Submitted by the Catoctin Medical Center Board of Directors

The Catoctin Medical Center Board of Directors wishes to recognize Ken Fraley’s many years of dedicated service to our organization. As a direct result of Ken’s participation and leadership during the past 49 years, our non-profit organization has been able to construct and maintain a local medical facility for the citizens of our Catoctin Community so that they have access to a variety of healthcare professionals.

In 1975, after several years of effort, a founding committee of local citizens was able to attract two young doctors (Steven Pickert, M.D. and William Harper, M.D.) to establish their practice in Thurmont. At that time, Ken was an elected commissioner (elected in November of 1974) on the Thurmont Board of Commissioners and served as the town’s liaison in assisting the founding committee’s efforts to locate medical support and raise funds to build a permanent medical facility.

On May 23, 1975, the State of Maryland approved the Catoctin Medical Center’s Articles of Incorporation. Ken was listed as one of the three “subscribers” in the Articles who applied for the creation of the organization. Following on June 17, 1975, the Catoctin Medical Center’s Board of Directors held its first meeting, and Ken was one of the five original members. To this day, the board of directors consists of local citizens who volunteer their services without pay to ensure that the Catoctin Medical Center continues to be a vital resource in supporting the medical needs of our local citizens.

In June 1975, the board of directors authorized the purchase of a modular home to serve as a temporary medical facility for our community. A groundbreaking ceremony was held along the Town of Thurmont’s parking lot on South Center Street, with Ken participating in the event. On July 21, 1975, Drs. Pickert and Harper opened their family medicine practice in this temporary facility.

After a few years of fundraising, donations from local citizens and organizations made it possible to begin construction of the Catoctin Medical Center at 100 South Center Street in Thurmont. Ken served as a co-chair for the public fundraising committee.   A groundbreaking ceremony was held on August 31, 1977, with Ken participating in the event. Incredibly, construction of the permanent medical facility was completed in 1978.  Through Ken’s participation and leadership since 1978, available leased space in the facility for healthcare providers has never been vacant.

Under the stewardship of the board of directors, the Catoctin Medical Center facility continues to be maintained and improved. Since 2003, until stepping down in June of this year, Ken served as the president of the board of directors.

Under Ken’s leadership, significant upgrades were made to the facility.  With funding assistance from the Town of Thurmont and the State of Maryland, Ken oversaw the replacement of all the facility’s exterior doors used by patients and visitors with automatic doors that are compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. As a final project under Ken’s leadership, plans are underway with funding assistance from the Town of Thurmont and the Ausherman Family Foundation to construct a handicapped-accessible ramp at the front entrance of the facility.    

Next time you see Ken, be sure to thank him for the immeasurable contributions he has made to the Catoctin Medical Center over the years to ensure that the citizens of our Catoctin Community have access to local medical care.

June 1975: Groundbreaking Ceremony for the temporary medical facility. Pictured from left: Raymond Creager, Kenneth Fraley, Lloyd Hoke, Calvin Sayler, Mayor James Black, and Ralph Stottlemyer.

(right) 1975: Catoctin Medical Center (temporary facility), 101 South Center Street, Thurmont. This modular home served as the temporary medical facility from 1975-1978. It was located on the upper (north) side of the Town of Thurmont’s parking lot, along South Center Street, behind the present-day location of the PNC Bank. Donald and Freda Lewis subsequently purchased and relocated the building to use as their retirement home. The building still stands in its relocated place across from the southbound U.S. 15 ramp on West Main Street. It is currently owned by the National Park Service.

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