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Vail Health on Wednesday issued the following press release on Dr. Susan Vickerman being named the second recipient of the Vail Health Elevate Award:
Susan Vickerman, MD, has been named the second recipient of the Vail Health Elevate Award. Vail Health created the Elevate Award in June 2022 to give patients and their families an opportunity to nominate and thank employees who have touched their lives in some way.
Dr. Vickerman, a family medicine physician at Colorado Mountain Medical, was nominated by Bruce Meyer, a new resident of Edwards, Colo. Meyer’s wife, Pam, became a patient of Dr. Vickerman’s in June after a cough continued to worsen. Through detailed examination and tests, a mass was identified in Pam’s chest.
“We nominated Dr. Vickerman for the Elevate Award because of the exemplary care she demonstrated in the care, diagnosis and coordination of care for my wife Pam,” said Meyer. “Dr. Vickerman immediately took charge and was very sympathetic to our plight and assured my wife that she would stay as her physician as they determined what the mass was and the treatment plan.”
Dr. Vickerman coordinated care for Pam with an interventional radiologist at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver, and when the diagnosis was acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, Dr. Vickerman and the Vail Health Shaw Cancer Center’s medical oncologist Alexander Urquhart, MD, collaborated to take action to have Pam be immediately accepted as a patient at the University of Colorado.
“What I have described was the absolute best coordination of care I have ever witnessed. Dr. Vickerman as the point person made everything happen in a very chaotic diagnosis of a fairly rare disease under adverse circumstances. In doing so, she spent countless hours counseling my wife regarding a very scary diagnosis, and made sure that the process was extremely efficient,” said Meyer. “Dr. Vickerman also had the humility and professionalism to acknowledge a pivot in the treatment plan and explain why it was better after having consulted with Dr. Urquhart. Dr. Vickerman was there during each of the steps and took my wife’s case on even though she has a full practice and was not seeing new patients. She showed great empathy and caring for a person she just met and who had no prior connection with her or the practice group.”
Pam is currently in her third cycle of a very difficult chemotherapy regimen and treatment, coordinated between the University of Colorado Hospital and the Vail Health Shaw Cancer Center. Her most recent tests show that the mass in her chest is gone.
The Elevate Award directly aligns with Vail Health’s mission of elevating health across our mountain communities.
“For as difficult of a diagnosis and treatment plan that Pam was dealt, we feel very fortunate to have met Dr. Vickerman, who quarterbacked such an efficient, proficient team of world-class physicians,” said Meyer. “This team worked swiftly and because of that we are experiencing a very positive outcome. My wife has called it Colorado karma. We could not imagine how things could have progressed without Dr. Vickerman, and all of the other professionals at Vail Health. We thank you very much.”
The inaugural Elevate Award winner was Erin Perejda, the supportive care services manager and licensed clinical social worker at Vail Health Shaw Cancer Center, who was honored in June 2022.
Patients and family members are encouraged to nominate staff who made a meaningful difference in their health care experience. Nominees can work in any area of the Vail Health healthcare system—including admissions, laboratory, surgery centers, Howard Head Sports Medicine, Shaw Cancer Center, Colorado Mountain Medical, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health and more.
To nominate Vail Health, Colorado Mountain Medical, Eagle Valley Behavioral Health, Howard Head Sports Medicine and Shaw Cancer Center staff, visit www.VailHealth.org/ElevateAward