Uncompahgre Medical Center (UMC) is celebrating the arrival of a new chief medical officer this fall. Kelley Prince has relocated to Norwood most recently from California to lead the clinical side of UMC. She began work in August and said she and her family are happy with their decision. 

Prince is from Virginia and did her medical training at Elon University, finishing at  the Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine. Later, she went to California to work as a family physician. She then got into medical administration and has worked in chronic care for high-risk patients. She’s been a medical director, including a senior medical director, and loves collaborating with different groups. She has experience in primary care and multi-specialty care medicine.

Prince had visited the local area before moving. Her husband, who flew corporate jets, had been out previously. He brought her and their children out to the Western Slope, and they all fell in love with the area. As a result, they made the decision to actively seek careers in the area. 

When Prince saw the opening at UMC, she was happy to see she could serve clinically as a medical administrator. Her family made the move over the summer to be ready for the school year.

The only medical doctor on site, Prince is now leading Norwood’s health care center in Norwood. She said she’s happy working right alongside the physician’s assistants already on staff. 

“There’s a special quality in this region,” she said. “I think there is an openness of the people and a welcoming spirit. There is a real sense of community and willingness to help serve each other, and encourage and take care of each other. That is what I am sensing here.”

Prince said the people she’s met have been inclusive and thoughtful with her. 

She said the UMC board of directors has also been very supportive. 

“They are genuinely looking out for the best interest of patients and this clinic,” she said. “The board is engaged and looking to support the community.”

It is her first time working in a federally funded health care center, but in the past she has partnered with similar clinics for her work. She agreed UMC was diversifying her career experience, and she’s enthusiastic about that. 

She said it’s wonderful that in a small town, the clinic has so much available:  dentistry, pharmacy, mental health support and a great partnership with EMS. 

“It’s a great collaboration,” she said. “And the PAs are fantastic. … I’m happy to be in a place where people work together to take care of patients.” 

The Prince family is into skiing — they already have their season passes — and hiking. Currently, they’re appreciating the changing of the seasons with the fall colors lighting up the local mountains. 

“I consider myself lucky to be here,” she said. “I am enjoying it. 

Sarah Franklin, UMC’s chief administrative officer, said it’s great to have Prince on board. 

“UMC is excited to welcome Dr. Kelley Prince to our team,” she told The Norwood Post on Monday. “We feel that she brings great experience that our organization, community and patients will benefit from.”