Craig Dr. Diana Hornung, a physician at the Northwest Colorado Community Health Center, said she'd rather work with patients in need than pursue more lucrative opportunities in health care.
"For me, it's philosophical - being able to make sure everybody is treated," said Hornung, a doctor with about seven years' experience.
Hornung began treating patients at the Health Center, an offering by the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, in October 2008. The Health Center is located at the VNA's Craig office, 745 Russell St.
The doctor is a good addition to the local health care community and the VNA, chief executive officer Sue Birch said in a written statement.
"We are so fortunate to have Dr. Diana Hornung here in our community," Birch said. "She brings a wealth of experience in family medicine and has an invaluable commitment to serving residents of Northwest Colorado from all walks of life.
"She is such an incredible asset to add to the dedicated physicians in our region."
Hornung's medical experience includes stints as a community physician at Salud Family Health Center in Fort Collins and chief resident in the Fort Collins Family Medicine Residency program.
She also served two years volunteering with the U.S. Peace Corps in Malawi, Africa.
In the Peace Corps, she taught physics and chemistry to high school students, served as a school librarian, and in the area of health care, implemented an anti-AIDS club that explored topics related to sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, and sexually transmitted infection prevention.
At the Health Center, she treats 50 to 60 patients per week, translating to about 15 patients per day.
Hornung isn't intimidated by those numbers.
"That's appropriate for the resources we have," she said. "I feel like the time I get to spend with patients is appropriate."
Historically, the Health Center has treated mostly uninsured patients. However, in light of a family doctor shortage in Craig, the clinic has taken on patients outside that demographic.
It doesn't matter to the Health Center what a patient's circumstances are, clinical director Gisela Garrison said. Anyone is accepted, she added.
"Our goal," Garrison said, "is to be a medical home for the families in this community."
The Health Center, formerly the Moffat County Care Clinic, was able to hire Hornung - its only physician - after being named a federally qualified health center in August 2008. The designation made the Health Center eligible to receive a three-year grant worth about $1.8 million, or $600,000 a year.
Hornung and Garrison said they are excited about the long-term possibilities of the Health Center, and its potential to treat all patients who need it.
"This," Garrison said on Thursday, with a crowded lobby of patients in the background, "has been very beneficial for clients."
The Health Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, call 824-8233.