Dr. Elizabeth Buisker, DO
Regional Medical Director of SCL Health
Patterson Primary Care, SCL Health Medical Group
Dr. Elizabeth Buisker’s childhood was peppered with constant change: New towns, experiences, friends, and schools. Like clockwork, her father’s job moved her family across the country every eighteen months. “I loved moving. I loved the ocean. I loved the mountains. I didn’t understand why people would just stay in one place,” she reflects fondly. Later and of no surprise, her ability to adapt easily and embrace change would transcend her childhood and usher her into a career practicing a wide range of medicine and servant leadership full of variety and purpose.
In addition to being a mother of two young children, she wears many hats in healthcare. Dr. Buisker is a practicing family medicine doctor at Grand Junction’s newest primary care clinic—Patterson Primary Care— a division of SCL Health Medical Group. She is also the Regional Medical Director of SCL Health, which includes 23 different specialists, 150 providers, and 18 clinics within a 200-mile radius.
She is passionate about filling the void of primary care physicians in the Grand Valley in her role as Regional Medical Director. “The rule of thumb for any given community is one primary care doctor for every 1,800 people, but Mesa County’s Community Health Needs Assessment identified that we were lacking eleven primary care providers. That means that almost 20,000 people don’t have a primary care doctor. In fact, if you include O.B.s and peds, we’re seventeen short, which amounts to just over 30,000 people not getting the care they need because of accessibility,” Dr. Buisker explained.
As a result, St. Mary’s—under Dr. Buisker’s leadership— identified improving access to primary care providers as their number one strategic priority for 2020 and broke ground on Patterson Primary Care in order to make that goal a reality. “Our new building off of Patterson will be complete in July of 2021. We are accepting new patients, all insurance, and offering same-day access for care.” She continues explaining how important this new addition will be to the community because Patterson Primary Care “will add four new primary care providers to the Grand Valley as a result and include a total of ten providers.”
Dr. Buisker doesn’t seek out leadership roles, but nonetheless, they find her because she is a servant leader working alongside those she manages. Just as her current role as SCL Health’s Regional Medical Director was a great fit, she found herself as chief resident during her residency, site lead at her first clinical job, and medical director at Marillac. “I even made a commitment to myself that I would not take on any leadership roles at Pioneer Family Medicine in Meeker, Colorado because I had a brand-new baby,” she laughs in response to her less-than-honest commitment made to herself. “Instead, I ended up managing two different service lines there.”
“I even made a commitment to myself that I would not take on any leadership roles at Pioneer Family Medicine in Meeker, Colorado because I had a brand-new baby,” she laughs in response to her less-than-honest commitment made to herself. “Instead, I ended up managing two different service lines there.”
After finding herself time and time again in these positions, Dr. Buisker knew she needed more training along with the credibility that follows. Without being asked, she pursued and earned her MBA in Healthcare Management while working full-time at Marillac.
Her list of accomplishments doesn’t end there. Dr. Buisker has also summited 15 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks. “I want to keep doing them, but Class 3 or more technical peaks are not on my list. I’ve got to manage risk appropriately and make sure I come home to my babies,” she laughs, but she’s not joking. Her response and her bright red hair color serve as good reminders that she’s also fun-loving and “one of us” despite her incredible drive and extensive list of accomplishments.
To say her life is full would be an understatement, and yet she handles it with as much ease as she does gusto, which proves that her ability to adapt has been an invaluable gift to herself and those who experience her servant leadership.
Patterson Primary Care is accepting new patients. To learn more and connect with a primary care provider, call their office directly at 970.298.6601.