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As Longmont United Hospital marks National Doctors’ Day today, Tuesday, March 30, I would like to personally thank each of the dedicated physicians in the Longmont area. As we continue to the next chapter of the COVID-19 pandemic and look toward the future with the excitement of putting this difficult time and its numerous challenges behind us, we must reflect on the innumerable contributions our physicians made to heal our patients and our communities, not just here in Longmont, but across our nation and the globe.
While we pause to recognize the influential and healing role physicians play in our everyday lives, we also take a moment to honor the lives of three long-time Longmont United Hospital physicians who recently passed away. These three individuals proudly served our community for more than 100 combined years of work. Each of them touched thousands of lives, including mine, so I wanted to write a special thank you eulogy about each of them to honor their work and roles within our community.
Warren Valencia, MD, passed away on Sept. 1, 2020. He was a member of the Medical Staff at Longmont United Hospital from Nov., 1976 until his death. Dr. Valencia graduated from medical school at State University of New York at Buffalo in 1973. He completed his Internal Medicine residency in Buffalo, NY at the Erie County Medical Center in 1976.
I remember Warren when his office was on the corner of 14th and Stuart as my office was where the parking lot just west of where the Medical Office Building is now. Warren was smart and feisty with an extremely loyal patient base. I saw Warren a few days before he passed, as he was being helped into a wheelchair from his car so he could go help patients. Amazing dedication!
John Stuart Hinman, MD, passed away, Nov. 14, 2020. Dr. Hinman was born in Newman Grove, NE. He graduated from Wayne State Teachers College and went on to attend the University of Nebraska Medical School. After graduating from medical school, he served with the Navy Medical Corps, first in Bremerton, WA, where John completed his internship with the U.S. Navy, followed by a tour with the Marines at Camp Pendleton, CA. In 1962 he moved to Longmont where he began his private practice of Family Medicine. While he retired in 1997, his son continues his practice on Tulip Street.
I lived a couple of doors down from John and he loved his grandkids. He was constantly playing with them in the yard. I always liked it when he asked me to help with his patients because he was so smart. I knew the diagnosis would be a challenge to find! I was fortunate to help care for him during his final week and he was remarkably calm, content and at peace.
Claude Gianetto, MD, passed away peacefully on Feb. 27, 2021. Originally from Geneva, IL, he attended Beloit College, followed by the University of Chicago Medical School and his internship/residency at the University of Iowa Hospital. Claude served as Medical Officer in the Army's 101st Airborne Division and 508th Airborne Regiment. He started practice in Longmont in 1972 with his office on Vivian Street.
I did call coverage for Claude and his patients loved him. I even crashed my new Honda Civic, with all my co-workers in it, into a light post in his parking lot! All just to go out for lunch in a snowstorm. I also had the pleasure of fishing with him on the Big T. My favorite quote from one of his physicals was, “No surprises." I don’t remember if that meant everything was ok, or if he expected everything to be haywire.
Each of these three incredible men played a large role in the medical care of Longmont and our surrounding communities and were a blessing to have on the medical staff of Longmont United Hospital. Their spirit, compassion, dedication and love continue in the walls of LUH and I feel honored to have known them both medically and socially.
Tony Pearson, MD, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Longmont United Hospital