Steamboat Springs Dr. Louise Theilen of Steamboat Medical Group got ready to pick up the phone Tuesday morning to consult a man she has relied on for advice since medical school.
She almost started to dial Dr. Steven Mostow's phone number in Denver when she caught herself.
That's when she remembered: Her friend and colleague had just died unexpectedly.
The death of the prominent Denver doctor in a plane crash Sunday afternoon hit close to home for a number of health-care professionals in Northwest Colorado. Dr. Mostow, 63, worked at the Health Sciences Center at the University of Colorado and was a familiar face in the Yampa Valley.
Mostow and his three passengers were killed when the Cessna 340 he was flying crashed about five miles from Centennial Airport.
Mostow came to Northwest Colorado three or four times a year to update local doctors and nurses about infectious diseases and other health issues. Local health professionals remember him as a kind and charismatic practitioner who keenly understood the challenges facing rural health professionals.
"He had a great way about him with just relating to rural doctors," said Marilyn Bouldin, a nurse with the Visiting Nurse Association in Craig.
Bouldin said she last saw Mostow in the fall before flu season began. He came to Steamboat that time to talk about the flu and bioterrorism, among other things, she said.
VNA Director Sue Birch said Mostow has been around Northwest Colorado for more than a decade helping rural doctors and lecturing on the dangers of infectious diseases.
"He was a tremendous resource to our community, providing all sorts of infectious disease backup specialty advice to the physicians as well as to the community and public health," Birch said. "He absolutely promoted sound practices around communicable disease control and just all sorts of education around emerging infectious diseases, so he will be a huge loss to our community."
Theilen, who studied under Mostow in medical school, calls Mostow an "outreach physician" and says he began to move more toward educating young physicians later in life.
"He was sort of getting out of the clinical side of things," Theilen said. "His main area of interest became in the area of academia."
Theilen said Mostow's death has been a big blow to the local medical community.
"It makes a big difference, calling people you know."