Prominent OC Physician Leader Catherine Campion, MD, Mourned

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Catherine “Kit” Campion-Ritz, M.D., 57, President of Greater Newport Physicians and one of the nation’s most prominent physician leaders, died in a bicycle accident on September 15.

President since 1994 of Greater Newport Physicians, a leading Independent Practice Association (IPA) medical group in Southern California with more than 550 physician members, Dr. Campion was highly regarded for her ongoing efforts in improving the health and wellness of Southland communities. Earlier this year, she played a major leadership role in Greater Newport Physicians’ affiliation with MemorialCare Health System and its 2,000 affiliated physicians that serve Orange and Los Angeles counties as part of the MemorialCare Medical Foundation, MemorialCare’s physician organization.

“Dr. Kit Campion was a warm, engaging leader, respected and loved by her patients, physician colleagues, nurses and health care professionals throughout Orange County,” says Diane Laird, Greater Newport Physicians CEO and a long-time friend and colleague. “She worked tirelessly to ensure that members of all the communities we serve had access to the best health care. Dr. Campion cared for thousands of patients over the last three decades and played an important role in the health of so many Orange County families. Everyone at Greater Newport Physicians and Nautilus Healthcare Management Group are deeply saddened by this great loss.”

“The MemorialCare family extends its heartfelt sympathy to Dr. Campion’s family, friends, patients and colleagues,” says Barry Arbuckle, PhD, President and CEO of MemorialCare Health System. “She brought to all of us a clear-headed approach to leadership and an incredible vision for the future of health care, inspiring everyone to ensure we always provided the best, most compassionate care, which was her hallmark.”

Board Certified in Family Practice by the American Academy of Family Physicians and an Orange County physician for 29 years, Dr. Campion graduated cum laude from the University of California, Irvine, with a degree in biological sciences. She completed medical school at UCLA with internships and residencies at UCLA Medical Center and Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center. In 1985, she was one of the founding physicians of Greater Newport Physicians and served on the Board for more than 20 years. She was an active member of the Hoag medical staff for nearly 30 years and served as Chair of the Family Practice Department as well as an elected position on the Medical Executive Committee. In 2008, she was a founding Board Member of Nautilus Healthcare Management Group, a management services organization that provides practice management, technology services and IPA management services to physicians and medical groups in Orange and Los Angeles Counties.

Dr. Campion and her husband have been avid cyclists for more than two decades and both enjoyed the outdoors, including spending time in Wyoming. She has lived in Irvine for nearly 30 years and is survived by her husband Patrick Ritz and dog Sandy, her mother Corinne Campion, five brothers and sisters and four nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Casa Teresa, Semper Fi Fund or Wounded Warrior Project.