About Custer County Medical Center

Custer County Medical Center is a service of the West Custer County Hospital District, which is a Colorado special district funded by property taxes, charitable donations, patient fees, and reimbursements from private and public insurance providers.

Our growing team provides outpatient primary care for all ages, limited emergency care, referrals, basic x-rays, laboratory services, on-site physical therapy and visiting specialists. Our Medical Center – often called our “clinic” – is open five days each week, with extended hours on three of those days. We host a pharmacy dispensing machine to provide selected drugs prescribed by our medical providers. Learn more about our services here.

Our goal is always to avoid or minimize chronic physical and mental conditions. And beyond diagnosing health issues and helping patients recover, we work to prevent disease throughout our community and help our neighbors reach their healthy potentials.

While we remain part of an independent hospital district, overseen by an elected board of directors, we are steadily increasing our cooperation with Salida’s Heart of the Rockies Medical Center. Already this includes regular visits by an HRMC-affiliated orthopedic practice, as well as a long list of affordable, patient-paid direct-access laboratory services. Look for more services and specialties to become available in Westcliffe as our relationship with HRMC grows.

In 1988, the voters of Custer County approved the formation of the West Custer County Hospital District, which incorporates and funds both our Medical Center and Custer County Emergency Medical Services. The full board comprises five directors who oversee separate budgets and policies for the Medical Center and EMS. Learn more about our special district structure and history here.

We focus on patient-centered care, and our team of providers and staff makes that possible. Learn more about them below.

Our Medical Providers

Dr. Erika Gelgand, Medical Director

Erika Gelgand, M.D., is a board-certified internal medicine physician. She provides hospitalist coverage at Heart of the Rockies Medical Center in Salida and serves as medical director for the Custer County Medical Center in Westcliffe. Dr. Gelgand graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of New Mexico Hospital.

Dr. Erika Gelgand, medical director
Maria Duran-Shy, Nurse Practitioner

Maria Duran-Shy, Nurse Practitioner

Maria Duran-Shy is a nurse practitioner, certified in family and acute care. Maria started her career as a radiologic technologist and then studied nursing. She worked in many disciplines of nursing before pursuing an advanced practice nursing degree. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education and clinical training. Maria holds an associate degree in applied science in radiologic technology and an associate degree in nursing, both from Amarillo (TX) College. She earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing at Colorado State University in Pueblo.

Charlotte Stark, Nurse Practitioner

Charlotte Stark’s medical career started in high school in Oklahoma with a job as a medical assistant. Charlotte enjoyed working for five pediatricians and a nurse practitioner and knew she wanted to learn more. Next, she trained as a licensed practical nurse in Tulsa. While Charlotte worked as an LPN in labor and delivery, she attended classes at the local community college to complete her associate degree in nursing. She worked in intensive care for many years before pursuing her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Metropolitan State College in Denver and her master’s degree at the University of Wyoming. She has worked the past 18 years in family practice. She’s lived and worked in Custer County for 12 years.

Charlotte Stark, Nurse Practitioner
Rebecca Pix-BW

Rebecca Penkoff, Nurse Practitioner

Rebecca Penkoff, our newest provider at the Custer County Medical Center, is a nurse practitioner who provides mostly acute and urgent care to our patients. She holds board certifications in both family practice and adult-gerontology care, after earning a master of science degree in Nursing from Colorado State University – Pueblo in 2018. Rebecca lives in Denver and enjoys visiting her brother and his family here in Westcliffe. She says she appreciates the opportunity to deliver excellent medical care to the “great mountain towns” of Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, as well as to patients from the surrounding hills and valleys.

John Ashton, Physical Therapist

John Ashton, after graduating from high school in 1967, was drafted into the Army and sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for medic training. John spent a year as a combat medic with a mechanized infantry battalion in the First Infantry Division. After he was discharged, John went to Loma Linda University in southern California, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy in 1974. His first job was at a community hospital in Overland Park, KS, where he saw inpatients and outpatients and specialized in burn care. He worked in home care from 1978 to 2009 in the Kansas City area. In 2009, John moved to Westcliffe and worked in home health care four years for Centura Home Health in Cañon City, Pueblo and Custer County. He joined the Custer County Clinic in 2013 to work in outpatient therapy. John feels privileged to work with the many veterans in Custer County who need rehabilitation services, as well as with the many very active retirees in Custer County.

John Ashton, Physical Therapist
Kay Schafer, Physical Therapist, MSM

Kay Schafer, Physical Therapist, MSM

Kay Schafer completed her bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy at the University of Kansas and her master’s degree in Management at Baker University. Kay has worked in many areas of physical therapy, including acute rehabilitation, home health, pediatric and adult neurological rehabilitation. But her favorite is outpatient therapy. In her free time, she and her husband enjoy camping and riding off-road vehicles. They belong to the Cliffe Riders ATV Club and travel in and out of state to ride and camp. Kay has a Newfoundland named Kona Bear, their “house horse,” and seven grandchildren, who keep her traveling to the Kansas City suburbs for family time over the winter holidays.

Rosi Blaesius, Physical Therapist

Rosi Blaesius, a native of Germany, has been a physical therapist for 30 years and an employee of the clinic for the past four years. Rosi specializes in the treatment of orthopedic problems, surgical and non-surgical, with a focus on shoulders, knees and back. She uses hands-on manual therapy techniques, exercise instruction and education, as well as pain management, to restore patients to their normal activities and full potential. When not working, she enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking and riding horses.

Rosi Blaesius, Physical Therapist
Dr. Sean Claflin, Optometrist

Dr. Sean Claflin, Optometrist

Sean Claflin, principal at Claflin Eye Care in Cañon City, visits our Westcliffe monthly, serving patients of all ages. Dr. Claflin is recognized as one of our area’s leading eye-care providers, with diverse clinical experience and a commitment to lifelong learning. With a bachelor of arts degree in Zoology from the University of Northern Colorado, he received his Doctor of Optometry from South California College of Optometry in 1992 and in 1993 completed a residency in Ocular Disease at NSU Oklahoma’s College of Optometry. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry, a trustee of the Colorado Optometric Association, a diplomate of the American Board of Optometry, and he is licensed in both Colorado and Oklahoma.

Our Medical Center Leaders

Lisa Drew, West Custer County Hospital Executive Director

Lisa Drew has been a registered nurse since 1993. Lisa earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing and a bachelor of arts degree from Adams State College, and in 2009, earned a master’s degree in nursing administration from Indiana State University. She has been a chief nursing officer, chief clinical officer and multi-state regional director of quality. As a bedside, registered nurse, she worked in the emergency department, as well as labor, delivery and nursery, medical/surgical, and intensive care units. Lisa has spent the majority of her nursing career providing care or leading teams in rural or frontier communities. She enjoys international travel and loves to golf, camp and hike with her family.

Lisa Drew, West Custer County Hospital Executive Director
Jane McCarty, Office Manager

Jane McCarty, Office Manager

Jane McCarty grew up in Colorado Springs, but her heart belongs to the Wet Mountain Valley. Her grandparents ran the original Lake DeWeese Lodge for many years, and growing up, she joined them whenever she could. Before returning to Custer County, Jane fulfilled her career goal as a flight paramedic. But 30 years in emergency medical services took a toll. She returned to school and is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Management, which she plans to complete in the coming year.

Theresa Kennedy, Finance Manager

Theresa Kennedy holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Regis University. Theresa discovered her love for numbers while working in administrative support with a CPA firm. In her finance career, she has enjoyed working in several different industries but finds health care the most challenging. She is enjoying that challenge. Theresa loves being in the mountains but likes being outdoors anywhere. Her spare time fills with family and grandchildren.

Theresa Kennedy, Finance Manager
Yvonne Rafferty, Charge Nurse

Yvonne Rafferty, Charge Nurse

Yvonne Rafferty began her career as a certified nursing assistant. In 2014, Yvonne graduated from the registered nurse program at Pueblo Community College. She has worked in geriatrics, pediatrics, home health and medical surgical nursing. Yvonne has been the charge nurse at the clinic since November 2017. When you see Yvonne, you’ll also see Titan, her service dog. Yvonne and Titan enjoy hiking, camping, jogging, off-roading, mudding and spending time with their family.

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