists, with St. Vincent’s Healthcare for a better cancer unit and with orthopedic surgeons on a medical arts complex. The release said those partnerships have brought in millions of dollars for West Park.

“Melissa’s strong community ties and networking have repeatedly benefited the hospital,” the release said.

It says Fraser was “instrumental” in negotiating a favorable deal with the neighboring Buffalo Bill Center of the West when parking became tight.



“Melissa’s strong community ties and networking have repeatedly benefited the hospital,” said a release from West Park.

Fraser hopes that both Powell Valley Healthcare and West Park can work more closely together for the good of all their patients.

“We share patients and we (both hospitals) want our patients to try to get the best care here in the Big Horn Basin,” Fraser said. “It is wonderful that we have two really great tertiary hospitals 90 miles north if we need to send our patients there. But, how much better for our patients if we can care for them here?

“Together I think we can survive the changes coming in healthcare, but it will take working together to make it happen,” she said.

Fraser, 62, has served on West Park’s board of trustees since 2004. In the past decade, the news release says, she has focused the board’s attention on the community’s health needs and also nurtured hospital employees.

“She takes time out of her hectic schedule to talk with employees and also community members about what they think is important for the hospital,” concluded the release. “Listening and active participation by Melissa Fraser is what has taken our hospital from a critical access hospital to being the health care choice for the Big Horn Basin!”

Fraser was nominated for the award by Graham Jackson, the director of the West Park Hospital Foundation. She previously served on the board with Fraser.

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