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New Year – New CMO!

Dr. Phillip Mendoza and Dr. Ricardo Velasquez

Valley-Wide Health Systems, Inc. would like to welcome Phillip Mendoza, MD into the role of Chief Medical Officer (CMO) effective January 1, 2014.   Since arriving in October 2011, Dr. Mendoza has practiced at one of Valley-Wide’s newest facilities, the Edward M. Kennedy Health Clinic in Monte Vista.  His specialties are family medicine services and outpatient prenatal obstetrics services, complementing the work of Valley-Wide’s family medicine/obstetrics physicians.  Dr. Mendoza has a special interest in giving all Valley-Wide patients access to a provider who knows their name and can help them navigate the complex health care system.

Dr. Mendoza is a 2007 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and he completed his Family Medicine Residency in Boise, Idaho.  He came to Valley-Wide from the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic in Grandview, Washington where a significant number of Migrant Farmworkers are served.  Dr. Mendoza brings with him familiarity of health center work, work which he finds very rewarding.

As a first generation Mexican American born and raised in Colorado Dr. Mendoza looks forward to being closer to his extended family.  He and his family enjoy outdoor activities suited to beautiful, rural Colorado and the San Luis Valley, and he enjoys being active in the community.

As Dr. Mendoza transitions in to this position, appreciation is extended to former CMO Ricardo Velasquez, MD.  Dr. Velasquez began his family medicine career with a four-year stint in the San Luis Valley in the late 1970’s. He was one of the young, newly-minted doctors who joined Valley-Wide, fueled by an idealistic commitment to provide “health care for all.”  Over the years Dr. Velasquez’s dedication to family medicine took him many places where he gained experience, returning to the Valley and Valley-Wide in 1998.

Since his return to VWHS, Dr. Velasquez has worked as a staff physician, interim CEO, and since 2003 as CMO. As an ardent supporter of rural medicine, Dr. Velasquez will remain at Valley-Wide in a special capacity in which he will work with the organization and the changing health care environment.  He will continue in his role as the Medical Director for the Integrated Community Health Partners, the regional collaborative care organization designated for south central and southeast Colorado.