When everybody in our community has convenient access to high-quality healthcare, our population as a whole benefits. That’s the main tenet of “population health” — and one reason Aspen Valley Hospital is actively recruiting more primary care physicians (PCPs) to the Roaring Fork Valley.
Aspen Valley Primary Care in Basalt is AVH’s new family medicine practice. Having opened July 15 right next to the Midvalley Imaging Center, the new clinic offers comprehensive medical care for adults and children, including wellness services, disease management and treatment of acute and chronic illnesses.
“Primary care is all about what is important to patients and how we can keep them healthy,” said Alyssa Franklin, AVH’s Director of Primary Care. “Besides treating a patient’s immediate medical need, PCPs can screen for cancer, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and more. When caught early, these health issues can be treated or managed before they become more serious problems. And this keeps our community healthier as a whole.”
Leading the new practice are Karen Locke, MD; Kelly Locke, MD; and Michael Plachta, MD (pictured below from left to right). All three are certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and have extensive experience in family medicine. Dr. Edward Wiese, an internist, will join the practice in October.
For Drs. Karen and Kelly Locke, joining Aspen Valley Primary Care was an exciting opportunity. For the past 20 years, both had their own practice in Basalt, Locke Family Medicine. Dr. Kelly Locke said they will now be able to devote more of their time to patient care, while AVH will manage the business side of the medical practice. What’s more, they can offer more resources from AVH, such as psychologists, social workers, diabetes educators, imaging and lab services.
Drs. Karen and Kelly Locke met and married while attending medical school at the University of Kansas. During more than 25 years together, they have focused exclusively on treating families, so they have had many three-generation families and even a few four-generation families as patients.
“Building trust with patients is what family medicine is all about,” Dr. Karen Locke said. “Our style is to be good listeners. Some people may feel rushed when at a doctor’s office. But we will sit down with our patients and listen to their concerns and then address them.”
This extra time with a patient allows PCPs to inquire not only about the patient’s well-being but also about the health of the patient’s family. “Say we are treating a child for an earache,” Dr. Kelly Locke explained. “We can also take care of the parents’ needs, such as checking their blood pressure or giving them a needed immunization shot. We can better manage the family’s health as a whole so they don’t need to keep coming back.”
Dr. Plachta was practicing family medicine in Colorado Springs before joining the AVH team. He was impressed with the facility, the staff and the Hospital’s commitment to primary care. “My goal is to provide medicine in a compassionate, thorough and evidence-based manner,” he said.
A graduate of the University of Illinois Medical School in Chicago, Dr. Plachta focuses on teaching his patients about the importance of good health. “But I also want this to be a collaborative relationship,” he added. “It’s not just about what I feel is the best way to help my patients maintain their health. I am concentrated on their goals, too.”
To schedule an appointment with Aspen Valley Primary Care, please call 970.279.4111. For more information about our new practice, please visit aspenvalleyhospital.org/aspen-valley-primary-care.
Aspen Valley Primary Care
1460 East Valley Road, Suite 102
Basalt, CO 81621
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.