The first time Dr. Curtiss Mull heard of Winnemucca, he had to pull out a map.
He had worked steadily as a hospital system orthopedist for decades, but
as his children entered college, working day and night began to lose its appeal.
“I wanted more time off to do the things I wanted to do,” he
said. Still, he knew he wasn’t ready to quit.
That’s why he was attracted to the “surgicalist” model
at Humboldt General Hospital in Winnemucca. Not only could he decide how
much time he wanted to work, but he could still enjoy plenty of time off
with family and friends.
Dr. Mull was one of the original partners in the HGH Orthopedic Clinic,
which opened to patients on January 5, 2015, through an agreement with
Synergy Surgicalists, a national company that pairs seasoned surgeons
with hospitals in need.
Tuesday, July 2, staff members at the facility gathered to say goodbye.
“You have been a welcome and valuable team member at Humboldt General
Hospital for the past 4-1/2 years and we want you to know you will be
greatly missed,” HGH Interim CEO Karen Cole told Dr. Mull.
Cole noted that when Dr. Mull arrived at Humboldt General Hospital, he
had already been practicing for more than 41 years, “and yet, you
came looking for new challenges; you were willing to start a new practice—at
the end of your career!”
Cole said that decision on the part of Dr. Mull, Dr. Lud Kroner, Dr. Richard
Davis and now, Dr. Larry Shank, who will fill Dr. Mull’s position,
is one reason the hospital has a brand-new surgical wing, highly specialized
equipment and the ability to cater to the diverse orthopedic needs of
northern Nevada patients.
Cole cited Dr. Mull’s own orthopedic issues as a young college football
player as one reason for his characteristic empathy with patients. She
also noted the great impact he has had on staff, both in the clinic and
in the operating room.
“Our staff will always remember your skill,” she said, “but
perhaps, even more, they will remember the way they felt in your presence.”
Dr. Mull will continue to perform surgicalist work for a hospital in Louisiana—much
closer to his South Carolina home. He won’t waste any time enjoying
his semi-retirement, however. He and his wife of 52 years, Angela, are
on their way to Denver to enjoy their granddaughter’s softball tournament.
After, they’ll head to Vancouver, British Columbia, to Alaska, and
finally to Milan, Italy.
He also plans to intersperse plenty of golf and gardening into his long-term plans.
Dr. Mull laughed that he’s only known two people who could identify
where Winnemucca is. Still, the doctor said he knows now and he won’t forget.
“We’re fortunate to have a group of people making a difference
in people’s lives,” he said of the staff at Humboldt General
Hospital. “People care here and that’s what’s it’s