Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fauquier Health Loses a Compassionate Healer

Fauquier Health employees, volunteers, physicians and the community lost a fine physician and a steadfast friend recently when George Ringholz, M.D, neurologist with River Oaks Neurology, passed away November 11. With a PhD and more than a decade of experience in clinical neuropsychology, and as a teaching faculty member in neurology, Dr. George Ringholz possessed one of the strongest medical backgrounds in his field. Board certified in neurology, Dr. Ringholz was a trusted medical advisor who thoroughly understood the needs of his patients.

Rodger Baker, CEO and president of Fauquier Health, said, “In his short time here on our medical staff, Dr. Ringholz touched many lives with his sincerity, generosity and kindness. He was the consummate professional, and will be sorely missed by all who worked with him.”

Remembering Dr. Ringholz
Those Fauquier Hospital clinicians who worked alongside Dr. Ringholz described him as a compassionate physician and an inspiring colleague. “He was an incredible person,” said Annette McVicker, nurse case manager in 2S/2W. “Dr. Ringholz had a huge impact on the hospital. He really valued the nurses, treated us all as colleagues. If we had a concern about a patient, we could always pick up the phone and he’d drop everything to talk to us.

“When we had a truly critical patient, he was a calming influence. I remember the first time we used TPA (a blood clot-busting medicine administered by IV). We had never done it before and he spent the day with us. Our patient did great. Now we do it all the time in ICU. Dr. Ringholz brought us to a new level.”

Annette recalled another instance when it was necessary to put a patient’s brain to sleep because it kept seizing. “The patient needed a 24-hour EEG and Dr. Ringholz was there. He was subtly teaching us, empowering us.”

And Annette has another reason to remember Dr. Ringholz fondly. “He was my doctor. I had a traumatic brain injury and he put my head back together. He always made me feel like I was the only patient he had.”

Azman Ghadam, an RN on the second floor, said that when he was in nursing school, Dr. Ringholz took him along when he did assessments and took time to explain every normal and abnormal finding. “Dr. Ringholz was a perfect teacher; with every neurological assessment I remember his calmness and reassuring effect on staff, patients, and families. He was always approachable, so easy to ask questions.

Danish Shahmehdi, RN, said that Dr. Ringholz was particularly great with families. “He took time to explain things.”

Terri Schick, RN, agreed. “He had a great bedside manner. He had a young cancer patient and spent a lot of time with that patient and the family, answering questions and listening.”

Fran Norman, director of process improvement, worked closely with Dr. Ringholz on Fauquier Health’s Stroke Program. “Dr. Ringholz was a kind and gentle person who gave so much, to so many. I will always remember his calm demeanor and comforting laugh.”

Annette McVicker, with tears in her eyes, stated it for all those who knew Dr. Ringholz: “I’ll miss him, very much.”

In Lieu of Flowers
Dr. Ringholz’s family made the following request, for those who would like to remember him.
“The folks at Johns Hopkins were incredible during George’s brief, but brave, battle with pancreatic cancer. If you would like to honor George and help fight this terrible disease,
1. Make a donation payable to: Johns Hopkins University.
2. Indicate on the memo line of the check that the donation is being made in George’s name.
3. Mail the donation to:
Ralph H. Hruban, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
401 North Broadway, Weinberg 2242
Baltimore, MD 21231-2410
4. Please include the name and address of where you would
like acknowledgments to be sent (or call 410-955-9132).
Johns Hopkins will send us a complete list of the names
and address of the donors.”

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