Dr. Dylan Cole, DO, evaluates a malnourished child on a makeshift exam table in a village near Cusco, Peru in 2012. [Photo courtesy of Cole family]

Moab Regional Hospital (MRH) and Moab Family Medicine (MFM) have made a hire to help fill a void in the number of primary care providers in Moab, adding Dr. Dylan Cole, DO, to their ranks.

MRH marketing and community relations director Jen Sadoff said the regional clinic went from three providers to one provider between the summer of 2013 and spring of 2014, forcing the hospital to eliminate its walk-in clinic availability. 

“That, coupled with the San Juan clinic closing, and Dr. Don Marquardt retiring, left a huge gap in primary care options for the community, and MRH was seeing an increase in non-emergency visits to the emergency room,” she said.

MRH and MFM were concerned that the community didn’t have enough access to primary care, and began working together to recruit a physician, Sadoff said.

“Working together allowed different employment options because the physician could choose to become a hospital employee or join the private practice, which expanded our pool of candidates,” Sadoff said.

Cole, who started seeing patients at MFM on Tuesday, Sept. 2, attended medical school in Vallejo, California at Touro University California College of Osteopathic Medicine. After completing medical school, he moved to Pocatello, Idaho, to complete his residency at Idaho State University.

Originally from Salt Lake City, Cole said he has long wanted to move to Moab, and his position with MFM has allowed him to do so. He will be living in Moab with his wife, Desiree, and their 10-month old son.

“I’ve spent some time in the desert, climbing and playing,” he said. “I lived a few other places and then went to medical school. I did my residency in Idaho and then just really wanted to get back here.”

Finishing his residency up last year, Cole’s first position out of school is working in Moab with MRH and his fellow practitioners at MFM, which includes Dr. Kenneth Williams, Dr. Jonas Munger, Dr. Katherine Williams, and Dr. Nicole Priest, as well as Eve Maher-Young. Like the other providers at MFM, Cole will be providing a full scope of family medicine.

“Other areas of high interest to me are sports medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine, obstetrics, and office gynecology,” Cole said.

Cole also has a special interest in global health. He spent time working in both Kenya and Peru. While in Peru, Cole helped with an ongoing project to establish a clinic in a mountain village with little medical care available. He also worked on developing emergency medical care in the area, public health issues, and access to sanitary water.

In Kenya, he worked with Kenyan obstetric interns and helped to teach the interns about delivery methods and how to deal with infection after a birth.

“The experience in Kenya definitely opens your eyes as to how lucky we are with the equipment and capacity we have for caring for a mother in labor and the kids,” he said. “It also helps you prepare and feel like you can manage difficult situations.”

Besides working with the MFM private practice, Cole will also have hospital privileges at MRH, providing obstetric services and in-patient care.

“We specifically recruited a family practice physician with obstretic experience to provide some relief to the obstretric call schedule,” Sadoff said.  “With only three providers, each physician was taking calls every third night and at least one weekend a month, which is very challenging on top of a full-time clinic schedule and providing in-patient care.  It is difficult to recruit physicians to rural areas, so ensuring job satisfaction for the physicians that have chosen to practice in our community is a priority for Moab Regional Hospital.”

Sadoff said having Cole available will make it easier for patients to get appointments in a timely matter and help the three other doctors working in obstetrics with call coverage for the hospital.

“The hospital’s main priority was to fill a community need for more health care providers,” MRH chief executive officer Robb Austin said. “We are very pleased that we were able to work together with Moab Family Medicine to accomplish that goal.”

Dr. Dylan Cole, DO, specializes in family medicine, obstetrics and sports medicine

The hospital’s main priority was to fill a community need for more health care providers. We are very pleased that we were able to work together with Moab Family Medicine to accomplish that goal.