Dr. Shannon Murphy, MD
Dr. Shannon Murphy has been practicing pediatrics in Grand Junction for ten years. From the time she was five years old, she knew she wanted to be a pediatrician. “The draw to pediatrics was babies,” she explains. “I love babies. It’s just in me. I always said, ‘I’m going to be a baby doctor.’” And so, Murphy followed her dream right on to completion!
Born and raised as a fourth-generation “Collbran kid,” Murphy earned her undergrad degree from our very own Colorado Mesa University, went on to medical school in Tennessee, and completed further training at the University of Utah where she continued working for several years once licensed. Though she dabbled in several areas of specialized pediatrics and learned much during those years away, Murphy says, “The goal was to come home eventually and practice general peds.”
Just recently, Dr. Murphy and her three partner physicians—Katie Joy, Paula Lopez, and Mary Willy— launched Altitude Pediatrics in Grand Junction. Murphy is excited to offer a fresh and new change to pediatrics in the Grand Valley. The four pediatricians have worked together for a long time and know each other well.
About the new launch, Murphy comments, “It felt like it was the right time. We’re in a good place.” She goes on to say, “Our goal is for our patients to know us, for us to really know our patients, and for us to collaborate with the community and different care providers and groups within the valley. We really want to be involved and make a difference in a variety of ways…we certainly love our patients; we strive to make their experience special.”
Starting a new business has brought both growth and challenge. The four experienced pediatricians have tried their hands at new things like answering phones and scheduling appointments. “When you open a business, this is what you do!” Murphy jokes. “We’re excited to learn and grow. We’ve had a lot of fun, and we really do compliment each other well and fill in gaps. It’s been really cool to be a part of it, and to see things developing and coming together.”
Dr. Murphy has been grateful for the many families who have made the transition to Altitude Pediatrics with them. “A huge number have so kindly and graciously come with us and been excited for us and so supportive,” she says. “The clinic is accepting new patients as well. We welcome them all with open arms. We’re happy to have them.”
Altitude Pediatrics is temporarily located in Marillac health clinic while awaiting a beautiful new space to be built out by mid-January. Their permanent location will be in the West Park shopping center near Walgreens, off of Patterson and First.
Dr. Shannon Murphy’s Family
While talking with Dr. Murphy about what brings her satisfaction, it’s obvious that patient care is at the top of her list. She describes the joy felt in seeing relief on a parent’s face when she’s able to meet their child’s health needs. “What really warms my heart,” she explains, “is when a parent comes to me and says that I helped them. That’s what reminds me most often why I love my job. So often parents are just appreciative that you’re there to listen; it’s irreplaceable for sure.”
“It’s the greatest honor when someone chooses you to take care of their kids.”
She also has a special place in her heart for foster kids, and enjoys being part of their support team and getting to collaborate with families. It started when, years back, she made positive connections with several foster families and she’s continued to treat foster families ever since.
When thinking about the future, Dr. Murphy would love to see growing awareness on mental health and wellness, including increased community collaboration. She is aware of the ways the pandemic has changed medicine, partially for the good noting that several years ago telehealth didn’t even exist, and she’s hopeful mental healthcare will become increasingly more accessible. “There is a growing need for patients to be seen by their providers more frequently,” she reflects. “I envision a day when the Grand Valley might raise awareness and funding in order to bring in educators, as well as local resources to offer trauma classes, parenting classes, and classes for specific needs such as ADHD.” She desires to link her patients with existing resources and plans to pursue more of this in her new practice.
The little girl with the innate love of babies has grown up and opened her own pediatric clinic in the heart of Grand Junction, but she still lives in Collbran and loves it. Murphy is married to Brett, a Fruita native, and has four kids ages 22, 12, 9, and 7. “It’s fun to have kids and do this job,” she says. “They find it fun knowing that I take care of some of their friends.”
Murphy enjoys running and she and her family do as much skiing and camping as possible. She appreciates living near her parents and extended family and does not mind the commute to her dream job where she gets to interact with the patients she loves. “I just love people! I love parents; I love kids. I just really enjoy the human connection. It’s the greatest honor when someone chooses you to take care of their kids.”
Dr. Shannon Murphy is accepting new patients at the newly opened clinic, Altitude Pediatrics. To schedule an appointment or inquire, please call (970) 609-7337 or visit their website.