February 16, 2015 - West Park Hospital is excited to announce Melissa Fraser, RN - West Park
Hospital District Board of Trustees, Chair, has been awarded the National
Excellence in Governance Award by Modern Healthcare.
Modern Healthcare is ranked No. 1 in readership among healthcare executives
and deemed a "must-read publication" by the who's who in
In 2004, Melissa Fraser was elected to Cody, Wyoming’s West Park
Hospital Board of Trustees. As a nurse and business office manager at
a medical practice, Melissa’s medical and business acumen has been
the perfect expertise necessary to lead our 25-bed Critical Access Hospital
in the ever-changing healthcare industry.
Located at the gateway of Yellowstone National Park, our hospital is somewhat
unique, referred to as a “Critical Access Hospital on Steroids.”
Our medical staff of 52 physicians (up from 40 in 2004), includes 5 orthopedic
surgeons, 2 general surgeons and a neurosurgeon.
In addition to our acute care beds, we have a 93-bed long term care center,
20-bed chemical dependency unit, and an 8-bed stand-alone hospice house.
Through Melissa’s leadership, the hospital has proactively partnered
with physicians to increase local access to care. We have negotiated with
Billings Clinic to help provide hospitalists and St Vincent's Hospital
physicians to provide cancer care.
Melissa led the process to jointly apply for a $5.4 million grant with
St. Vincent Healthcare to purchase new equipment and remodeling of the
cancer unit. Local access to cancer services now generates over $1 million
in revenue to the hospital each year.
She was also instrumental in the continuation of our dialysis unit we had
initially partnered with both Billings hospitals to provide outpatient
dialysis, and now we partner with DCI to continue meeting the needs of
our community and travelers visiting Yellowstone National Park.
Finally, Melissa led development of the hospital’s partnership with
3 orthopedic surgeons and St. Vincent Healthcare to build a Medical Arts
Complex, and for the hospital to become a 40% owner of the Surgical Center
(with 17 local physicians). The ASC has generated $7.6M ROI over the last
10 years for the $400,000 initial investment.
Cody is a small but mighty town with a population of 10,000, and the surrounding
Big Horn Basin totals around 50,000. West Park Hospital is the largest
employer in Park County, taking pride in our strong social responsibility
as well as our significant financial impact on Cody and surrounding towns.
Melissa has focused the board’s attention on the overall health needs
of the community, and recent concern over Wyoming’s elevated suicide
rate has resulted in a West Park Hospital outreach program to provide
training to all the communities within the Big Horn Basin to raise awareness
and support for Suicide Prevention.
From supporting our local American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life
to the physician-delivered Community Health Series lunch programs, the
hospital has also created and expanded many partnerships throughout the
community to improve health and wellness.
Fundraising for the Hospice program began in 2008, with over $3,000,000
raised through community donations and grants. An active hospital foundation
assisted with the Hospice House Campaign and raised $1,000,000 in 2014
from donations, grants and pledges for various hospital projects.
In 2008, a new county library was built and, with support from the hospital
board, the hospital funded the West Park Hospital Planetree Resource Center
within the Library.
The hospital continues its support with up-to-date medical reference books,
computer equipment and blood pressure screenings.
Melissa’s strong community ties and networking have repeatedly benefited
When parking became a challenge, she was instrumental in negotiating a
favorable multi-year lease with our neighbor, the Buffalo Bill Center
of the West.
Based on our projects and partnerships, Melissa was asked in 2011 to speak
at two Rural Healthcare Conferences to discuss how our hospital has been
able not only to survive but thrive in an unstable healthcare environment.
Melissa explained that our board has been guided by its strategic plan
and took advantage of opportunities over the years.
Over the last ten years, Melissa has 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.
Listening and active participation by Melissa Fraser is what has taken
our hospital from a critical access hospital to being the healthcare choice
for the Big Horn Basin!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
2/16/2015 12:00:00 AM MOUNTAIN
Updated: 8/15/2016 3:27:48 PM MOUNTAIN
For more information, contact Ashley Trudo.