Aspen Valley Hospital announced Thursday that it has hired the second of two new surgeons.
Les Fraser, 57, has joined the general surgery/trauma medical staff after spending the past 18 years in Greeley where he worked for the University of Colorado Health System’s Greeley Medical Clinic. He will be working with another surgeon who is new to Aspen, Joe Livengood, who started July 1.
Both were hired through Aspen Valley Hospital’s contract with Surgical Specialists of Colorado, which recently inked a one-year arrangement with the health-care facility to provide surgical services. Hospital officials say that two surgeons are needed at Aspen Valley Hospital to handle the workload and to cover each other’s responsibilities when one surgeon is unavailable.
The hospital said in a statement that both surgeons are living in the Aspen area full-time and will provide full coverage for trauma and other surgical emergencies. They also will supply non-emergency surgical care by appointment in their offices at Aspen Valley Hospital.
Fraser is a specialist in minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery and has experience with cancers of the breast and small and large bowels. His medical degree is from U.A. Guadalajara Medical School in Mexico, and his surgical residency was completed at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. He is fluent in Spanish.
“I’m very pleased to be here working with the outstanding physicians of the AVH medical staff, but in particular with Dr. Livengood,” Fraser said in a prepared statement. “Partners are everything — you have to have a good relationship with that person because the two of you share the care of your patients.”
The two surgeons are familiar with each other, having worked together previously on the Front Range for about five years, according to the hospital.
Livengood, 44, also will serve as the hospital’s trauma medical director. Before joining Aspen Valley Hospital, he worked for 13 years as an acute care surgeon at Poudre Valley Hospital and Medical Center of the Rockies, which are part of the University of Colorado Health System. He also recently worked for PeaceHealth in Ketchikan, Alaska, at a critical access hospital similar to the Aspen hospital, the hospital has said.
Livengood received his medical degree from Vanderbilt University and then completed his training in general surgery at the University of Tennessee Medical Center at Knoxville and Exempla-St. Joseph Hospital in Denver. He holds a biomedical engineering degree from the University of Southern California with the honors of Phi Beta Kappa and Tau Beta Pi. He is certified by the American Board of Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Aspen Valley Hospital’s arrangement with Surgical Specialists follows the December termination of an “exclusive provider contract” that gave Dr. Bill Rodman authority over the local health care facility’s surgery department since 1993. Earlier this year, the hospital board granted Rodman a one-year leave of absence, leaving the door open for Rodman to return to the hospital in July 2015 as a private surgeon with hospital privileges but without the subsidies he previously enjoyed.