“I’m happy to pay it forward. It’s nice to know that the assets I have created for myself will be used in a positive way to help others who are struggling.”
An Explorer Finds a Home
As an explorer, there was little that could keep Teri Ross tethered to one place. Since 1995, she has worked as a digital marketing consultant, enabling her to travel the world while working remotely from her laptop. Only when the COVID-19 pandemic caused worldwide travel restrictions was Teri made to find a permanent home.
She returned to the Vail Valley, where she had skied almost every winter since her youth. Teri was born and raised in Minneapolis and graduated from the University of Minnesota. She feels blessed to have grown up in a skiing family, which is how she fell in love with Vail. So much so that by age 19, Teri moved here to become a ski instructor while still in college and taking online classes.
“When COVID-19 hit, like everyone else, I was having to make what became life-defining decisions — where am I going to live and how am I going to ride through this? One of my biggest considerations was health care,” Teri describes.
“I was so impressed with the communications I was getting from Vail Health about how they were managing COVID-19, where we could get tested, and what treatments were available. That became part of my decision-making process in saying, ‘Yeah, I could live here.’”
Providing Personalized Care for Each Patient
“I had two significant events happen on June 1, 2020, that have shaped my life since,” she describes. “The same day I went under contract on my new home in Avon, a major telecom company erroneously deleted 27 years of my life’s work and important digital documents.” Teri was devastated.
Although Teri had struggled with depression since childhood, this event led her to seek additional support. “I wasn’t physically, mentally, or emotionally capable of handling all that was suddenly in front of me. And that’s when I sought help from Vail Health’s Behavioral Health services.”
After recognizing that Teri’s current treatment was no longer effective, Dr. Elaine Sandler of Colorado Mountain Medical worked with Teri through a series of modifications and adjustments that proved to be successful.
“Dr. Sandler referred me to a doctor in Denver for ketamine treatment because nobody here offered it. It was a phenomenal experience on many levels and extremely beneficial in helping me manage my depression, especially after the events in 2020. I’m so glad it will soon become a treatment that is available locally.”
Ketamine, a psychedelic intervention designed for those resistant to other forms of treatment, is expected to be offered at Vail Health’s Wiegers Mental Health Clinic in fall 2023 as part of Eagle Valley Behavioral Health’s vision to create affordable and equitable access to various specialty service in Eagle County.
Gratitude That Inspires Paying it Forward
Out of gratitude for the healthcare services that exist in this community and the life-changing care she received from Dr. Sandler, whom she now considers family, Teri is including Vail Health’s Eagle Valley Behavioral Health in her will provisions.
“Since I don’t have family to leave my assets to, I decided to give back to the Vail Valley by supporting health care, particularly behavioral health, as part of my legacy,” says Teri. “I’m happy to pay it forward. It’s nice to know that the assets I have created for myself will be used in a positive way to help others who are struggling.”
Teri believes there should be no stigma around seeking behavioral health support. “In the same way one hires a personal trainer for physical fitness,” she says. “Life is challenging, and we aren’t all born with the internal tools available to manage life as all these issues come flying at us. It’s wonderful to know that providers are available that can give us the behavioral health support we need.”
Beyond skiing, Teri enjoys many other outdoor activities. In the summertime, she likes hiking and biking and has recently started playing pickleball. As an avid sailor, you will also likely find her sailing on Lake Dillon. With the myriad of outdoor activities the mountains offer, paired with her fearless nature, there is no end to the adventure her new home offers.
“I have traveled much of the world, and the services we have here are of superb quality.”Teri Ross