Shelby Casper a southeastern Colorado native grew up in the Las Animas and McClave area and is a 2009 McClave high school graduate and a licensed Family Nurse Practioner (FNP) who has invested her heart into serving the communities that helped raise her.
As such, on January 4, 2022, after much anticipation, County Line Health Clinic opened its doors to serving patients in the local southeastern Colorado rural communities. Shelby and her husband along with friends and family worked hard to make this dream a reality.
Shelby received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Colorado State University in Pueblo in 2013, and she began working in various areas of nursing including home health, medical surgical units, observation/stepdown units, and as a chemotherapy/oncology nurse. She spent most of this time after her graduation in the Greeley area.
In 2016 Shelby married her husband Kyle Casper who is a Swink native, and it was then that Shelby started her journey to become a Nurse Practitioner through Regis University’s first Rural and Underserved FNP cohort. In 2017 Shelby and Kyle got the news they were expecting their first child and made the decision to move back to their home in rural Colorado because as Shelby says, “There really is no place like Southeast Colorado to raise a family”.
The couple welcomed their son Haxton in June of 2017 and Shelby graduated with her Master of Science in Nursing degree in 2018 and soon after passed her FNP boards. She began her FNP career at Prowers Medical Center Clinic where she spent the last 3 years serving Lamar and the surrounding communities.
Casper states, “We welcomed our second son, Cohlson in July of 2020. My family is my most valued treasure besides my relationship with Jesus, and I am thankful for the life we have here in Southeast Colorado.”
Since beginning her nursing career Shelby’s biggest dream has been to own her own practice. During her master’s program she had the opportunity to work alongside two Nurse Practitioners in privately owned clinics in Rocky Ford and Ordway. It was in those small clinics that she saw the provider-patient relationships placed at the forefront of their care models. It was a close, everyone knows everyone, and asks about “your sister’s husbands’ new job” type of patient provider relationship that Shelby knew she wanted most.
The small-town, caring atmosphere inside these clinics validated what Shelby wanted in her own practice and sparked her vision for her future privately owned practice. After her first 2 years as a FNP and the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic Shelby’s dreams started calling her more and more.
Healthcare was changing, she didn’t like the way it was headed, and she knew that the only way she could make a difference was to open her own practice.
It wasn’t until her husband Kyle, came across the building in Wiley that the idea really took flight. The building, which was previously owned by Ken and Margie Ullom of Wiley was leased to the hog farms for many years as office space.
The building was not listed for sale but knowing the owners the couple reached out to Ken and Margie and they allowed Kyle and Shelby to go look. Upon looking at the building, “We instantly fell in love. It was like it was made for our clinic,” Shelby tells us.
The owners were excited by the news of Shelby’s plans, and they sold the building to the couple in August 2021. Ken Ullom passed away and was unable to see the ideas come to fruition, but they know he would be ecstatic for the town of Wiley and surrounding communities as he invested much of his time there. “We will forever be grateful for his role in this process.”
Kyle, Shelby, and the help of friends and family remodeled the building to make it the space Shelby always dreamed of. Over the last 4 months they have worked diligently to make this dream a reality. “It is so exciting now to see the space come to life as patients have started to fill our seats.”
As a Southeast Colorado native Shelby understands the hardships that often come along with living in a rural area. Access to quality healthcare is unfortunately among the many obstacles we face. Healthcare facilities are all too often business driven, and Shelby feels the providers in the industry have forgotten why they do what they do.
“I want to change this. I believe rural Colorado residents deserve a provider who will take time to listen and truly advocate for their needs and general well-being. Our patients deserve more than a passing glance in a fifteen-minute time slot- which is often the case in today’s healthcare model. These are generally hardworking individuals that deserve to be heard. They deserve a provider who will join up with them and fight the curse of disease- who will take the time to ensure health promotion and education are at the forefront and not an afterthought. In a world where healthcare has become reactive, I aim to be proactive, encouraging ownership of health while providing the right tools to use along the way- a true “team-based” approach. After all, isn’t this why we do what we do?”
The services offered include health promotion/disease prevention, wellness visits, medication management, treatment of various healthcare conditions, women’s health services, oncology and hematology care, laboratory services, vaccinations, and simple procedures.
The clinic works alongside the area hospitals, labs, ophthalmologists, chiropractors, and physical therapists to ensure their patients receive the care they need.
“We are also grateful for the local specialty clinics who provide specialty services such as oncology, cardiology, pulmonology, podiatry, etc. to our patients. It really does take a village.”
County Line Health Clinic is open Monday through Thursday 8-5 and is located at 36053 US Highway 287 in Wiley, Colorado across from the Wiley C-Store, next to the storage units.
You can call 719-829-4030 to make an appointment with Shelby.
“We are so grateful for the tremendous amount of support we have received from our family and friends, residents of southeastern Colorado, and local businesses who have helped along the way. There really is no place like southeast Colorado! First and foremost, I want to thank my husband for the countless hours he has put in to see my vision through. He has worked day and night without complaint and has been my biggest cheerleader along the way. We truly wouldn’t be where we are today without his dedication and commitment to my dream!”