Dear Doc column: Choose to embrace change |

Dear Doc column: Choose to embrace change

Dr. Drew Werner
VAIL CO, Colorado

Change. It is often something we look forward to, while conversely it can be a cause of fear and something to be avoided at almost any cost. In either case, change is a stressful event. That stress can get us up and moving or paralyze all our actions. Like much of life, change is all about the choices we make, and how we move ahead. Our recent elections left half of us happy to continue on President Obama’s path while a nearly equal half wanted a change. What will the new health care act bring? No one knows for sure and it may take years to fully sort out. For many it will bring relief and benefits that were previously out of reach. There will no longer be “pre-existing conditions” and everyone will be insured. For others it will mean fewer choices and less personal control over health care decisions. The coming changes are less a right and more a responsibility that, if made the best of, will truly improve the health of our nation.

For that reason then, it is up to each of us to choose to embrace it or, like the proverbial ostrich, bury our heads in the sand. Whether a decision is personally made or one is placed upon us, change will always be a part of our lives. With those thoughts in mind, I would like to share a significant change in my life. My medical practice, TotalHealthCare will be closing on Feb. 28. My patients have received a letter, which I would like to share with each of you:

It is with sadness that I am sending this letter to tell you that TotalHealthCare will be closing on February 28, 2013. It has been a tremendous privilege and pleasure to have been not only your physician but a part of your life and our community. Each of you, and too many others to name, have given me the opportunity to be the best physician possible. For that, my deepest thanks will always be forthcoming.

As sweeping changes occur in medicine, patients, physicians and practices will all be impacted. As we necessarily move forward, I hope that we will look at change as an opportunity. Most importantly I wish you the very best in health. As I have written in hundreds of articles in the Vail Daily, health doesn’t happen by accident.

At this time I am looking at all of my options and know that this change will be a positive one. My work as Eagle County’s Public Health Officer, as well as serving as the medical director of Alpine Laser Clinic and our exciting Community Paramedic program, which has received national attention, will continue. I hope to continue my articles for the Vail Daily as well. With respect to my work as a family physician, please continue to read and you will be amongst the first to know where my future will take me.

It has been an equal privilege writing these articles and hearing from so many readers and members of our community. Keep your questions coming! Remember your health is your responsibility. Health is our greatest asset and it doesn’t happen by accident. If something doesn’t seem right, or questions are left unanswered, don’t wait, call your doctor.

Dr. Drew Werner is a medical staff leader at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and the Eagle County health officer. He lives in Eagle with his family. Email comments about this column to

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