Letter: Salters bid farewell to Rangely, humanitarian work ahead

It is with joy and regret that we, Debra and Wallace Salter, M.D.s, announce the closing of Columbine Medical Associates as of Oct. 15. We have been offered the opportunity to participate in some humanitarian work and plan to also continue our efforts in Sao Tome, for which we were knighted by the Portuguese Royal Family. This has been an agonizing and heart-wrenching decision, but we have prayed about it, and know this is the right time and the right direction for us. Our six years here in Rangely have been and always will be cherished, but we feel it is our time to give to those in greatest need. The needs we perceived here in Rangely before we moved here, and feared when we established Columbine, we believe, are no longer an issue. We are now comfortable in trusting your care to the physicians and staff at Rangely District Hospital. With Nick Goshe as the new CEO, we feel the atmosphere has lifted, and the hospital is moving in a positive direction. We are also excited about the fact that our community will again have a stable base of providers at RDH. Dr. Brenda Hinton has moved her family here and intends to stay; Dr. Chris Adams brings his seven years of experience to the area; Dr. Mercedes Cameron, with whom we have worked since 1996 in Grand Junction, is a wonderful physician, and has been here for the past three plus years, and finally Dr. Karyl Ting will be bringing her 30 plus years experience here in late October. In addition, our new physical therapist at RDH, Shingo Tanaka, has been providing excellent and unique therapies with great success to our patients, and we are comfortable leaving them in his experienced hands as well. To ease this transition we are selling our medical practice to Rangely District Hospital. All medical charts will be transferred to their care as of the closing of our practice. After Oct. 15th, you may call 675-2237 to schedule an appointment and/or to obtain a copy of your medical record.
We are grateful to all of those in this community who rallied behind us as we established Columbine. We have over 3,000 active patient charts, and have patients who travel from Dinosaur, Roosevelt, Wyoming, Vernal, Grand Junction, and Meeker to see us. We appreciate the trust you have placed in us this past six years, and pray we have served you well.
We also appreciate our wonderful staff at Columbine. The women we have the pleasure to know and work with have given their hearts to this community and our patients as well. Never have I known such dedicated employees, nor ones who cared or gave as much to their patients. Please rest assured we will strive to assure alternate plans for employment are being pursued for each, though we will miss working with them more than they will ever know.
When you have loved, cared for, lived amongst, rejoiced and grieved with your patients for six years, there is no easy way to move on. Believe me, we know that our move will leave a bigger hole in our hearts than the void we will create in yours. Rangely is and always will be in our hearts, and in our prayers. The relationships we have shared here will last us a lifetime. We hope we have had a positive impact in the lives of those we have touched. Our beloved patients, our friends, you have been a gift to us, and we will miss you more than words could ever express. We wish you all the best of health and happiness, and hope you will pray for us in our new mission.
Drs. Wallace and Debra Salter