Hospital district names Dr. Diana Koelliker new interim CEO

Via Telluride News By Ashley Bunton Associate Editor

Dr. Diana Koelliker, shown in this 2020 Planet file photo receiving one of the first Moderna COVID-19 vaccines in the county, is the new interim CEO of Telluride Regional Medical Center, beginning on Monday. The Telluride Hospital District Board of Directors recently announced Koelliker is replacing former CEO Chris Darnell.  (Planet file photo)

The Telluride Hospital District Board of Directors has found a new interim CEO to take the helm at the Telluride Regional Medical Center,as Dr. Diana Koelliker will step into the role, beginning on Monday. 

Koelliker has been working at the medical center since 2005 and is currently the medical director of the emergency department, which is the only 24-hour emergency center in San Miguel County and rated as a level-five trauma center.  

Koelliker, in addition to being the emergency department director, is also the medical director for Telluride’s emergency medical services (EMS) team. EMS provides six ambulances and crews that respond to hundreds of 911 calls each year with the Telluride Fire Protection District.  

Koelliker is replacing former CEO Chris Darnell, who resigned in February after beginning work in late 2022. Darnell had replaced Beverly Schulman, who served for 10 months as the medical center’s interim CEO. 

The board said Darnell left in February “to be closer to his family in Montana.”  

“We appreciate everything Chris has done for the Medical Center, and we respect his decision to put family first,” Telluride Hospital District Board of Directors Chair Paul Reich said. 

Darnell had brought 25-plus years of experience in health care to his role, previously as the hospital administrator at Big Sky Medical Center. During a November update to Telluride Town Council about the medical center, Darnell had spoken of the need to build a new hospital with support for space to have patients stay overnight under observation following treatment. 

Reich said the board is confident Koelliker “is the ideal person to guide the ship in the short term.” 

“As a respected member of the Telluride community, she has earned the trust of her colleagues, patients and the board,” he said in a recent news release.  

Koelliker, who was traveling out of the country, could not be reached for immediate comment before press time Thursday afternoon. In a written comment included in the news release, Koelliker said she is grateful for the support of the board and staff at the medical center. 

“I care deeply about our community and our medical center, and I look forward to the opportunity to lead our impressive team while continuing to care for patients in our ER,” she said. 

Koelliker completed med school at the Medical College of Georgia and a residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.  

“When Dr. Koelliker is not seeing patients, she enjoys spending time with her husband Paul, whom she met her first year of medical school, their son and their dog. She also enjoys running, skiing, playing softball, cooking and spending time with friends,” reads her biographical statement on the medical center’s website. 

The board, in tandem with the medical center’s senior leadership team, recently appointed a committee to help assess options in the future, and Reich said more details will be shared about any recommendations.  

“In the meantime, it will be business as usual for patients, staff and the community,” the board said in its news release.  

Coming up on May 2, an election will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to elect two directors to serve a four-year term and one director to serve a two-year term.  

May is also designated as Health Month at the medical center. Patients who are uninsured, or even underinsured, can expect some reduced costs on preventive health care services, visits and select lab tests.  

Beginning in March, the medical center lifted its universal mask mandates for COVID, although patients are welcome to wear masks if they prefer.  

For more information about the special discounted pricing options during Health Month, call 970-728-3848. Visit to learn more about the medical center. 

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