It wasn't necessary for South Routt residents to roll out the welcome wagon and bring the bundt cake to greet South Routt Medical Center's new doctor, Bill Geserick.
He has been a Yampa Valley local-in-training since 1972, when he fell in love with the area after a ski trip. Now, 33 years later, he's realized the dream of moving here permanently.
Geserick, who says he is semiretired, wanted to work in Colorado after working in Oklahoma, Oregon, Illinois, Arizona and Virginia.
"I've always loved this area," he said. " The last time we were here, I told my wife we should just buy property, because it wasn't going to be getting any cheaper."
And so, here he is.
Geserick is building a home in Stagecoach that he hopes to complete next month. Geserick and his wife are dividing their time between a recreational vehicle on their property in Stagecoach and their house in Denver.
"I am really hoping the house will be done, because I don't want to spend the winter in an RV," he said.
Geserick's past work experience includes being the medical director for Coors for eight years and working for Kaiser Permanente as a family physician for nine years before that.
Geserick went to school at DePaul University in Chicago for his undergraduate degree and received his medical degree from Loyola University in Chicago.
He compares working in South Routt to his early days working in rural Oregon; both are small ranching and farming communities.
"I love the pace and lifestyle here," he said.
Geserick is affiliated with Yampa Valley Medical As--soc-iates and is a board-certified family physician.
Geserick said he treats newborns to seniors, as well as providing some emergency medical care. Geserick also practices gynecology and offers a variety of services for women.
Geserick will work for the medical center for at least four months and hopes to continue working long after the period is over. He is replacing Frankie Hannah, a physician's assistant, who now is working in Steamboat Springs.
As exciting as it is to have a doctor practicing in South Routt, the reality is that Ges-erick might not be able to stay with the center as long as he'd like.
At this point, South Routt Medical Center continues to struggle to stay open because of lower Medicare, Medicaid and insurance reimbursements that are putting financial stress on the center's operating costs. Its future viability remains uncertain.
The South Routt Medical District is working to put a 1-mill levy before voters in May in hopes of using tax dollars to help support the center.
The mill levy would amount to $8 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for a single-family home and $32 per $100,000 of assessed valuation for a commercial property a year.
Geserick hopes that if the mill levy passes, the medical center will be able to stay open. Right now, he would like to see more patients using the center.
"How this is going to shape up is going to depend on how well the community responds," he said.
Geserick said community sup-port has been bountiful the past two weeks that he has been practicing.
"There have been some people who just wanted to pop in and say 'Hello,'" he said. "We certainly welcome that, as well."
Geserick was invited to lunch with senior citizens in Oak Creek.
He can see as many as 16 patients Mondays and Wed-nesdays. He has been busy the past few weeks with back-to-school physicals and athletic evaluations.
"I expect those to drop considerably in the near future," he said.
Geserick advises people who would like to make an appointment to call 736-8118 but said that walk-ins are welcome, if time permits.
The South Routt Medical Center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays. The center is offering physical therapy, as well.