Calvert Memorial Hospital honored four longtime physicians – obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Ruby Alonzo, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bruce Beck, cardiologist Dr. Mark Kushner and urologist Dr. Modesto Rivera – who are retiring this year with special tributes at its annual awards dinner on Mar. 28. The emotional evening was filled with affectionate ribbing, touching testimonials and fond memories that sparked a lot of laughter and a few tearful moments.
Together, the four retirees have dedicated 135 years to caring for local residents and their families. “There are no greater examples of a caring, loyal and hard-working physician anywhere,” said CMH President and CEO Jim Xinis. “Their collective impact on our hospital and our community over these many years is beyond measure.”
Additionally, Dr. Samuel Foster was saluted for his advocacy of the hospital’s cardiopulmonary services and Dr. Frederick Beavers was recognized for his leadership of the vascular surgery program at Calvert Memorial.
“Each year, we look forward to this dinner,” said Xinis, “as a way in which we can express our gratitude and show our appreciation for the medical services our doctors provide to the community 365 days a year.”
He went on to add, “Day in and day out, our talented physicians distinguish themselves as top notch providers.” One of the evening’s highlights was when he read excerpts from patient’s letters talking about the care they had received.
“It has been an incredible journey,” said Dr. Alonzo, who joined the CMH medical staff in 1983, “and I wouldn’t have exchanged it for any other profession.” As the first female OB/GYN at Calvert Memorial, she delivered 4,649 babies – for some it was the second generation.
Her sentiments were echoed by Dr. Kushner who came to Calvert in 1982. “It’s been a privilege to practice medicine,” he said, “and a great honor to do it here.” Described as the anchor of the cardiopulmonary department, Dr. Kushner was also actively involved in the hospital’s intensive care unit, serving as medical director for years. A staunch advocate for patient safety, he always kept abreast of the current research in his field and shared with his peers.
Both Dr. Beck and Dr. Rivera each have 36 years of service. When they came to Calvert in 1978 there were 20 physicians on staff at the hospital – today there are 348. A lot has changed but their commitment to individualized care and clinical excellence has remained steadfast.
Dr. Beck, who served four tenures as chief of orthopedic surgery at CMH, said, “The practice of medicine is a great profession and one that I’m honored to be part of.” He is perhaps best remembered for his compassionate manner and his willingness to listen and answer questions. A true collaborative team leader, he focused on educating both the staff and his patients about the care plan.
As the first urologist to practice at Calvert Memorial, Dr. Rivera ushered in specialty care in our community. His broad clinical knowledge and excellent rapport with patients helped him forge enduring relationships that have lasted many years.
In describing his years at CMH, Dr. Rivera said: “Calvert Memorial Hospital is small enough to know your colleagues but big enough to support excellent services.”
He went on to add, “I look forward to my retirement with a sense of trepidation and wonder.”
The Community Service Award went to Dr. Foster and Dr. Beavers was presented with the Best of Breed Award. “Dr. Foster not only provides wonderful patient care within his practice,” said Dr. J. Michael Brooks, vice president for medical affairs at CMH, “but he gives back to the community by participating in many heart-related programs throughout the year.”
“A popular presenter, his lectures are informative and engaging,” said Dr. Brooks. “As medical director for Cardiac/Pulmonary Rehab, he is always looking for ways to help his patients optimize their wellness potential.”
Dr. Beavers was recognized for his invaluable service as medical director of the Center for Vascular Care at CMH. “His consistent leadership has been a mainstay of the program and has allowed it to grow and flourish,” said Dr. Barbara Estes, chief of the medical staff at CMH.
Calvert Memorial Hospital honored four longtime physicians – (l-r) orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bruce Beck, obstetrician and gynecologist Dr. Ruby Alonzo, urologist Dr. Modesto Rivera and cardiologist Dr. Mark Kushner and – who are retiring this year with special tributes at its annual awards dinner on March 28.