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Hospitalist Services

Vail Health's hospitalists coordinate and ensure continuity of care for patients from admission to discharge, 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Hospitalists are medical providers who specialize in inpatient care. By focusing their practice on the care of hospitalized patients, hospitalists gain a great deal of experience in the unique aspects of patients’ needs during their hospital stay. Hospitalists are readily available to their patients and practice only in the hospital setting; therefore, they do not take appointments.

If you or a family member are hospitalized and would like to speak with your hospitalist, please ask your nurse to page him/her. After discharge, if you have any questions about your stay or have medical concerns that your primary care provider is unable to answer, please call (970) 476-2451 and ask the operator to page the on-call hospitalist.
The hospitalist program provides:
  • Communication between the hospitalist and the patient’s referring physician and primary care physician
  • A familiar and consistent approach to inpatient care
  • A consultative resource for physicians—all patients are returned to their referring physician for ongoing care
On-call care including:
  • 24 hours/day, 7 days/week
  • Consults in the Emergency Department and hospital 
  • Admission of adult and geriatric patients to the Patient Care Unit and Intensive Care Unit
  • High quality, patient-centered care, in the tradition of Vail Health


Yes. Children admitted to the Emergency Department are seen by board-certified emergency physicians, who are medical doctors. In more serious situations, children are transferred to pediatric hospitals in Denver.

If a child is transitioned to our Patient Care Unit in Vail, then the patient will be treated by University of Colorado School of Medicine-trained pediatric hospitalist providers in affiliation with Children's Colorado. These on-site pediatric nurse practitioners specialize in the care of hospitalized children and are dedicated to the health and safety of their patients 24/7.

When needed, they have the ability to connect with pediatric physicians and specialists through real-time telehealth capabilities.
Yes. Studies show that inpatient specialists can reduce hospital lengths of stay by more than 30 percent and hospital costs by up to 20 percent. This is one of the reasons why hospitals and insurers as well as economic and quality forces are propelling the shift to hospitalists as a way to improve the efficiency of care for hospitalized patients.
For a number of reasons, patients remark very positively on Vail Health's hospitalist service. Because these physicians practice in the hospital, they are present whenever the patient or family member has a question regarding care. Patients don't need to wait until their primary care physicians make rounds to get answers. In addition, by being located in the hospital, hospitalists know how to expedite and improve care within that environment. They are familiar with all of the key individuals in the hospital, including medical and surgery consultants and discharge planners. Finally, hospitalists can facilitate connections with post-acute providers, such as home health care, skilled nursing care and specialized rehabilitation.
Today, the average primary care physician has one or two hospitalized patients per week, versus 10 to 12 patients 20 years ago. Working with a hospitalist provides primary care physicians the ability to focus their attention on their office practices and better refine these needed outpatient skills, while at the same time knowing their in-hospital patients are receiving the best care possible from specialists trained in that field.
This is particularly important because hospital patients today are more complex and more acutely ill than in the past. Because of this, hospital medicine requires a decidedly different skill set than outpatient medicine - a skill set that hospitalists are particularly experienced with and competent to handle.
Practice generally makes perfect in health care. The average U.S. primary care physician spends only 12 percent of his or her time with hospitalized patients, which means that the typical primary care physician is unlikely to see any one condition requiring hospitalization more than three times per year (according to a study by The Advisory Board in Washington, D.C.). Hospitalists provide an expertise in the application and coordination of care for common acute disorders. Because of this deep understanding of inpatient care, hospitalists are able to recognize and diagnose unusual disorders, anticipate problems and rapidly respond to crises or changes in a patient's condition.

Meet the Providers

  • Elizabeth  Corey-Pacheco Elizabeth Corey-Pacheco, MD Specialty: Adult Hospitalist, Hospitalist, Internal Medicine  
    Office: Vail Health Hospital
    Hospitalists do not take appointments.
  • Stephen Godar Stephen Godar, MD Specialty: Adult Hospitalist, Hospitalist, Internal Medicine  
    Office: Vail Health Hospital
    Hospitalists do not take appointments.
  • Kristen Ickes Kristen Ickes Specialty: Adult Hospitalist, Hospitalist  
    Office: Vail Health Hospital
    Hospitalists do not take appointments.
  • Tracee Metcalfe Tracee Metcalfe, MD Specialty: Adult Hospitalist, Hospitalist, Internal Medicine  
    Office: Vail Health Hospital
    Hospitalists do not take appointments.
  • Sergiu Surdulesco Sergiu Surdulesco, MD Specialty: Hospitalist, Internal Medicine  
    Office: Vail Health Hospital