COVID-19 complications take the life of Rapid City surgeon | News

Journal Staff Tanya Manus

Hundreds of former patients, colleagues and friends paid tribute to surgeon Dr Julie Todd Raymond on social media on Monday. The longtime surgeon died on Thursday.

Her husband, Dr. Lou Raymond, confirmed Monday that she died of complications from COVID-19 after being hospitalized for more than five weeks.

“To our beloved Dr. Julie Todd Raymond; thank you for your dedication to patients, your kindness to all, your commitment to using your gifts for the good of others. A lifelong surgeon, friend and mentor to nurses and staff, and an influential member of the community. We were grateful to count you among our partners and we will miss you very much. 1964-2022,” reads a tribute to Rapid City Medical Center posted on its Facebook page.

“She was not only a wonderful surgeon, but she was an even better human being, and that’s why it’s so difficult for everyone,” Jennifer Trucano, CEO of Rapid City Medical Center, said Monday. “He was a lovely human being.”

Raymond served in the Air Force and had a medical practice in the Rapid City area for 28 years. In 1994, she and her husband moved to the Black Hills when Julie Raymond was stationed at Ellsworth Air Force. At that time, says Lou Raymond, she was a general surgeon at the base hospital. She then worked with Regional Health and then occasionally at Rapid City Medical Center for about 10 years. Raymond had been associated with PCRC since 2016, Trucano said.

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Raymond’s practice has evolved to increasingly focus on breast cancer patients. Lou Raymond said his wife was developing a breast cancer center that would provide more comprehensive and seamless care for patients. In addition to having been a general surgeon throughout her career, Trucano said Raymond had had training specifically related to breast cancer surgery.

According to his professional biography on the CMRC website, Raymond sub-specialized in breast surgery for more than 15 years. She started practicing at a time when breast surgery was advancing to become minimally invasive, so she decided to learn the variety of new techniques. Raymond practiced general surgery while on call at the hospital, but his clinic was primarily dedicated to breast conditions.

Her clinic now includes the BeYOUtiful Bratique, a bra-fitting boutique designed specifically for breast cancer survivors. Certified mastectomy fitters help survivors find funky, fun bras that restore confidence and make women look and feel “beYOUtiful!”

Although all PCRC surgeons can work on breast cancer, Trucano said, Raymond focused most of his efforts in that area.

“Women with breast cancer will always have CRMC surgeons and Dr. Raymond’s team to help them. She was just the true champion of the cause and it will take a lot to fill her shoes,” Trucano said.

“She was truly a champion for women overall. Not only breast cancer patients she supported during the operation, but afterwards to feel healthy and beautiful again. She was very supportive of women in pursuing their education,” Trucano said.

Trucano also praised Raymond for helping the entire community through her work as a trauma surgeon, saying Raymond was doing well at PCRC and Monument Health Rapid City Hospital.

“She was a surgeon,” Trucano said. “She would do whatever it took to support everyone. … She had a huge impact.

Lou Raymond said his wife will also be remembered for the care she gave to her own children, nieces and nephews and others. The couple married in 1992 and have three children aged 22, 17 and 14.

“She was dedicated and…with our kids involved in (activities and sports) she became everyone’s mother, being there and rooting for them,” Lou Raymond said.

He said his wife was passionate about family time and being with their children. Julie Raymond also loved sailing, skiing and music.

“I think she has contributed a lot to the community and will be greatly missed,” said Lou Raymond.

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