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Dr. Jack Eck is Vail Valley Foundation’s citizen of the year

Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
Daily file photoDr. Jack Eck talks with a patient at the Vail Valley Medical Center in Vail, Colorado.
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VAIL, Colorado”Dr. Jack Eck, who has treated residents and guests in Colorado’s Vail Valley for 37 years, is the Vail Valley Foundation’s Vail Valley Citizen of the Year for 2008.

The award will be presented to the 66-year-old Eck on Dec. 5 at the foundation’s annual Black Diamond Ball, held in conjunction with the Birds of Prey Men’s World Cup Race Week in Beaver Creek.

“Dr. Eck is without question one of the most recognizable ‘fixtures’ in this community,” explained Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. “He has not only been a pioneer in the medical community, but he has also been one of the cornerstones of this entire valley.”

Eck has been a doctor in Vail since 1971 and was the first physician to serve on the Vail Ski Patrol. His experience as a flight surgeon in Vietnam helped shape the advanced orthopedic and medical care given by Vail ski patrol.

Early in his practice, he helped to create a community hospital with big city resources and expertise, working on the grass roots level to raise funds and create the facilities and operational back-up.

The Vail Valley Medical Center was among the first Western Slope facilities to feature an intensive care unit, as well as obstetrics and a gynecology department.

A native of Pennsylvania and a member of the Vail Valley Medical Center board of directors, Eck recently accepted a new role as executive vice president of clinical program development and community outreach for the hospital.

Among the initiatives on the horizon are the development of clinical programs in the areas of cancer, genetics, ophthalmology, mental health, wellness and cat-scan technology.

“Jack Eck was a visionary 37 years ago,” said Harry Frampton, chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors, “and he remains a visionary today. When you stop to think about the medical facilities and programs that we are blessed with in this small community, it is truly remarkable and we have Dr. Eck to thank for many of these services.”

Dr. Eck will join an outstanding list of past recipients of the Vail Valley Citizen of the Year Award, including President Gerald R. Ford (1996), Pepi Gramshammer (1997), Pete Seibert (1998), Dr. Richard Steadman (1999), Gilbert Giordano (2000), Judy Alexander (2001), Gerald Gallegos (2002), Howard and Cathy Stone (2003), Oscar Tang (2004), Diana Donovan (2005), R.A. “Chupa” Nelson (2006) and Erik and Kathy Borgen (2007).

For additional information on the Vail Valley Foundation, contact (970) 949-1999 or visit http://www.vvf.org.


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