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Photo by Garth Guibord
Hoodland's healer leaves to write next chapter in life posted on 01/01/2023

Dr. Murlan Grise has many a story to tell after 39 years of practicing family medicine on the Mountain. So many that his wife has suggested that he write a book.

 

And while many of those stories might never be told due to patient confidentiality, Dr. Grise shared one from the early years of his practice:

One night, a patient called because his wife had chest pains. As she was just 35 years old, Dr. Grise initially thought there wasn’t much to worry about, but he could tell the man was concerned and so Dr. Grise went out to pay them a visit.

He listened to the woman’s heart and it did sound suspicious, so they went back to have an EKG done. The first part of the reading looked like a normal heart rhythm, but the second showed a flatline. The woman’s heart had stopped.

While the husband called 9-1-1, Dr. Grise started CPR. At the time, the fire district didn’t have anyone on duty, so he continued CPR by himself for 20 minutes before the first responders could make it there. In the end, she was revived and is alive and healthy to this day.

“It all worked out wonderful,” Dr. Grise said. “That’s the amazing part, to get her back.”

Last month, after 39 years serving countless patients from his Mountain clinic, Dr. Grise left the practice.

“I feel so lucky and honored to be able to take care of the people in this community for this long,” he said. “What a wonderful life I’ve had.”

Dr. Grise arrived on the Mountain in 1983 as he was about to start a medical residency in an emergency room (ER).

He had heard that the doctors running a satellite clinic here didn’t want to continue, and when he came up and thought it would work for him, he canceled the residency and started his practice.

“My goal was to make a viable family practice out of it,” Dr. Grise said, noting it was challenging at first and he worked as an ER doctor in addition to the practice. “I was fully vested in trying to make it work. The ER was really good for me, in those days there was no family practice residency.”

The first clinic was located in the Hoodland Shopping Center, but in 1985 the clinic moved to its current location across the street on Welches Road.

“Everything took off after that,” Dr. Grise said.

In his 39 years serving the community, he’s seen many family members from three different generations and some from four generations.

“I feel old,” he joked. “If I got four generations of people, that means I've been around a long time.”

Dr. Grise doesn’t call it a “retirement,” as he’s already set up volunteer work with a clinic in St. George, Utah to help the underserved community there.

“I think it’ll be a really good experience for me,” he said, adding that he and his wife bought a home there. “I’m not quite ready to retire. I still have a lot to offer.”

Dr. Grise described himself as an “active person” and that his new home is a great place to be active, including hiking and biking, adding that it is a “pickleball mecca.”

“Great place for that; (I) love pickleball,” he said, noting that there will be 27 pickleball courts where he will live but that there is still a wait to play.

Dr. Grise noted he has mixed emotions leaving, saying that the thing he will miss most about his practice is the people.

“I just feel like they're very resilient, they’re very conscientious, supportive people,” he said, adding that he raised his family here. “The only thing I had to worry about was do I have enough hours in the day to keep up.”

“It's a wonderful experience to be able to take care of families. It's very rewarding. I will miss this place immensely.”

And as the end of Dr. Grise’s story at his Mountain clinic draws to a close, his message to his patients is heartfelt:

“Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your health care,” he said.

“I tell everyone of them that. They tell me that, but it’s a two-way street. I just can’t be more thankful.”

By Garth Guibord/MT

 

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