FHW Women, Part 2

Woven through the many conversations with Family Health West women in preparation for Women’s History Month, emerged the resiliency of staff, the passion for caring for each other and patients, and the deep roots of building history together. As you’ll read, FHW has been a place where girls grew into women, remained faithful through raising kids and adult trials and challenges, remaining steady until retirement comes knocking.

Holly Krouse

HOLLY KROUSE – 1990

She’s always worked in dietary, starting in the summer of 1990, as a Dietary Aide. Jobs in Fruita were primarily limited to City Market or FHW. Before graduating from high school, Holly was moved to a cook position and then a supervisor. She’s since obtained her bachelor’s degree and completed over 1600 hours of clinicals in Dietetics and is currently the Registered Dietitian and Director of Nutritional Services and Flavors Grille. Lori Randall has always been my mentor and I’ve believed in her leadership and ideas for health care, Holly said. Leadership going back to the days of Carroll Rushold has always understood that you don’t have to give things up to create a positive atmosphere (at work). I’ve always been encouraged to be involved in the community and been given opportunities to be my best self, she said about working at Family Health West and why she has stayed for so many years.

“We now have a different kind of leadership. We use to be a long-term care facility with a tiny hospital,” she said.

Dietary was more singular in their functions and could feed everyone the same meals. Today though, things have changed drastically with all the variety of diets and regulations, that heavily impact how we feed memory care residents, as well as people in general, being more nutrition-conscious. While dietary has become more complex over the years, so has healthcare, Holly said.

Holly enjoys educating patients about nutrition and assisting them to get to a place where they can function outside of our hospital. Holly has also been involved with STRiVE and is the Community Nutrition Dietitian for Meals on Wheels Mesa County, a volunteer role she is supported in by her leadership. Through catering services with Flavors Grille, meals and desserts have been provided to the City of Fruita (at different times and for a variety of events) and the Museum of Western Colorado. While COVID impacted the catering and staffing in all areas of FHW dietary, Holly credits the perseverance of staff to maintaining meals to FHW staff and patients through it all.

ROBIN IDLER – 1988

It was change over the years that moved Robin Idler around the Family Health West campus in her 34 years of being a CNA. She worked in the small ten-bed hospital (on Plum Street) and then in the new hospital built on Ottley Avenue in 2009. She also has worked in assisted living and memory care – primarily the Alzheimer’s unit.

“I felt over the years that change was good and it made me grow and go wherever they needed me,” she said. “I love being a CNA! I am grateful for my job and the people I work with. Family Health West has changed me in that I have grown in the knowledge of being the best CNA that I can be!”

Robin says it’s the residents that keep her working day in and day out. There have been a lot of residents over the years that she has cared for so it’s especially hard when they pass away. Because for Robin the residents and patients she cares for feel like family.

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