Steadman buyout of OrthoAspen is disappointing

The following letter was written to David Ressler, CEO of Aspen Valley Hospital.

We are writing to voice our dismay at the information, which we are told is correct, that the Steadman Clinic is coming to Aspen and is not allowing OrthoAspen to remain staffed as it has been for years.

Aspen is a small community for those of us who live here, and Aspen Valley Hospital is our community hospital. Its physicians and nurses are often our neighbors and friends, and always our trusted health care providers. They have served our town and the valley wonderfully for decades; we have relied on them, trusted them and been successfully treated by them. We ourselves have dealt with LeeLee von Stade and Mark Purnell with admiration and satisfaction; they are highly skilled in diagnosis and treatment, as well as approachable and moderate in their decisions.

Now we learn that we are losing these fine physicians. What does your decision say to our community? That we have been wrong all these years in trusting and admiring them? That we are insignificant and our likes and preferences (shown by our not running off to Vail for procedures) are irrelevant? What kind of “community hospital” behaves this way to its community?

We cannot tell you what to do about merging with Steadman if you have determined that is in the hospital’s best interest. But we urge you to find a way to keep the physicians who have served us so well for so long.

Judith Barnard and Michael Fain