Drs. Jane Lewis, William Martin, Edward Rhomberg and John Roth all currently serve the Fort Leonard Wood community – and the U.S. Army – with their medical expertise at the General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital.
They also each have unique stories of how they came to be here and why they chose Fort Leonard Wood.
Dr. Jane Lewis
Lewis is no stranger to military medicine.
She served 10 years of active duty in the Navy, “including a realm of experiences from being a general medical officer on a ship, to doing my residency with the military, to going out into their hospitals,” she said. “I think that the military, the active-duty service member is near and dear to my heart because of my experience in the military – I have a very veteran-oriented family.”
After taking a break from working with the armed forces, she practiced medicine at the University of Massachusetts. She began her new role as a surgeon at GLWACH July 27, and the natural setting of Fort Leonard Wood rings familiar to Lewis.
“The surrounding area is beautiful,” she said. “You have the rolling hills and the trees, and people here are very welcoming, they’re very supportive. I’m from the Midwest, too – South Dakota – so I’m used to that mentality.”
Lewis added that she has been immediately impressed by the GLWACH staff.
“I’m very impressed by their organization,” she said. “I’m very impressed by the professionalism – people are very responsive to your needs. If you call someone, they answer their phone. If you have a question, they get back to you.”
She said she most looks forward to “contributing to the team” in her new role.
“I think we have a great team of surgeons here and we’re all bringing our area of expertise and our interests,” Lewis said. “And I’m really looking forward to building a strong orthopedic department to serve GLWACH and the surrounding community – the dependents and the retirees – which is, in my understanding, a huge need in this area.”
Dr. William Martin
Martin, who started at GLWACH June 8, has had a career that has taken him all over the United States – from Arizona to Alaska to Illinois – before moving to Fort Leonard Wood.
He formerly served as the chairman of the Arizona Medical Board and as a director at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
“When I was done there, I could have gone anywhere in the world just because there’s very few times as a surgeon when you pick up and just go and start a new practice,” he said. “And that was one of those times in my life. My family and I had taken a cruise to Alaska many years before that, and we said if we ever had the chance to start over, why not try Alaska?”
After spending eight years in America’s last frontier, Martin was recruited to work for one of the country’s largest health insurance companies and start a musculo-skeletal program. The job was more than 3,000 miles away.
“I was commuting back and forth between Juneau, Alaska, and Chicago for a while,” Martin said. “It is quite a commute.”
Chicago eventually became a necessary, more permanent living arrangement, he said, as his wife became ill and needed advanced medical care.
“I had to make a choice,” he said. “I could no longer do both.”
It was in the windy city where he saw the potential to work at GLWACH.
“I visited Chicago and I saw this opening, and to be honest with you, I was excited about it,” Martin said. “It was an opportunity to get back into clinical medicine, as opposed to only administration. It gives me the hybrid that I’m really looking for. I enjoy administration, I’m finishing off my MBA, but I also enjoy patient care, so this position as chief of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Podiatry allows me to do both administration as well as clinical care.”
Since transitioning to a position with direct Soldier interaction, Martin said he’s also reminded of his son, a recent graduate of the Naval Academy, in Annapolis, Maryland.
“Prior to him joining the military family, I didn’t really understand it,” he said. “Even though my father served and my uncle served, I really didn’t understand it, but it really is a family. So, the idea of coming to help part of our family was something that really resonated with me.”
He said he looks forward to what he calls an increased continuity of care with his new orthopedic team of surgeons.
“We have a whole team of us that has come on at the same time,” he said. “I’m delighted to be here.”
Dr. Edward Rhomberg
Like Lewis, Rhomberg is also a former military physician, having served in the Navy for 12 years prior to operating a private practice in Arkansas. He said the nature of dealing with insurance companies led him to leave solo practice – something he knew would not be a concern when working for the Army.
“There were too many demands running the practice and dealing with insurance companies,” he said. “I just wanted to return back to taking care of military members, their families and retirees.”
GLWACH welcomed Rhomberg May 26. He described himself as a general orthopedist who likes to do a variety of different surgeries.
“I got a lot of enjoyment out of that before when I was in the Navy, and I felt that Leonard Wood – I could fill a necessary niche or void they have as they’re moving to more civilian providers,” Rhomberg said. “I feel like I’m back in the Army but I’m not in the Army.”
In addition to admiring the rural scenery for its outdoor activities, he said he looks forward to taking care of an energetic population.
“Having to take care of the young active-duty population requires that I really get up to speed and improve my skills in the arena of sports medicine,” he said. “Whereas the population that I took care of while in Arkansas shifted towards the older, more aging side of humanity. As we all get older, things tend to wear out, and frequently, that requires orthopedic interventions, which I certainly enjoy doing, but coming to the post here is going to allow me to continue to get better at other things.”
Rhomberg added that his desire to give back to the military community served as a motivating factor for relocating.
Dr. John Roth
Roth began working at GLWACH in August 2019, but took over the head position for the hospital’s surgical services Jan. 1. He said accepting the job at Fort Leonard Wood’s hospital meant his first role working with the military.
“I’ve been in private practice, I’ve been employed by hospitals, then back in private practice again,” he said. “Never been in the military, never worked for the government before and so, it was a very steep learning curve for the first several months that I was here.”
Roth said working in the public sector has been revitalizing as it removes some of the obstacles he faced before.
“I can focus on the needs of the patients and try and do what’s best for them … whether that’s surgery or not surgery,” he said.
He added he enjoys the opportunity to gain leadership experience while still regularly practicing medicine at GLWACH.
“That transition has been very good because it’s really given me an opportunity to interact with my fellow physicians and nurse practitioners and (physicians’ assistants) to really coordinate and form a cohesive medical staff so we can serve our service members much better,” he said. “That’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed since being here.”
With the differences in military medicine came also differences in hierarchy – something Roth appreciates.
“There is a certain command structure that really helps things get done, and at least it’s a command structure that’s understandable, it makes sense,” Roth said. “It’s amazing the lessons I’ve learned – if you want something done, you go talk to your sergeant, and they’re going to get it done.”
The Fort Leonard Wood area is a plus for him, too, as he thoroughly enjoys outdoor activities.
“I enjoy mountain biking, gravel biking, kayaking and rock climbing and caving – there’s just tons of that to do here,” he said. “It’s interesting, Central Missouri is like a well-kept secret.”