Our History


Rangely District Hospital History

Through the years we have helped generation after generation reach better health. Our organization has been striving to serve the needs of our region since we were established. The new facility (that opened in 2013) is designated as a Level IV Trauma Center by the State of Colorado.
The 2013 inspection took place one (1) day after moving to the new facility… and we passed with a perfect score! Our high score was due in no small part to the specialty of our hospital in rural and frontier health, where logistics meet standards of care to save the lives of remote trauma patients in Northwest Colorado.

Being part of the community has been an important goal throughout the years, and with your help and loyalty we can continue to provide health services that you can depend on.


Little Known Facts

Fact #1

... Rangely District Hospital was known as "Rangely Community Hospital" in May of 1947, when it first opened in Rangely.

Fact #2

... At the first hospital building, the last nursing duty of the shift was to "stoke the furnace" with coal, so that the oncoming nurse would not get her uniform dirty. If this task was not done, the nurse was called back to the hospital to complete it. For this she was paid ¢90 an hour. This building you are now in was voted in and funded by our community. It now has local thermostat control in every patient room.

Fact #3

... When the first hospital opened, the nursing staff sewed the window drapes, did the grocery shopping, and cooked the meals. One of the night shift nursing duties, different from the duties of the day shift RN, was to mop the floor.

Fact #4

... Ambulance: By 1956, Rangely had an ambulance service, with staff ready to answer in their new blue Buick which was "probably built too close to the ground for the rough terrain, however it served… well," and the hospital was proud of it.
In 2013, we have 2 new ambulances, Ford F450's, with four wheel drive… much more capable of accessing the back roads of Northwest Colorado. We work with CNCC to recruit and train EMT's in our area. The EMS staff we have delivers medical care and intervention long before arrival to the hospital… And the hospital is proud of them.

Fact #5

... As the only doctor in town in 1953, Dr. Meens spent most nights on a hospital gurney in the hallway. He was delighted when in 1954, the addition of a second physician meant that sometimes he could go home to sleep. We now have a sleep room for physicians who still often stay overnight in the building as they care for patients.

Fact #6

... Our nurse-to-patient ratios are low.
When Ruth King, RN, moved to the (then new) 511 S. White Avenue building in 1961, she stated "I remember one of my strongest emotions about the new building was feeling very remote from the patients…" That patient-minded nursing heritage continues to today. In 2013, the new building on 225 Eagle Crest Drive, with its large and beautiful rooms, has offered its own challenge of geography. Nurses, vigilant to a fault, have increased staffing and make frequent rounds so they don't "feel so far away from the patients" either.

Fact #7

... The radiology department in our facility has the newest equipment available to aid our physicians in fast and accurate diagnosis, making it possible to locally perform most scans that specialists outside our area might order for you. The 64-slice CT scanner in Radiology rivals any CT machine in any other facility on the Western Slope and Eastern Utah, and is the exact same as used by St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction.

Fact #8

... The beds in each of our private patient rooms are leading the market in comfort, improved skin care, positioning, and bed-related clinical outcome in American and European Markets.

Fact #9

... Nursing and Physician recruitment: In the early 1950's the hospital recognized that having staff native to Rangely and with community ties in Rangely was better for consistency and familiarity. "Rangely did not do much to make single girls (nurses from out of town) want to stay." Today, scholarship support is given to select local students who wish to pursue higher education in clinical disciplines.

Fact #10

... Laboratory services: Most of the laboratory tests your physician (even a specialized physician) orders are available through our lab. Additionally, the lab continues to expand the services they offer for the convenience and health of our community.

Fact #11

... Prior to 1946, medical care was received from a gentleman who would ride his horse over from Meeker. It was a great improvement in 1946, when Dr. John Cochran began to see patients in the back of the drug store. Now, a variety of services are available at Rangely District Hospital: Emergency Room, In-Patient Care, Out-Patient Care, Clinic, Laboratory Services, Occupational Health, Respiratory Therapy, Physical Therapy, Radiological Services, Home Health, Pharmacy, Long Term Care, Procedure Center, Ambulance, and Assisted Living.

Fact #12

... Physician recruitment is a focused endeavor for our hospital and community. We are dedicated to the consistent staffing of familiar primary care physicians in Rangely Family Medicine, and the expansion of specialty services offered through our hospital. We are proud to now provide specialty care in obstetrics & gynecology, podiatry, general surgery, vasectomy, endoscopy, optometry, otolaryngology, and pain management… and more to come.

Fact #13

... Respiratory Therapy offers procedures and treatments done in larger hospitals, but conveniently close to home: EKG, halter monitors, pulmonary function tests, as well as employee health procedures. The services offered have expanded to include stress tests and a more comfortable sleep study room.

Fact #14

... Our physicians carry three advanced certifications above the average family practice doctor. In addition to State Board licensure and Basic Cardiac Life Support, our physicians also maintain their certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Advanced Trauma Life Support.

Fact #15

... Our registered nurses carry three advanced certifications above the average registered nurse. In addition to a current Colorado State Board of Nursing RN license and Basic Cardiac Life Support, our RN's also maintain their certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, and Trauma Nurse Core Course.

Fact #16

... The service area of Rangely District Hospital extends beyond the town of Rangely to include the following geographical terrain:
........North to south: from the Dinosaur National Monument in the North to the peaks of Douglas and Baxter Passes in the South
........East to west: from the Utah Border in the West to the halfway mark between Rangely and Meeker in the East.

Fact #17

... The ability of our hospital to achieve the facts stated above is due to the foresight and devotion of our community to pursue competitive and comprehensive healthcare. For this reason, our community voted and passed a levee for the construction of the building you now see. With great gratitude and somber dedication, Rangely District Hospital is devoted, as it has been for generations past, to provide high quality healthcare close to home.