FHW Women, Part 4

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.

LORRAINE ARCHULETA – 1981

It’s not lost on Lorraine that some of her co-workers weren’t even born yet when she joined the Family Health West family in 1981. There is definitely an appreciation for everyone in her storytelling though. She recalls coming in for an interview walking up the entrance off of Pabor Street. Little did she know that she would be working for FHW 41 years later. Lorraine shares that her time at FHW has been with appreciation and many positive growths.

She was first hired in the small Medical Records Department where she was auditing charts and occasionally transcribing surgeon reports. Lorraine describes designing facility forms using a Selectric typewriter, Charpak graphic tape, and a T-square Ruler.

She says, “That story makes me feel ancient.”

By 1990, there was significant growth in the organization, and leadership needed an administrative wing. She transferred to Administration as their Administrative Assistant. This is when Lorraine got introduced to the computer.

“I enjoyed wearing many hats and working in turbo mode,” she said.

In 1993, the first Red Baron Ball was held at West Star Aviation and Lorraine recalls fondly the many planes on exhibit and the moon coming up over Grand Mesa with the hanger doors open.

Lorraine Archuleta started her FHW career in 1981.

She jumps ahead to the next decade where she transferred to the newly created Contributions Department. Her job was very fulfilling, raising funds for nursing home needs, memory care, and a capital campaign for what would become the new hospital built in 2009.

“Working in Contributions, I witnessed the generosity of so many businesses and families in our Grand Valley,” Lorraine said. “Co-workers also generously supported the campaign and many of the fundraisers.”

That sentiment is still heavy today with employees continuing to support the Red Baron Ball as a fundraiser for the needs of Family Health West. Another notable work event for Lorraine includes her creating, in 2005, the first FHW website using a software program called (Microsoft) FrontPage. If you haven’t already noticed, Lorraine is versatile and flexible, showcasing FHW wherever her work assignments lead her.

As of 2016, Lorraine has been supporting physicians, outpatient services, and patient advocacy.
She credits her tenure to feeling valued and that her work family invests and cares about her personal family. It’s a culture of belonging that resonates with her and that culture has been maintained over the years. Lorraine also credits great mentors throughout her work assignments.
“Family Health West has nurtured me,” Lorraine said. “From my first boss, I learned many clerical skills and business ethics for which I’m forever grateful. From my administrative bosses (all professional and kind men), I learned much of my executive skills. And, then from the three compassionate and loving women I worked for, I learned to be self-sufficient and a stickler for accuracy, productivity, and providing good customer service.”

Last but certainly not least, Lorraine gives a lot of credit to her husband Larry, who she describes as being encouraging and supportive, particularly on those extra-long nights when she was preparing for the Red Baron Ball. He also steps up at home so she can relax after her day at work. And while she mentions how she enjoys watching her co-worker’s families grow up, she particularly enjoys watching her own grandsons grow and being involved in their lives. It’s all a balance of give and take, and maybe Lorraine has it figured out.

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