Dr. Elizabeth Costley credits TV with steering her into medicine. “When I was a kid, I loved watching ‘Little House on the Prairie,’ and there was a young girl character on the show who was interested in being a doctor,” she says. “Later on, I loved ‘Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.’ Really, I’ve just always wanted to take care of people.”
For Costley, that desire to help others took root locally when she opened her practice in Saugerties in 2001. Nearly two decades later, she attends to patients in her offices in Kingston and Poughkeepsie. “A lot of the patients I see in Kingston are patients from when I was in Saugerties, and people say they find me easy to talk to and that they really trust me,” Dr. Costley says. “That makes me feel really good, that I’ve been able to build up that kind of loyalty over almost 20 years.” That outstanding continuity of care has earned her a Chronogrammie for General Practitioner.
Costley hails from tiny Miller Place, Long Island, which was still largely rural when she was growing up, and perhaps somewhat reminiscent of the setting on “Little House on the Prairie.” “It was still mostly farmland then and very remote, a lot like Woodstock is now,” recalls the physician, who graduated with honors from the New York College of Osteo Medicine in 1994 and specializes in family medicine. A provider with Medical Associates of the Hudson Valley, Costley cooperates with many other MAHV specialists and is affiliated with Healthalliance Hospital’s Broadway campus, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Northern Dutchess Hospital, HealthAlliance Hospital’s Mary’s Avenue campus, and Westchester Medical Center.
While COVID-19 has prevented Costley from conducting in-person appointments, her office’s implementation of telemedicine visits has allowed her to continue caring for her patients from afar. “Since we have a PPE shortage, like a lot of healthcare facilities, we’re not able to say to anyone who’s feeling ill, ‘Just come in,’ like we normally would do,” Costley explains. “[With telemedicine] we’re able to screen patients before they come in, and then, after that, every patient who does come in gets screened again. Physicians are still getting a handle on COVID-19 as it evolves, and this way our staff has still been able to do a good job and keep our patients going.”