Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH) welcomes Alan Saliman as the newest physician to join the DCMH Internal Medicine Associates (IMA) team. Ddr. Saliman will be accepting new patients starting March 1.
Saliman was born and raised in Denver and received both his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Colorado. He has over 34 years experience serving rural communities. His first job out of residency at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Denver was in Glenwood Springs where he practiced medicine for 30 years.
“I chose to work at [DCMH] because this group of Internalists has a regional reputation for excellence,” said Saliman. “Working at IMA will be a good way to step back, do patient care, stay involved and work with people I’m familiar with from prior projects. It’s a good fit.”
Dr. Saliman has worked in rural healthcare his entire career and says that DCMH reminds him of the environment he initially worked in with teamwork at the forefront of the care philosophy. For him, rural healthcare provides a unique opportunity for physicians to use all of their skills, continually grow and take on new roles.
“I have had the chance to start programs, develop new service lines, hire a lot of new providers and mentor them early in their careers and I have cared for four generations in the same family,” said Saliman. “That is about as rewarding as it gets.”
Dr. Saliman also has 10 years of experience as a hospital administrator where he says he learned the complexity of medicine, the health care system and the obstacles that patients face negotiating the system.
During his career, Saliman helped to start a cancer care program with the University of Colorado Cancer Treatment Centers, he was the first Medical Director of the Hospice program in the Roaring Fork Valley, ran the Intensive Care Unit and was the first Chief Medical Officer at two different hospitals.
“In that way it’s a constant learning opportunity and that’s why I went into this,” said Saliman. “I love nothing more than having a respectful two-directional debate with my colleagues about the best form of care for patients. Whatever I can do to contribute and solve problems excites me.”
Internal Medicine physicians can be both primary care doctors as well as consultants on complex diagnostic dilemmas. Dr. Saliman said the complexity of issues is what initially drew him to the practice, but in time he realized he is in it to connect with his patients.
“I don’t think it’s your knowledge base that makes you a great doctor,” he said.
“It is partially your diagnostic acumen, but it’s really your ability to connect with the patient and understand the story of their lives to help manage their healthcare and wellness within the context of their reality. That means taking into account their family life, mental health, and their resources in the community. I think that working in administration helped me develop that context to understand that all-inclusive approach.”
Dr. Saliman said that paying attention to his patients’ mental health is extremely important. He will be the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mind Springs Health for the next two years, and said he has a personal interest in supporting the Behavioral Health system.
For Saliman and his wife Deb, this is the most balanced and fulfilling their lives have ever been, he said. Deb is a Registered Nurse and the couple has four kids and two grandchildren. They enjoy landscaping on their three acres of land and spending time with their two dogs.
“When it came time for my wife and I to start looking for a place to settle down, we looked at this area,” said Saliman. “The quality of life is wonderful and the people are content. We are very pleased to be here. At DCMH there is also a sense of teamwork and trying new ideas that I admire. It is a family taking care of the community and each other.”
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Saliman, call Internal Medicine Associates at 970.874.7668.