Charles Mueller, MD, has resigned from Texas County Memorial Hospital citing personal and professional reasons.
The hospital announced Friday that Mueller, who joined TCMH in 1997, has accepted a general surgery position in Portland, Ore., where he plans to do a mini fellowship in burn surgery and advanced wound care in addition to general surgery.
“I will be joining the practice of a longtime friend and former residency mate,” Mueller said. “This position will give me the opportunity to learn some new skills that I can use in the next 10 to 15 years of practice that I have remaining.”
Mueller said the burn and wound care training and work will also aid him in providing burn and wound care for surgical patients in Africa. The Muellers have traveled to Africa multiple times in the past few years to do medical mission service.
In addition to learning skills that will aid his medical mission work in Africa, the move to Portland will allow the Muellers to be near Anne-Marie Mueller’s family. They share responsibility for aging relatives that reside in Portland.
“We came to Houston 16 years ago to be near my aging relatives, and now it’s time to return to Anne-Marie’s family,” Mueller said. “We have made great friends and had good times here, and we are looking forward to the opportunities this career shift will bring.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the people of Texas and the surrounding counties during my time here.
In addition to serving as chief of the surgery department, Mueller served as the chief of the medical staff from 2002 to 2011 at TCMH Mueller also served in other leadership positions on committees in the hospital and on other community boards in the county.
Mueller will work at TCMH through April 4.
“We are a better organization for having Dr. Mueller’s services at TCMH for last 16 years,” CEO Wes Murray said. “Dr. Mueller has been an important part of this organization, and his wife, Anne-Marie, has served on the board of the TCMH Healthcare Foundation as well as other community boards.”
Murray said the Muellers were known for their dedication to the organizations where they worked or volunteered.
“Dr. and Mrs. Mueller will be missed at TCMH and in our community, and I hope that the public recognizes the blessing they have been to our healthcare services and to our area,” Murray said.
Murray said the hospital is already working on plans to continue to provide general surgery coverage after Mueller departs. A search for a full-time general surgeon has been underway since Dr. Thomas R. Stubbs retired in October.
“We have had two candidates come to TCMH for site visits, and we are working to bring additional candidates in for site visits,” Murray said.
Dr. Lowell Fisher, a general surgeon from Rolla, is providing call coverage for Mueller so that emergency surgical needs can be met at the county hospital.
“Dr. Fisher provides coverage for the general surgery group in Rolla, and he’s willing to continue to provide coverage for us,” Murray said.
Murray noted that general surgery is highly sought professional discipline similar to other primary care fields.
“Recruiting another general surgeon will be a challenge, but we are pursuing several leads at this time,” Murray said.