Drs. Wallace and Debby Salter celebrate second anniversary of Rangely private practice

RANGELY — For Drs. Wallace and Debby Salter, living in Rangely is just what the, well, doctor ordered.
“The people here have been so wonderful and welcomed us with open hearts and open arms,” Debby said.
The Salters recently celebrated the second anniversary of their private medical practice, Columbine Medical Associates, located in the former Early Education Center. To show their appreciation to the community, the Salters had a barbecue and open house Oct. 16.
“We have been blessed by this community and are proud to be a part of Rangely,” Debby said.
Rangely is the Salters’ adopted home, but both are familiar with rural living. Wallace, who was born in Montreal, grew up on a farm in upstate New York, while Debby was born and raised in Albuquerque, N.M., but spent a lot of time on her grandparents’ ranch near Gallup, N.M.
The Salters met and were married while attending Colorado University, where they received bachelor’s degrees in biology. They attended medical school at State University of New York at Buffalo. They then spent 14 years in the Buffalo area, where they did their residency training.
Wallace studied surgery and orthopedics for a year and a half, and then spent three years in family medicine and obstetrics. He later worked at an inner-city Buffalo emergency room for a year, before continuing in ER in the rural community of Medina, N.Y., where he was coordinator and director of emergency services.
Debby, meanwhile, studied family medicine with an emphasis in emergency medicine, endocrine/diabetes and wo-men’s care.
For their last seven years in New York, the Salters opened and ran a rural practice in a town of 2,500 people, while continuing to work in the ER. All the while, they were looking ahead to making a move away from the east coast.
“In 1996, we were able to fulfill our dream of moving west,” Debby said.
The Salters and their three children moved to Grand Junction before, eventually, settling in Rangely.
“We finally moved to the small rural town of our dreams, Rangely,” Debby said.
Oldest son, Jeremy, 22, finished his last two years of high school at Rangely and earned his pilot’s license through the aviation program at Colorado Northwestern Community College. He is now studying engineering, physics and math at Colorado University.
Daughter, Brittany, 19, graduated from Rangely High School, served as a volunteer firefighter and is working toward her emergency medical technician certification in Kodiak, Alaska, where she moved last month.
Youngest son, Garrett, 17, is a senior at RHS and serves as the school mascot, Kit, for the Panthers.
“They love this town,” Debby said, “and the schools as well.”
The Salters were on staff at Rangely District Hospital for three years before going into private practice.
“We have over 2,400 patients, and a dedicated and caring staff,” Debby said of the two-year-old clinic.
For the Salters, Rangely is exactly where they want to be.
“We look forward to many years here in this rural frontier town,” Debby said.