Letter: Dr. Diane Petersen grateful as she looks at retirement | SteamboatToday.com

Letter: Dr. Diane Petersen grateful as she looks at retirement

As my retirement nears, a round of thanks is in order.

Thank you to Dr. Mary Bowman and Dr. David Schaller. Becoming partners in 2015 when YampaCare for Women first opened brought us onto the same team and allowed us to focus more of our time on patient care. I was fortunate to be able to do so with two physicians who I counted not only as my colleagues but my friends.

Thank you to Dr. Schaller, Dr. Jeff Chamberlain, certified nurse midwives Liz Kilmer-Sterling and Jennifer Allen, and our talented nursing team. Your professionalism, expertise and patients-first mentality has allowed us to provide the care our patients deserve to receive. Practicing medicine in these extraordinary times has been unlike anything we’ve ever experienced, especially in a rural area like ours.

From implementing our midwifery program to absorbing patients from Craig to adapting to necessary protocols due to COVID-19, we have seen a whirlwind of change. I am grateful for the support we’ve been able to give each other. I’m excited for Dr. Elaine Stickrath and Dr. Kathryn Feller to join them. This dynamic team of providers and a talented nursing staff will continue to positively impact the health of our community.

Thank you to Soniya Fidler, Dr. Laura Sehnert and chief nursing officer Kelly Gallegos. Nothing about medicine is easy, and yet these three women have shown, time and time again, what it means to be a leader. I applaud their exemplary communication skills and steadfast commitment to ensuring Northwest Colorado has access to advanced health care close to home.

Thank you to Yampa Valley Medical Center for the past and to UCHealth for the future. Our community hospital is now part of an incredible family of hospitals and an academic medical center, something for which I am very glad. UCHealth has shown unwavering support to its physicians and staff throughout the ongoing pandemic. As a community, we should be proud of YVMC, UCHealth and our local and system-level leaders for continuing to put patients at the forefront of every decision.

Thank you to my family. This retirement is for you. I would not have been able to be a physician for the last 36-plus years without your understanding, love and support. (But don’t worry, Steamboat. Dr. Charlie Petersen is still practicing in town.)

Lastly, thank you to my patients. It has been a privilege to be entrusted with the care of so many women and their growing families during my time as a physician in Steamboat Springs, Craig and Granby. I can’t put into words what that trust means to me. To be a part of your lives is truly one of the most treasured gifts in my life.

Diane E. B. Petersen, MD

Steamboat Springs

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