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Aspirus Medical Director returns to active duty

(Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette) Dr. Jerry Luoma (left) a long-time physican with Aspirus Keweenaw, and a former military officer and physican, recommissioned his son, Michael, into the United States Air Force at a special recommissioning ceremony conducted at Aspirus in Laurium on November, 4. Luoma was recommissioned a Lt. Colonel.

LAURIUM — Dr. Michael Luoma, medical director at Aspirus Keweenaw, returned to active duty in the United States Air Force, as of Nov. 4.

Luoma has been with Aspirus since 2007, serving as medical director, chief of staff, and a family medicine physician at Aspirus, and returned to duty in his place of birth, Germany. Luoma was recommissioned a Lieutenant Colonel.

It had been his dream to return to the Air Force and complete his military career. Luoma said he is a veteran two military branches.

“Shortly after high school, I joined the Army,” he said, “and spent four years with the 82nd Airborne, jumping out of planes as a medic.”

He served in Operation Shield, and Desert Storm, and when his enlistment expired, he attended Northern Michigan University. He then enlisted again in 2000, serving seven years as a physician in the Air Force, before he “got out.”

Luoma said his plan was originally to serve in the military for 20 years. However, his goal had always been to work with his father. In 2007, he left the Service to work with his father, who was also a physician at Aspirus, as well as a military veteran.

Luoma, although he considers Calumet his home — he moved there in fifth grade — he was born in Germany, where his father was stationed before going to Vietnam.

Luoma, said he is stationed at Rammstein Air Force Base, which is in southwest Germany. He has nine years to serve to become eligible for retirement.

At Aspirus, Luoma played a significant role in physician recruitment and retention. He has overseen the construction of the hospital’s new emergency department and ICU, and the Aspirus Houghton Clinic. He has also been very active in the community. He held a seat on Calumet Public Schools’ Board of Education for nine years, actively volunteered for community events, including CopperDog 150, Great Deer Chase, Copperman Triathlon, and numerous home football and hockey games. He served as the Medical Director of Emergency Services for the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Historical National Parks.

Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital Board of Directors Chairman Dan Dalquist said Dr. Michael Luoma has “consistently shown his commitment to the community and to our hospital, staff and patients.”

“We will miss him; however, we have complete confidence in his ability to serve our military men and women,” Dalquist said. “Safe travels, Dr. Michael Luoma.”

Dr. Luoma’s father, Jerry, was a family practice physician in Calumet for more than 30 years, and is a retired Army officer, and Michael, in addition to having worked beside his father, also had the honor, of being recommissioned into the military. The recommissioning ceremony, followed by a farewell social, was conducted on Nov. 4, at Aspirus Keweenaw.

With Luoma’s departure, Luoma’s patients are being transitioned to other Aspirus providers, to ensure there is minimal disruption in their care.

Aspirus has a strong local and system leadership, Luoma said, and will continue to provide the highest levels of care for patients close to home.

“I am proud to have had the opportunity to practice at Aspirus and live in this community,” he said. “The people of the Copper Country are unique, hearty, genuine, caring and accommodating. You will always be my family.”

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