Mountaintop Medicine from Estes Park Health: Long-time employees explain their dedication to Estes Park Health

View Episode on Blubrry »

When she first took a job at Estes Park Health in 1981, nurse Cindy Kingswood never dreamed she would still be working here more than 42 years later.

“My goal was to work for the summer and then I’d find someplace else to go,” Kingswood remembered. “After the summer, I decided one year would look good on a resume. And then in that year, I met my husband.”

Kingswood lives in Estes Park, close enough that she can walk to the hospital where she works as a nurse in the General Surgery Clinic. She has served in several different roles during her tenure of more than four decades.

“My first 27 years, I worked in the hospital doing everything,” Kingswood recalled. “Since we are a rural hospital, we did med/surg, OB, ER, outpatient. Pretty much you name it, we did it. And then I spent 10 years doing home care and hospice before going to the clinic.”

Kingswood did not even plan on becoming a nurse, but life had different plans for her. She went to South America for a summer, performed some mission work, and changed her mind.

She said her favorite part about working at EPH is seeing patients.

“I love patient care,” she stressed. “I love getting to know people or seeing people I’ve known in the community for years. I also love my co-workers. I work with great people. We have a great staff in the clinic and that’s why I come to work.”

Donna McCleary

For patients who check in for lab work, diagnostic imaging and surgery, Donna McCleary is a friendly – and familiar – face. She has worked for EPH for more than 21 years.

“The HR Director came to me and asked if I wanted to come to work at the hospital,” McCleary explained. “And I told him ‘No.’ I had a job downtown. He said, ‘How about part time?’ Part time lasted three days. And then I was full time from then on.”

She started out in Materials Management as a buyer. Then she ran the Specialty Clinic for several years. The past three years, she has worked for Outpatient Registration.

“I enjoy the patients,” McCleary said. “You get to know them, especially being here as long as I have. You try to interact with them as much as you can. You get to know their families. You get to know them as a patient. I really like that part. The people who come to Estes Park Health just touch your soul. I hope we can pass that along to them as well.”

In her current role, McCleary checks in patients, collects their co-pays, and verifies their insurance. She tries to expedite their visits as much as she can.

Her dedication to EPH is palpable.

“If we didn’t have Estes Park Health, there would be so many patients who would have to go down the hill and a lot of them just can’t do that,” McCleary stressed. “That’s why I feel like this is where this place needs to be. It’s a very good hospital. If you come in and interact with any of us, we will try and help you any way we can.”

How long will she keep working at EPH?

“I’m going to work here until they tell me I can’t,” she stated.

Kim Ramacher

When you walk through the front doors of Estes Park Health, Kim Ramacher’s smiling face is one of the first things you’ll see. As the person who runs the coffee shop, she is one of the helpful folks in the lobby.

“I have been in the coffee shop for more than four years,” Ramacher commented. “I like it because it’s not just about coffee. I greet everybody who comes in. I’ll do anything they ask me to do. And I like that.”

“Anything” often includes helping people using canes or wheelchairs, parking cars, even helping people navigate their way through the facility.

Ramacher started out as the medical/surgical unit coordinator, then, she worked in the kitchen and the lunchroom. For the past four years, you’ve been able to find her heading up the coffee shop.

“I open at 5:30 in the morning to catch the people who have been working all night long,” she explained. “We are open until 2:30 p.m. five days a week. I love the people. And I really love to work. I usually say, ‘I’m a working girl.’ That’s because I like to work 24/7.”

Besides coffee, Ramacher also sells specialty drinks, burritos, chips, muffins, ice cream and candy.

“I have lived in Estes Park for 20 years now,” Ramacher added. “Estes Park Health is very important to the community. We’re close for people. If there is an emergency, they can get here. If they need something more than that, we can fly them out. It’s very important for us to have this hospital in Estes Park.”

To listen to a podcast featuring this long-time Estes Park Health employees, go to