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Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program

March 18, 2018
Aspen Valley Hospital is proud to participate in one of the few medical exchanges organized through the International Sister Cities Program. This exchange program was formed shortly after San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, was named one of Aspen’s Sister Cities on November 1, 2002, following one of Argentina’s worst economic disasters.

During this economic tragedy, the value of the Argentine peso declined to less than one quarter of its value, and funding for the only public hospital in Bariloche, Hospital Zonal Ramón Carrillo, outdated and already facing minimal government financial support, was faced with the daunting task of being the only public medical provider to more than 300,000 indigent people in the Bariloche community and surrounding region.

Through this new Sister Cities relationship, the medical professionals at the Ramón Carrillo Hospital were able to contact Aspen Valley Hospital to make a desperate plea for help. From that request, the Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program was born.

In early 2003 Mark Purnell, Quick read more or view full article MD visited Bariloche to explore the possibility of creating a medical exchange program. At the Hospital Zonal Ramón Carrillo, he found a government-supported hospital that had very little improvement since its creation in 1938; equipped with only the minimal medical equipment and not enough staff for the growing number of patients. Fortunately, he also discovered a very dedicated and well-trained team of medical professionals who were interested in participating in an exchange of ideas and medical technology. Shortly thereafter, Aspen Valley Hospital, Aspen Sports Medicine Foundation and Aspen Sister Cities teamed up to send the first of several shipments of medical supplies to the Hospital Zonal Ramón Carrillo.

Since the first visit to Bariloche, the Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program has annually exchanged delegations of medical professionals to Aspen and Bariloche. February 25 - March 8, 2018, we welcomed the following delegation to the Roaring Fork Valley:
German Guaresti, MD - Pediatrics & Hospital Director
Enrique Santillan, DPT - Director of Physical Therapy & Hospital Administration
Jesica Vasquez, PT - Physical Therapist
Juan Licari, DDS - Dentist
Noelí Tinti, MD - Anesthesiologist
Tomas Trapani, MD & Ernesto Barbeito, MD - Orthopedic Surgeons

On behalf of Aspen Sister Cities and the Aspen Sports Medicine Foundation, we would like to thank the many volunteers who worked so hard to make the 2018 Aspen Bariloche Medical Exchange Program such a success! These exchanges are possible because our volunteers donate their time, expertise and provide financial/in-kind contributions.


We especially thank…
Mark & Kelley Purnell, MD
Griff Smith & Lala Caffarone of Aspen Sister Cities
Aspen Chamber Resort Association
David Ressler and Staff at Aspen Valley Hospital
Aspen Valley Hospital Foundation
Tito Liotta, MD and Staff at Valley View Hospital
Jim Coombs and Staff at Grand River Hospital
Brian Davidson, MD and Staff at St. Mary’s Hospital
Robert & Candice Christensen, DDS
Leelee von Stade, MD
Krista Fox, OTR/L & Tom Hughes
Kimber Kurr, PT, DPT, PCS
Alyssa Franklin, PharmD, MBA, BCPS & James Ibbotson
Chris Beck, MD
Vincent Franze, MD
Mary Harris, MD and Staff at Aspen Medical Care
Brandan Isley of Acumed
Aspen Skiing Company
Stapleton Sports
Craig Melville and the Mountain Chalet
Rotary Clubs of Aspen & Bariloche
The Red Onion
Sarah and Matt Gallagher of University of Colorado
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