MEDFORD, Ore. — The administrators of Providence Medical Group are expressing their sadness and remembrances following the tragic death of Dr. Jon Van Valkenburg during a boating accident along the Rogue River near Shady Cove on Monday.
Dr. Van Valkenburg moved to the Rogue Valley in 1999, serving as a prominent primary care doctor with Providence Medical Group in Medford. Prior to settling down in the area, he received his medical degree from Tulane University Medical School in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1992 before completing his residency in 1995 at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington.
"All of us who knew Dr. Jon Van Valkenburg are feeling a sense of deep sadness today. He had a true devotion to his patients. They frequently told us how much his care for them – and, more importantly, about them – meant in their lives," said Dr. Karen Kronman, Medical Director for Providence Medical Group in Southern Oregon. "Our hearts go out to his wife, Edie Chezik, who serves on our Providence Southern Oregon Service Area Advisory Council, as well as to their children, family, friends and all his patients."
"He was beloved. He had friends that just had the best time with him. He was always trying to have a lot of fun. He was gregarious and loving and giving," said best friend and fellow Providence doctor, Dr. Chris Alftine. "He was incredibly popular with his patients. I'm sure they are going to be devastated. The clinic is going to suffer. It's going to be hard for us. We'll have to pull through it."
"We are all thankful for Dr. Van Valkenburg’s two decades of service here in southern Oregon," Dr. Kronman continued in her statement. "Our concern, as caregivers, is to build on his commitment to meet the health care needs of his patients. It is an honor to do that, and we dedicate ourselves to continuing his tradition of excellent care."
NewsWatch 12 has been reaching out to more members of the community for their memories of Dr. Van Valkenburg. Patti Bosworth was one of his patients since he arrived in the Rogue Valley. She considers him more than her doctor, but her friend.
"Visits with him weren't clinical. He cared about you as a whole" said Bosworth. "He helped me take charge of my health and he helped come up with plans and procedures and basically a blueprint of how I can live a long and healthy life. It’s also just a huge community loss to have someone of his care, compassion and empathy in the medical field. To have lost him, it’s very heartbreaking."
According to Dr. Van Valkenburg's Providence bio, he enjoyed spending time with his wife and two children, skiing, biking, hiking, fishing, bird hunting, and watching 49ers football.
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