Rodriguez retires scalpel after long surgical career |

Rodriguez retires scalpel after long surgical career

Kris Swanson
Special to the Post Independent

Dr. Jose Luis Rodriguez has announced his retirement after a long career as a plastic surgeon.

He is currently practicing full time at Clagett Memorial Hospital and has also had private practice offices in Glenwood Springs and in Denver. Rodriguez’s last day will be Aug. 22.

“Dr. Rodriguez’s reputation for excellence and record of high-quality care were key in our decision to partner with him,” said Patrick Howery, Grand River Hospital District chief executive officer. “We have had a positive relationship with him for years, as he has served us well. We are very sorry to see him leave medical practice, but I know he has worked hard for a long time and is ready to enjoy his well-earned retirement.”

“I have spent a lot of time at Clagett over the years,” said Rodriguez. “I was chief of surgery from 1987 to 1992, when I resigned to serve in the Persian Gulf. And I have been seeing patients in the Specialists Medical Center at Clagett since 1985. I joined Grand River Hospital District full time in August 2000 because I have always liked Clagett and the partnership was a positive one for both of us.”

Rodriguez graduated from medical school at the University of Barcelona, Spain. His internship was completed at Saint Anthony Hospital in Denver, and his three years of surgical internship were completed at Mercy Hospital in Denver and Denver General Hospital.

He served his plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at Cook County Hospital in Chicago. Once he finished his residency, Rodriguez returned to Denver, where he operated a private practice for 20 years.

In 1985, Rodriguez moved his practice to Glenwood Springs, where he has practiced, except for his service in the Persian Gulf War and a brief stint in Aracibo, Puerto Rico, until this upcoming move. He has provided surgical work for cosmetic, facial and hand improvements, skin disorders, head and neck tumors, liposuction, carpal tunnel and traumatic conditions.

Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Rodriguez is also a member of the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and the American Medical Association.

Rodriguez was born in the Dominican Republic to American parents, and said he will never take liberty for granted.

“The freedom and liberty that we enjoy in the United States is very important, and it is worth fighting for and protecting,” he said.

And his life reflects this philosophy.

Rodriguez joined the Colorado Army National Guard in 1959 and was honorably discharged in 1965 as a major. He rejoined in 1982, was activated during Desert Storm and went to Saudi Arabia, after which he was honorably discharged from the guard as a lieutenant colonel.

“Saudi was boring. I’ve treated more gunshot wounds and serious traumas at Clagett than I saw during Desert Storm. But I was ready to serve,” he said.

“My wife Sharon and I love Rifle. We moved here two years ago and are building a new home outside town and we look forward to enjoying our time off together here,” he said.

An avid outdoorsman, Rodriguez is excited to be able to spend more time fly-fishing, hunting, snowmobiling and traveling. He regularly travels back to the Dominican Republic to visit his mother.

Rodriguez is one of more than 16 specialty physicians who provide medical care to local residents at Clagett.

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