Letter: Sister Cities success | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Sister Cities success

The Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program would like to thank the medical professionals who tirelessly volunteer their time and expertise to improve patient care in Bariloche, Argentina, and Aspen.

Our program works to improve patient care for the Aspen and Bariloche communities through education, philanthropy and cultural exchanges. We are proud to be one of the few medical exchange programs organized through the International Sister Cities Program. This program formed shortly after San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, was named one of Aspen’s sister cities on Nov. 12, 2002.

Our success is attributed to the strong partnerships between Aspen Sister Cities, Bariloche Sister Cities, the Buster Foundation, Hospital Zonal Ramon Carrillo, Aspen Valley Hospital, Valley View Hospital, Aspen Orthopaedic Associates and the Aspen Sports Medicine Foundation.

Without the generous support of the Aspen community, the 2015 winter/spring medical exchanges would not have been possible. We are extremely grateful to Mountain Chalet Aspen for providing our visiting medical professionals with housing. A special thank-you to Aspen Skiing Co., the Red Onion, Ute Mountaineer and Tom and Carol Kurt with the Aspen Chapter of the Colorado Mountain Club for annually offering our exchange participants the opportunity of recreation, dinner and merriment while visiting our community.

In February, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ernesto Barbeito worked with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tito Liotta of Aspen Orthopaedic Associates, who kindly hosted him in his home and led a comprehensive educational experience including observing surgery, participating in patient clinics and attending continuing-education lectures.

Physical therapist Sofia Burgoa and respiratory therapist Cecilia Habjan visited in March. Registered nurse Lori Maloy, director of outpatient services, quality, safety, and risk with Aspen Valley Hospital, hosted Cecilia Habjan, while physical therapist Jan Alling, director of Aspen Valley Hospital’s therapy department, hosted Sofia Burgoa. The Argentines were led through a busy week of observing patients in many areas throughout Aspen Valley Hospital, spending most of their time in physical therapy, respiratory therapy, cardiac rehabilitation, surgery and the emergency room. Thank you to all the medical professionals who made this a worthy experience.

We would like to especially recognize orthopedic surgeon Dr. Chris George; occupational therapist Krista Fox; dentist Dr. Robert Christensen and his wife, Candice; and Heather and Chris Preusch for working so hard to make the 2015 exchanges a success.

Griff Smith

Aspen Sister Cities

Dr. Mark L. Purnell

Aspen Orthopaedic Associates

Laura Morris Pritchard

Aspen Sports Medicine Foundation