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The Last Country Doctor

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To my patients,
Forty-six years ago this October, I saw my first patient at a health center that became Hudson Headwaters.

That afternoon the Chester Health Center was being readied for opening within a couple of weeks, and the sawdust was flying. Just as I stopped by to take a look at the progress with construction, a fellow came through the front door gasping for breath—a bad asthma attack. Fortunately, a shot of adrenalin proved more powerful than all that dust in the air, and this person, my first patient, made a nice recovery.

This October, Hudson Headwaters is fortunate to have two superb new physicians joining the Network—Dr. Hunter Southerland at Chester and Dr. Lauren Winn in Warrensburg.

With a mix of strong feelings, I am writing now to let you know that, with their arrival, I will be starting the next phase in my transition from full-time “work” by stepping back from clinical practice at the end of October.

I hope you can imagine how much all the caring for so many wonderful people—including you!—has meant to me over the years and through the decades. Likewise, I hope you know how proud I am that Hudson Headwaters is making sure that you will be able to receive the health care you need in the years to come.

In “normal” times, I could imagine a big party with cake and balloons to mark this transition (I can’t bring myself to say “retirement”). These days, we will have to count on shared memories and more casual meetings complete with face-masks and elbow bumps.

One more time—please know how much your confidence in me along with the support of our entire local community will always mean. So many thanks.


John Rugge, M.D.

Click here to read more from our founder, Dr. John Rugge about his transition in this recent interview with the Lake George Mirror