Dr. Jason and Dr. Teresa Loden have signed contracts to work full-time at Texas County Memorial Hospital. They are pictured with Wes Murray, center, CEO at TCMH. The couple is holding their daughters, Gabriella, a newborn, and Elliana, 2. Both doctors will join the hospital in 2018.

By signing a husband-wife duo to four-year contracts, Texas County Memorial Hospital has filled two primary care positions.

TCMH announced Friday that Jason and Teresa Loden will join the organization in 2018. Jason Loden, a general surgeon, will work full-time in the surgery department and Outpatient Surgery Clinic. Teresa Loden, a pediatrician, will work full-time at the TCMH Medical Complex in Houston. Both doctors will provide inpatient care.

The hospital began looking last year for an additional full-time general surgeon to work alongside general surgeon, Linda Milholen, MD. TCMH said it contacted Jason Loden about a full-time position at TCMH, and he asked the hospital about also recruiting his wife to do pediatrics in Texas County.

TCMH has not focused on recruiting a pediatrician in the past due to more pressing needs for physicians providing care for all ages.

“After Jason asked us about recruiting his wife, we asked our medical staff if they felt there was a need for a full-time physician specializing in pediatrics,” said Wes Murray, chief executive officer at TCMH. “Not only was all of our medical staff very much in favor of bringing a pediatrician on board, our employees spoke up in favor of adding a pediatrician to our ranks.”

With the addition of the Lodens, TCMH will fill its physician recruiting needs.

“Dr. Jason Loden will help us break in our new surgery department, and provide an additional foundation for growing our surgical services in the future,” Murray said. “Dr. Teresa Loden will help us fulfill our mission as a hospital; a pediatrician will provide more specialized care for area children.”

TCMH is in the process of building a new surgery department with two operating rooms, an endoscopy suite and private recovery rooms. When the current surgery department relocates, the hospital hopes to move obstetrics to surgery and the intensive care unit to obstetrics, creating larger patient care spaces for all the departments.

“Our hospital’s success is dependent upon a strong medical staff providing a variety of services to the communities we serve,” Murray said. “We need our area residents to choose local healthcare providers whenever possible to help us continue to grow and to retain our physicians and primary care services.

“The future of healthcare in Texas County is very bright.”

The Loden’s grew up in Missouri — Jason in Joplin and Teresa in Swiss. They met in college at Avila University in Kansas City, where they were both biology majors. They also attended medical school at AT Still University in Kirksville.

After medical school, the Lodens did residency in Omaha at Creighton University. Teresa Loden completed her pediatric residency this summer. Jason Loden’s residency is five years in length, ending in 2018. Teresa Loden is a full-time pediatrician at One World Community Health Center, a federally qualified community health center serving a predominantly Spanish-speaking population and uninsured patient base in the Omaha area. She is currently fulfilling a requirement by the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) to work in a clinic with a medically underserved population in exchange for student loan forgiveness. Teresa Loden will fulfill the last two years of her NHSC requirement at the TCMH Medical Complex.

The Lodens have two daughters. Elliana is two years old and Gabriella is a newborn. They sought an opportunity in a smaller town in Missouri that was near family and where they could both practice medicine. They hope to do some farming and enjoy outdoor activities when they relocate to Texas County in 2018.

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