Hospital CMO making time for patient care at Internal Medicine practice


Dr. Al Saliman has recently been appointed Executive Director of Medical Affairs at Valley View (VV). After seven years as Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Saliman’s new role will allow for more time to focus on providing patient care at the Internal Medicine practice at VV, while continuing to serve in a leadership role. As VV’s first-ever CMO, Saliman was an integral part of bringing more healthcare services and improving the quality and safety for patients at Valley View.

Dr. Brian Murphy has been named as VV CMO, and will also continue practicing urology on a part-time basis at Rocky Mountain Urology Center. As for Dr. Saliman, his new role as Executive Director of Medical Affairs will continue to allow him to help shape the future of rural healthcare while returning to one-on-one patient care.

Dr. Saliman is excited about this new opportunity, embracing it with his positive outlook on the evolution of rural healthcare. Prior to becoming VV CMO, Dr. Saliman had a robust Internal medicine practice, which he built over 23 years as a primary care physician. The regular patient interaction and relationships were always a big part of why he was a physician, something he’s looking forward to making time for. Recently, we recognized that the community needed increased access to primary care services, more specifically, internal medicine services. And with the advent of the new internal medicine practice, I now have the opportunity to get back into the clinic which is something I’ve always loved,” said Dr. Al Saliman.

“I never stopped practicing even when I was in a full-time administrative role. I still did hospitalists shifts, and was doing about 25 percent of my time in a clinical role,” he said. “This is just a little bit of a different clinical role and back to the one-on-one office base practice.”

Throughout his career as doctor and administrator, his perspective of one-on-one patient care has always inspired his community leadership role. “If you don’t understand what is happening out there on the floor—the day-to-day of caring for patients—then you really can’t adequately assess or be useful to the clinicians. You really need to maintain that connection,” Dr. Saliman said.

His days at VV have led him to leadership roles outside of the organization, to help improve the broader health of the community. He is on the board of directors at Mind Springs Health, a mental health and substance abuse center, and has recently been appointed CMO of Community Care Alliance in Grand Junction, the regional accountable care organization initiative. These roles have enlightened the way he sees, develops and approaches healthcare in rural settings. His focus on helping patients balance physical and behavioral health influences the way he manages the care of all his patients.

As a physician, he’s focused on listening to the patient’s priorities, seeing their health from their point of views, and figuring out how to work with the problems they’re presenting. “All patients are different, each have different needs and problems, some are lifestyle issues, some are really significant medical issues, and many are behavioral and psychiatric. So having the understanding of how to approach each patient one patient at a time, and really give them the time and patience to meet them where they are at that time and focus on what they’re presenting to you is really critical.”

As he makes the transition from VV CMO to Executive Director of Medical Affairs and into the Internal Medicine clinic, Dr. Saliman will draw from his many years of experience, study of social health factors and relationships with doctors and patients to improve community health in both the internal medicine and regional healthcare settings.