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Long-time Lourdes Physician Dr. Louis Ruvolo Retires; Medical Center Gives Thanks, Warm Send-Off

Louis Ruvolo, MD, called the operating room home for 35 years, including three decades as Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County’s Chairman of Surgery. While he stepped away from the OR 10 years ago to become director of the hospital’s wound care center, he continued to feel a deep connection to his patients.

“When I stopped working in the OR, I expected to feel a loss,” said Dr. Ruvolo. “However, what I found was that the close relationship I developed with patients, who needed major help and often returned, was very satisfying. Their problems, unlike most of the surgical conditions I had treated, were usually recurrent and required a different mindset than I had in the past where most patients were cured by a surgical procedure.”

Dr. Ruvolo recently made another transition. After 44 years with Lourdes, and as a physician for nearly 50 years, he decided to retire. His last day was June 30. The hospital recognized his contributions to Lourdes and the community with several celebrations.

“Dr. Ruvolo is a caring and compassionate physician,” said Don Petroski, MD, chief of Gastroenterology at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, and a colleague of Dr. Ruvolo’s since 1975. “In an emergency, he is the one you needed at the bedside for the patient and the requesting physician. He possesses excellent surgical skills and clinical judgement. What’s more, he’s committed to serving his patients and the community.”

“I love my work,” said Dr. Ruvolo. “However, I found now is the time to move on. I worked part-time, my wife worked full-time and we just felt like we needed more time with our family. We want to enjoy some of the things we like to do in our down time, while we both have the energy to do so.”

In addition to spending time with children and grandchildren, some of those activities will include traveling, taking leisurely motorcycle rides and enjoying nature preserves. Dr. Ruvolo’s wife, Clara, served as executive director of the Palmyra Cove Nature Park.

Dr. Ruvolo’s first day as a surgeon at the hospital was August 1, 1973. “I remember the day well because it’s also my birthday,” he said. “I was fortunate to join established and excellent surgeons, Drs. Abrams and Rosenberg who were among the founders of the hospital. They understood the importance of helping young surgeons to mature and develop. As subsequent surgeons, Drs. Baskies, Holaday, Wasser and Greenbaum joined, we continued this practice of close coordination and helping one another.”

After he ceased performing surgery, Dr. Ruvolo and his partners went in different directions while continuing mutual support. Rancocas eventually became Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County. “Lourdes always had a good reputation, and that was a big benefit for us and our patients.”

Dr. Ruvolo served as a member of the Lourdes Board of Trustees and a member of the NJ State Board of Human Services. He earned his bachelor of science degree from Notre Dame University and his medical degree from Indiana University. He completed his internship at Rhode Island Hospital and performed residencies at Albany Medical College and State University of New York (Edward J. Meyer Memorial Hospital) in Buffalo, New York. Dr. Ruvolo also served as a captain in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps.

Dr. Ruvolo hopes to continue his peer review activity, including disability review for the state of Pennsylvania. He also will remain a member of the Lourdes medical staff and says if he’s needed at the Wound Center, he’ll be glad to help out. He views the wound healing center as an important service for patients and the local communities.

“In addition to caring for patients, one of the greatest rewards for me was working with our medical and nursing staff—a compassionate, committed and highly intelligent group of men and women for whom I developed affection and the highest respect.”

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