When Robert Flake started as chief executive officer for Middle Park Health, he wanted to provide quality health care and keep patients within the county. Upon his retirement this year, officials at the hospital feel confident Flake accomplished his goals.
“He had a great vision for Middle Park Health,” said Tiffany Freitag, director of community relations. “We are all very sad to see him go. He is very well loved.”
Flake started at Middle Park Health as the chief financial officer in 2015 and quickly moved up to the top spot with a vision to expand and improve the county’s health care system. He retired in September.
During his tenure, Flake oversaw the expansion of Middle Park Health, including opening clinics in Winter Park and Grand Lake and the Kremmling Wellness Center. Middle Park Health also took over management of Cliffview Assisted Living and has embarked on new construction projects to expand the hospitals in Kremmling and Granby.
“A lot has happened during his time,” Freitag said.
Aside from building Middle Park Health’s presence in the county, Flake is also credited with boosting residents’ access to local services.
With that goal in mind, Middle Park Health hired full-time surgeons and began a joint replacement program, which prevented the need to transfer some patients to Denver.
“Robert’s biggest things is he wanted to keep care in the county for visitors and obviously for residents as well,” Freitag said. “He recognized that it really displaced an entire family a lot of times.”
Ultimately these efforts lead to increased patient satisfaction, as evidenced by the 2019 Press Ganey award the hospital accepted earlier this month, and more people are being treated in the clinic, the emergency department and the hospital, as well as utilizing ancillary services, such as x-rays.
Freitag said Middle Park Health’s cash on hand has increased 180% and its equity is up 350% thanks to Flake’s leadership.
Dr. Tom Coburn, vice president for medical affairs for Middle Park Health, is serving as interim CEO while the hospital hires Flake’s successor.