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Adventist Health Howard Memorial Welcomes New General Surgeon


A reputation for excellence, a small-town, tight-knit community, and state of the art facility -- these are just some of the reasons why Lance Ludington, MD, a new general surgeon has chosen to join the team at Adventist Health Howard Memorial. But he says it all comes down to one reason – the people.

Dr. Ludington previously cared for patients at Adventist Health Feather River in Paradise, CA, until last year when the Camp Fire devastated the whole community. He shares, “I fell in love with the small-town culture in Paradise. Willits is similar. There’s so much culture, and people have lived here their whole lives, so there’s really that connection and care for each other that you won’t find in big cities. I can feel it in everyone I’ve met. The physicians are dedicated and invested in their community and truly care about their patients. And that’s what we’re really looking for. “

Making the choice to join Adventist Health Howard Memorial was easy, shares Dr. Ludington. “When we were at Feather River, everybody wanted to do as well as Howard —they always seem to have the highest scores at everything; patient experience, employee engagement and physician engagement. Howard was a model for a lot of the hospitals in the system, and to be joining a great team with such a reputation for excellence is exciting.”

“Plus, this hospital is one of the nicest facilities I’ve ever seen. The operating room is amazing and state-of-the-art. This community is very blessed to have such a high caliber facility in a small town. I’m looking forward to working here.”

Dr. Ludington says the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives is what makes his practice rewarding, “Both my parents were physicians. I remember as a child sitting in my dad’s office, who was a heart surgeon, and hearing from his patients how caring he was. He had a way of making people feel special, like they were his only patient. I want to be able to do the same for my patients.”

Spending time to get to know the patients to earn their trust is the cornerstone of Dr. Ludington’s care philosophy. “I want to really get to know my patients, so I can partner with them to meet their needs and expectations. I know surgery can be a scary experience for a lot of patients, so I hope to put them at ease by building trust and truly collaborating with them.”

Dr. Ludington received his medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, CA, and completed his internship and residency in General Surgery at Loma Linda University Medical Center. Bringing almost 30 years of experience, Dr. Ludington specializes in general and minimally invasive laparoscopic procedures including but not limited to procedures for gall bladder, hernia repair, abdominal surgeries, thyroid nodules and breast evaluation and surgical care.

Adventist Health Howard Memorial President, Jason Wells, says this is great news for the community and beyond. “We have been recruiting for a general surgeon for years. There is such a great need not just in Mendocino County but also in neighboring counties. To be able to serve our patients here so they don’t have to drive out of the area for care is so important. Having the convenience of not having to travel, but also to be taken care of by people they know and trust can make a big difference in health outcomes. Dr. Ludington’s experience and dedication to rural healthcare is a perfect fit for our community. He will be a great addition to our team and we are excited he has chosen our community to practice.”

Dr. Ludington and his family are excited to be part of the community. When he is not caring for patients, he loves hiking and exploring the outdoors. “We’re excited to explore some of the trails here. I also like water-skiing, snow-skiing, dirt-bike riding with my youngest son and gardening. I was actually born in Thailand, so I love cooking Thai food.”

Dr. Ludington is now accepting new patients at 3 Marcela Drive, Suite C in Willits. To schedule an appointment, please call (707) 459-6115. To learn more about Dr. Ludington, go to:


About Adventist Health Howard Memorial (formerly Frank R. Howard Memorial Hospital) is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, nonprofit integrated health system serving more than 80 communities on the West Coast and Hawaii. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist heritage and values, Adventist Health provides care in hospitals, clinics, home care agencies, hospice agencies and joint-venture retirement centers in both rural and urban communities. Our compassionate and talented team of 35,000 includes associates, medical staff physicians, allied health professionals and volunteers driven in pursuit of one mission: living God's love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. Together, we are transforming the American healthcare experience with an innovative, yet timeless, whole-person focus on physical, mental, spiritual and social healing. Visit for more information.