Ridgway replaces Dr. Mary Nettleman, who will retire in August.

Ridgway, a 1984 graduate of the USD Sanford School of Medicine, has been practicing medicine in the state since 1991. He previously served as executive dean, dean of faculty affairs and professor in the department of internal medicine for the Sanford School of Medicine, and he is currently a staff physician and director of gastrointestinal endoscopy at the Royal C. Johnson Veterans Affairs (VA) Hospital in Sioux Falls.

“It is an honor and privilege to be selected as the next vice president of health affairs and dean of the USD Sanford School of Medicine,” said Ridgway. “I am committed to working with all constituents throughout the state to ensure access to the highest quality of health care for South Dakotans.”

Ridgway has received several accolades, including being named a Top Gastroenterologist in Sioux Falls by the International Association of Healthcare Professionals for 2018-2020 and one of Best Doctors in America since 2010. He received the Presidential Award from the South Dakota State Medical Association in 2017. Ridgway is currently the Dr. Charley F. and Elizabeth Gutch Chair in Medicine, and he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2017 from the Sanford School of Medicine.

Ridgway is actively involved in all phases of the medical school curriculum. He helped establish a Pillar 3 Mock Interview Program to prepare students for residency interviews, and due to its popularity, it is now a mandatory program. Ridgway assists in teaching the GI Block for Pillar 1 students and serves as Sioux Falls campus dean, overseeing all student activities on the Sioux Falls campus. He has been active in mentoring and advising medical students. He has also been involved in graduate medical education, providing advanced endoscopy training for fourth-year surgical residents, which better prepares them for endoscopy practice in rural communities.

Ridgway was one of the first in the region to implement advanced pancreaticoobiliary endoscopy, enteral stenting of the GI tract, per-oral cholangioscopy, pancreatic duct stenting and other advanced therapeutic endoscopy techniques. He developed a program of endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) at the Veterans Administration Hospital, as well as a chromoendoscopy protocol for surveillance of inflammatory bowel disease patients. He also initiated and maintains a successful quality monitoring program in the VA gastrointestinal endoscopy unit.

“Dr. Ridgway is not only an expert in his field, he is also an expert in medical student education. He is approachable, and he truly cares for his students and their success in the Sanford School of Medicine,” said USD President Sheila K. Gestring. “Dr. Ridgway is a proven leader in the medical school. Under his leadership the Sanford School of Medicine will only continue to strengthen its position as one of the best in the nation.”

Ridgway was one of three finalists who interviewed on campus in May and June. The national search was led by a committee chaired by Kurt Hackemer, Ph.D., USD provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

Download a high-resolution photo of Dr. Ridgway

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