Twenty-five years ago Julie Disher began working at Montrose Memorial Hospital as a medical staff secretary. This is a behind-the-scenes job, and it’s safe to say the medical staff might be lost without her. She organizes meetings for the 80 physicians to help them guide the hospitals into different medical areas.
She is currently the medical staff services director and was most enthusiastic about the other part of her job, Continuing Medical Education, “which I love! We have a very active continuing medical education program at that hospital. But the regulatory agencies took over the credentialing part of my job leading management to say, this is how you will manage new physicians who come into your hospital.
“It was no longer a two-page application, but now a 23-page application. My real job became verifying all those things that would be important to you as a patient.”
Now there were committees: credentials committee, medical executive committee, and administration, to be sure those applying to work at the hospital are everything they say they are. Doctors really want to move here,” she said. “We’ve grown our cardiology department and our oncology department.”
“My new boss,” she said, “James Kiser, asked me if I’d had any other jobs in the hospital. I said no, but the job has evolved over 25 years. It started as secretarial. Now It’s more of a managerial. “I feel that my position and positions like mine are important. We really support the caregivers.”
Disher was born into a Air Force family in England. When her father’s tour ended, they settled in Denver.
She attended Metro State out of high school and also worked at Dane Bosworth, in the bond underwriting department. It was in 1978-81. “Education was a big deal in our family, so I knew I had to have at least a Bachelor’s degree,” she said.
They had lived in Parker, Co for 12 years and when their good friends Mark and Pauline Mercer decided to move to Montrose, they followed them. “We wanted our kids to have a Western Colorado lifestyle.”
When it came time for her to continue her college courses, she took advantage of the new “distance learning” classes. She was in the first finance class from Mesa State Grand Junction to the Montrose campus.
Later Disher graduated from Regis College with a degree in Business Administration. She also took courses in anatomy and physiology at CMU. Since she was working at the hospital she thought she might consider working in nursing in the future.
“But at that time,” she explained, “if you wanted a nursing degree, you had to quit your job and go to Grand Junction to take clinicals and that was not an option for me. My husband was a carpenter and worked in construction for Keystone and I had the insurance.”
She has two grown boys, one who is a geologist, in Midland, Texas, the other works for a Japanese marine equipment manufacturer and lives in Washington State.
Disher’s husband Bart and their two sons built their house. “So we’re not going anywhere,” she said.
What does she do for fun? I wasn’t surprised by the somewhat offbeat reply: “I follow Phoebe Benzinger everywhere she’ll teach us exercise. I walk my dog every day with a good friend and I do Yoga with the best teacher in town, Jenny McIntyre, at Fitness 550. She doesn’t like cooking, loves to read and gives her time as a mentor/tutor to children at Haven House.