For about the last ten years, Dr. Jeffrey Schlueter’s answer has been “someday” when asked, “When are you thinking about retiring?” So it is bittersweet for our community that “someday” is now on the calendar.
In Dr. Schlueter’s letter to his patients, he wrote: “Caring for you, my patients, has been the most rewarding part of my 39-year career at Glacial Ridge Health System. Therefore, it is with mixed emotions that I announce my retirement as of September 1, 2021.”
Over the past four decades, Dr. Schlueter has shared heartache and joy with literally thousands of patients. Being a family medicine doctor in a rural community can mean long hours and weekend work. Dr. Schlueter estimates he delivered between 1,000 to 1,200 babies and, “all but two were delivered after midnight,” he jokes.
After many years of providing obstetrics and caring for young families, his focus changed to more general internal medicine for adults. As a family medicine physician, he is honored to have cared for two and even three generations of families. “I appreciate the opportunity you gave me to serve you and, for many, your families,” Dr. Schlueter stated in the retirement announcement to his patients.
He and his wife Mary Beth will continue living in Glenwood – in the same house they first bought in 1981 and raised a family. He looks forward to finishing many projects, traveling, and spending more time with family and friends.
It has been a tremendously rewarding experience for Dr. Schlueter to have witnessed the growth of a community hospital and clinic from two physicians to a team of 30 providers today. Every morning he walks through the door at GRHS, he is greeted by a wall of provider photos that reminds him of the expansion of health care he has seen over the years. “We’re providing services I never dreamed we’d provide, in a facility I never dreamed would look like this,” said Dr. Schlueter.
There are moments in time that stand out– especially when he looks back at a situation, knowing that he saved a life by what he did. He will carry memories like these for years to come.