Doctor announces end of full-time medical practice
After providing more than three decades of health care to patients at Marion Family Physicians, Dr. Don Hodson announced the end of his practice of medicine Monday.
The letter was very difficult for him to write, Hodson said Tuesday, but he thought that delivering the news would be hard no matter when it came out.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Hodson said. “I think I wrote about 17 drafts of the letter.”
In his letter, Hodson said that he made friends with many of his patients and patients of many of his friends, and although he is ending his practice, he plans to spend the rest of his life in Marion, except to travel.
Hodson said that in the past people have asked him why he continued to practice in Marion when he could have practiced in a bigger city.
“The grass is always greener,” Hodson said Tuesday. “After I was here awhile, Marion was home.”
Through his years of service, Hodson has become a respected and important figure not only in his clinic, but also within the fabric of the community.
“We are the best of friends; he has the keys to my condo,” pharmacist Marlin Buchholz said Tuesday. “We’ve been friends since he moved here. But back then he had an extra hundred pounds and a full beard.”
Pharmacist Traci Lanning said that although Hodson did not really sugar coat anything when interacting with patients, she appreciated how he always looked out for their best interest.
“Deep down he really cares for this town,” Lanning said. “He gave his carrier to this community.”
Longtime Marion resident Gene Winkler said he has received health care from Hodson since he moved to town.
“Don’s a little different, not in a bad way, he says what he thinks, “Winkler said. “He’s always been great with me, and he was always willing to refer you to health care providers if needed.”
Winkler said he has always trusted Hodson’s medical opinion and referrals completely.
Another longtime Marion resident, Sally Hannaford said that her entire family has been in his care throughout the years.
“We just trust him not only as a doctor but as a family friend,” Hannaford said. “We always knew he would be there through thick and thin.”
Hannaford is also president of the St. Luke Hospital Foundation, an organization that helps raise money for upgrades in the hospital.
“Don is a real asset to the community,” she said. “The hospital has grown due to his positive force.”
In his letter, Hodson said that he is currently working together with St. Luke Hospital and its governing board to transition the clinic to hospital ownership so that it can remain open.