Aspen hospital announces hiring of new surgeon, Joe Livengood |

Aspen hospital announces hiring of new surgeon, Joe Livengood

Staff report

Aspen Valley Hospital has announced the hiring of a new surgeon.

Dr. Joe Livengood is the first of two surgeons that Denver-based Surgical Specialists of Colorado will supply to the hospital under a one-year contract that becomes effective July 1. Livengood also will serve as the hospital's trauma medical director, according to a statement.

Livengood has worked for the past 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 statement said.

"His reputation as a quality surgeon, with an outstanding bedside manner and collegial approach to patient care, follows him from these institutions," the statement said.

Terri Rossi, CEO of Surgical Specialists, said that Livengood has the surgical and communications skills that will make him a great fit for Aspen Valley Hospital and Surgical Specialists.

"In addition, he has had positive interactions with a number of (Surgical Specialists) surgeons while providing care to Denver-area patients over the years," Rossi said in a statement.

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Livengood visited with Aspen hospital board members, administrators, physicians and staff over the past several weeks during his interview process.

"Our team was very impressed with Dr. Livengood, and he has the full support of everyone here at (the hospital)," hospital CEO Dan Bonk said in the statement. "We are pleased that he's agreed to become a member of our community and the (hospital) medical staff."

During July and August, Livengood will be available part time as he transitions out of his previous practice. He will be in Aspen full time starting Aug. 27. Senior partners from Surgical Specialists will provide coverage for the days in July and August when Livengood is unavailable.

The Aspen hospital is in the process of selecting a second surgeon from Surgical Specialists.

"We anticipate that the second surgeon will be here full time by this fall," Bonk said. "(Surgical Specialists) will continue to have senior members available to cover in the meantime to assure 24/7 coverage and backup for Dr. Livengood."

Livengood said he is excited about moving to Aspen.

"I love the area and all it has to offer," he said. "The facility, physicians and staff have all impressed me greatly with their dedication, passion and quality. I have received a remarkably warm welcome and look forward to establishing myself in this community."

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 one-year 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. On Monday, the hospital board granted Rodman a one-year leave of absence, which leaves 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.

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