Lamar Rotary Gains New Member


Dr. James Smith at Rotary Induction

Dr. James Smith at Rotary Induction with Judy Turpin and Dr. Margaret Loewen


Dr. James Smith, general surgeon at Prowers Medical Center for the past two years, was inducted into the Lamar Rotary during a luncheon service at the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn, Thursday, April 23.

Smith, aside from his professional services at PMC, has over fourteen years of service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps as a surgeon and an engineer and he and his wife, Carrie, volunteer their time at a medical clinic they helped establish in Haiti, working through their non-profit organization they developed with the help of St. Mary Corwin Hospital in Pueblo.

Dr. Smith Provides Details of His Professional Background

Dr. Smith Provides Details of His Professional Background

Smith, still clad in his surgical scrubs,  told the gathering he is a long-time Colorado resident, “My father was a doctor, actually the only doctor in Rangely where I grew up.  He later became a pathologist and moved from Denver to southeast Colorado where he was based as a pathologist in La Junta.”

Smith said he decided to pursue a career in engineering, enrolling in the studies in college, but was also keeping his options open by taking pre-med courses.  After he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, he entered the army and served in Ft. Carson for several years.  His civilian career took him to Alabama and Texas, but decided on a career change back to medical school using a medical scholarship from the army to pay for his education in return for service time after he graduated.

He and his growing family lived in Texas for several years, were deployed to Germany and he was sent to Bosnia as part of a surgical team.  Smith entered private practice in Pueblo after completing his military commitment.  “I enjoyed the work as a general surgeon and gained a lot of experience, solidifying my skills with complex operations,” he explained.  Smith said his business began to decline as the private physicians who made referrals to him were being incorporated into hospitals which used only in-house surgeons.  “It was at that point that the position in Lamar became available and we made the move.”

Smith explained that he re-entered the military, needing only six more years of duty to quality for his twenty year retirement benefits.  “I entered the reserves and shortly after found myself heading for Afghanistan for three months,” he stated.  His position is secure at PMC while he fulfils his periodic military obligations.  He takes his own time off each January to spend time on a humanitarian mission with his wife and other medical volunteers, working at a clinic he helped establish in Haiti.  “I had some similar experiences with work in Africa while we were in Germany, so I understood what was required.”  He said his church affiliations in Pueblo led to the work in Haiti where he took over the non-profit operation from St. Mary Corwin Hospital, using donated medical equipment.  “We are down there once a year performing operations and dispensing medications to the populations.  Sometimes we’re the only doctors they’ll see in that year.”  The year-round clinic he helped set up now uses local doctors and nurses to treat patients until his annual arrival.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinesscommunityFeaturedHealthLamarProwers County


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