In recognition of his pioneering contributions to the safety and health of Vail’s residents and guests, Dr. Jack Eck has been named the 2024 Town of Vail Trailblazer Award recipient by the Vail Town Council.
Dr. Eck arrived in Vail in 1971 after having served as a flight surgeon in the Vietnam War. As the first Medical Advisor for the Vail Ski Patrol, Dr. Eck has brought many medical innovations to Vail including nationally recognized first responder techniques and cutting-edge ski safety measures.
Dr. Eck founded Vail Internal Medicine in 1980 and helped establish a cardiopulmonary program and Vail’s first intensive-care unit (ICU) at Vail Valley Medical Center, now Vail Health. In the early 2000s, Vail Internal Medicine merged with a family practice group to form Colorado Mountain Medical.
Alongside Hal and Mary Lou Shaw, Dr. Eck was crucial in the establishment of the Shaw Cancer Center, a state-of-the-art regional cancer center which opened in 2001. In 2007, Jack’s Place, the cancer caring house developed as part of the facility, was named in his honor. Jack’s Place provides patients and their families with a short-term, nominal-cost place to stay during their cancer treatment.
Dr. Eck is the ninth recipient to be honored and was selected by a Town Council committee from a number of other commendable nominations.