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QUALITY HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS

Our providers offer you quick, convenient, high-quality care right here in town. We’ve recently expanded, with more providers and extended clinic and physical therapy hours, to serve you better whether you are in Lake County full time or commute out of the area.

 

Dr. Lisa Zwerdlinger

Lisa Zwerdlinger, MD

Lisa Zwerdlinger, MD 

Chief of Medical Staff, Hospitalist, Emergency Medicine, Primary Care

Dr. Lisa is the Chief Medical Officer at St. Vincent Health. She cares for patients in the emergency room and as the hospitalist for inpatients.  She grew up in Colorado. Dr. Lisa was educated at the University of Colorado for undergraduate, medical school and residency training. She is board certified in family practice and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Health Science Center of Medicine. Her passion for living and playing in the mountains brought her to Leadville. She is an avid mountain biker, rock climber, ice climber, and backcountry skier. Dr. Lisa has co-authored many articles and studies on high altitude physiology. Dr. Lisa is the Physician Advisor for the local search and rescue group, High Mountain Institute, and assists Outward Bound with backcountry medical advice.

She currently holds privileges at St. Vincent Health and at St. Anthony’s Summit Medical Center in Frisco Colorado.

 

Joette Eyser, MS NP-C RNFA CNOR,

Emergency and Family Medicine

Joette Eyser, NP-C, specializes in primary care and emergency medicine. As a certified nurse practitioner, she brings background and provides services in women’s health, family planning, diabetes management and Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals at our clinic. Serving patients on Mondays and Tuesdays, Joette is available for both scheduled appointments and walk-ins.
What is a Nurse Practitioner? They’re independently licensed healthcare providers who aren’t doctors, but they take on some roles traditionally filled by doctors, including making diagnoses and prescribing medication. Their graduate education and training draw from the nursing practice, an approach to treat the whole person with an emphasis on wellness.
What is it that inspires Joette in her work? “I love this small town where I can get to know my patients,” she says. “I like to spend time and really listen.”
Joette enjoys treating babies, kids, and men and women of all ages, but recently women’s health has become a particular area of focus. “I see a lot of women for annual physicals,” says Joette. “I can help women proactively manage their health to prevent sickness.”
She counsels in good nutrition and regular exercise. Joette points out that as women age they are often low in vitamin D and may begin to develop thyroid irregularities. They’re frequently dealing with perimenopause or they’re low in “good” cholesterol.
“I’m very interested in natural remedies before pharmaceuticals,” she says. “There’s a lot of validity to alternative therapies and I am always expanding my knowledge base. For example, there’s evidence that echinacea and elderberry can boost immune function, and that melatonin aids in sleep.”

 

 

 

David Cimino, PT, DPT

David Cimino, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS

Physical Therapy Department Manager

Dave has always valued an active lifestyle and wants to enable individuals to stay active for as long as they desire. He loves working directly with individuals and values assisting them to improve their quality of life.

His roots are from New York and Long Island, N.Y. but a passion for the outdoors led Dave to Colorado over seven years ago. When Dave is not at work he is often spending time outdoors alpine skiing, mountain biking, or taking his dog on a hike. He can also be found watching sports or playing ice hockey.

Dave taught the recent winter sports conditioning class at St. Vincent Health. He and Kelsey Kuehn, PT, DPT, the physical therapy department manager, hope to bring more conditioning classes to Leadville and Lake County in the future.

Education: Northeastern University in Boston, MA

Family: Girlfriend, “Bizzy”, and Labradoodle “Hootie.”

Favorite Mountain Moments: Backcountry skiing, hut trips, and participating in several endurance ski-mountaineering races.

Philosophy: “I feel it is our role to be a patient advocate, teach our patients to advocate for themselves and provide a supportive environment. I’d like St. Vincent Health grow as a place people come to, not because they are sick, but because they hope to remain healthy.”

 

 

Kelly Bergkessel

Kelly Bergkessel, PT, DPT, COMT

Kelly Bergkessel, PT, DPT, COMT

Physical Therapy

Kelly’s first career was as an electrical engineer. She soon realized that she missed the joy that interacting with people brought her. As a swimmer and triathlete, she had received physical therapy care and was drawn to the profession. So, she returned to school to become a doctor of physical therapy at the University of Colorado. Kelly is also certified in Dry Needling and Orthopedic Manual Therapy.

“It is fulfilling to help our patients get out of pain and to be in a profession that helps people,” commented Kelly. She focuses on tailoring treatments to individual patient needs and getting them back doing what they love.

Kelly is a lover of outdoor recreation and endurance sports. She has recently practiced physical therapy in Anchorage, Alaska. Kelly and her husband were there for 5 years.  She is excited to live the small-town life in Leadville. Kelly says “bring on the snow.” There was never a doubt, but now we know she is a perfect fit for Leadville and Lake County.

 

 

 

Rachel Griffin – OTD, OTR/L, ATP,

Occupational Health

is a doctor of occupational therapy who provides both outpatient and inpatient therapy services for St. Vincent Health patients.

After illness, injury or other health challenge, occupational therapy empowers a person to do as much as they can on their own–safely and effectively –at home, work, school and other settings. Occupational therapists can also adapt a patient’s environment to facilitate independence throughout their day.

In the hospital at St. Vincent Health, Rachel helps swing bed patients and inpatients recover, improve, maintain and develop the skills they need to return to independent living and working. She assists outpatients with in-person or telehealth appointments and has a special interest in pediatric occupational therapy.

Rachel earned her bachelor’s degree in recreational therapy from Indiana University, and continued her education and training to complete her doctorate of occupational therapy at the University of Toledo.

In her career, she has worked as an assistive technology professional, helping people with cognitive and physical disabilities acquire necessary adaptive devices. Rachel also has extensive experience as a pediatric occupational therapist, treating a variety of childhood disorders. She is certified in Therapeutic Listening® and is experienced with sensory integration therapy.

Rachel was born and raised in Colorado. After having lived in the Midwest and the South for higher education and work, she is thrilled to be back near family and mountains. In addition to skiing, in her leisure time Rachel can be found pedaling her bike, running on the trail or hiking with her adorable dog Alpine.

 

 

 

 

Joseph Assini, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon

Dr. Joe Assini is a fellowship-trained, board-certified orthopedic surgeon and the newest visiting physician at St. Vincent Health. He specializes in hip and knee replacement and reconstruction, and rapid-recovery total joint arthroplasty, at OrthoONE at Swedish Medical Center in the Denver metro area. He brings his surgical and orthopedic expertise and services to Leadville and Lake County starting in December 2020.

“The ability to dramatically improve a patient’s quality of life is what I enjoy most about orthopedic surgery and particularly joint replacement,” says Dr. Assini. He uses advanced techniques including minimally invasive and computer-assisted surgery to lessen tissue trauma, along with alternative pain treatments. His overarching goal is to minimize downtime and shorten recovery time for orthopedic patients.

Dr. Assini completed a clinical and research fellowship at the highly regarded Weill-Cornell Medical College and the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, learning from top reconstruction and joint replacement physicians and scientists with some of the most complex and difficult orthopedic cases in the world. Prior to fellowship, he completed residency in his hometown of London, Ontario at Western University. Dr. Assini attended medical school at the University of Sydney in Australia, graduating with honors. He earned his undergraduate degree from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Learn more about Dr. Assini’s qualifications and patient care philosophy here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nelson Prager, MD

Nelson Prager, MDVail Health Cardiology Center

A board-certified cardiologist with Vail Health’s Cardiovascular Center, Dr. Prager manages heart and vascular health with expertise in cardiac electrophysiology, heart rhythm disturbances, and coronary artery disease. His patients range from healthy adults seeking preventative cardiac care to those with significant cardiac illnesses. Dr. Prager treats cardiac disease with a comprehensive approach that begins with diagnostics and assessments and can include treatments such as blood thinners, electrophysiology (which includes the advanced care for arrhythmias and the use of pacemakers and defibrillators) and/or rehabilitative measures.

While no referral is necessary to book a cardiovascular appointment, patients are encouraged to contact their insurance company to determine whether a referral is required for optimal insurance coverage. Call 719-486-0230 for information and to schedule an appointment with Dr. Prager in Leadville.

 

 

 

 

 

Holly Kosanovich, M.S., CCC-SLP Speech Therapy / Rehabilitation Telehealth Center for Vocal Health

Holly Kosanovich, M.S., CCC-SLP

Visiting specialist/telehealth

Speech Therapy/Rehabilitation

Holly has a plethora of experience working with individuals in many clinical settings including acute care, outpatient rehab, cancer centers, skilled nursing, home health, and pediatrics. Holly participated in published research within the field of Communication Disorders and taught various laboratories in speech and acoustic science and phonetics. Her specialty practice includes treatment of a variety of disorders through voice rehabilitation and swallow rehabilitation, including various vocal pathologies, head and neck cancer, and neurological conditions.