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Dr. Erik Ritch Accepts Full-Time Position at Kiowa County Hospital District


By Administrator

February 23, 2024

The Kiowa County Hospital District and Board of Directors are thrilled to announce that Dr. Erik Ritch will be joining their Medical Staff beginning in May. Board President, Matt Prince, shared that “the Board is extremely excited to welcome Dr. Ritch and his family to our community. We are confident that he will add significant value and services to KCHD. We are very grateful to have our own hometown, Doctor.”

Dr. Ritch grew up in a small town in Southwest Virginia, he attended Medical School at the University of Virginia, and completed his Family Medicine Residency at Moses Cone Hospital in Greensboro, North Carolina. His first job out of training was as a Hospitalist at a rural hospital outside Greensboro. He enjoyed this role and the impact he was able to have on the community there, but he had to follow his lifelong dream of moving to Colorado. He has been practicing in Colorado Springs since, having worked more recently in urgent care and occupational medicine. He is board certified in Family Medicine, certified as a DOT Medical Examiner, and certified as a Colorado Department of Workers Compensation Level 2 Provider. Dr. Lori Thorndike, Chief of Staff at KCHD, shared that she’s excited and knows that “Erik will hit the ground running, having been in practice for over 10 years. His skills and personality round out our current provider group well. I look forward to having him as a colleague and I hope many patients will entrust him with their care.”

Erik shared that he is eager to shift his focus towards providing personalized care to individual patients of all ages within Kiowa County and the surrounding communities. He added that he “chose this position because of the Hospital District’s strong desire and need for a stable, long term family practice doctor who is invested in the health and wellbeing of each person.” He will be providing primary care services at the Eads Medical Clinic and is accepting new patients. If you’re interested in transferring care to him, please contact the front desk at the Eads Medical Clinic to be placed on a waiting list. In addition to Primary Care, he will cover our Emergency Department, provide back-up support to our Midlevel Providers and care for anyone admitted to the Weisbrod Memorial Hospital.

He is passionate about primary care and has many ideas around preventative health care and helping people stay healthy, versus only seeing them when they are ill. He said that he has “found that men, especially, tend to ignore regular check-ins with a primary care provider. This results in conditions like hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol going undetected for years. By the time the conditions are found, the patient is generally dealing with long-term consequences from the diseases such as heart attacks, strokes, or significant kidney damage. If detected and treated early through diet, exercise, and perhaps medications, many of those consequences can be avoided or delayed by years or decades.”

He recognizes that many of the residents of Kiowa County spend a significant amount of time outdoors and in the sun, therefore he’s interested in doing a number of dermatology procedures, which will be an excellent complement to our existing wound care services. Dr. Ritch also expressed that he is excited to help the Hospital District partner with regional health care resources to bring specialist care to the community whether through a dedicated specialist clinic or through a telemedicine arrangement. At KCHD, we all understand the value of our patient’s time and are committed to doing what we can to ensure residents of Kiowa County and the surrounding area have access to high quality healthcare right here in our community.

Dr. Ritch will be moving to Eads with his wife, Gretel, who is a dental hygienist. They will be living in the Hospital District’s duplex while they get to know the community and decide on their next steps. The two of them enjoy hiking, skiing, and trail running together. They are looking forward to the slower pace our community has to offer and are excited to get to know everyone.

The Kiowa County Hospital District and Board of Directors will be hosting a welcome event for Dr. Ritch and Gretel in April and sincerely hope to see you there. Please look for additional information in the newspaper and on the KCHD Facebook page.

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