New physician settling into community

(Photo courtesy Fleming Photography)

(Photo courtesy Fleming Photography)

Life can have a way of coming full circle. And it seems such has occurred for Demopolis’ newest doctor, Tiffany Ward.

At 14 years old, Ward surely had no idea she was going to end up in a rural town in Alabama serving the community as a physician alongside one of the very same men who was helping to provide her healthcare treatment in her time of need. But that is exactly what took place when she started her career with the Chu Clinic earlier this month.

“I was in a car accident in which I broke both of my legs when I was 14 years old and, believe it or not, Dr. (Ronnie) Chu was a big part of me even walking again,” Ward said. “I have seen the good and the ugly on both sides of medicine. My family physician listened, encouraged, and pushed me to be stronger. His impact on my life was the catalyst to my career and the example of the family physician I wanted to become. It has all come full circle and not only am I able to help this amazing community, but I am able to help Dr. Chu at his clinic as well.”

Ward is settling into her new home and her role as the most recent addition to the staff of the Chu Clinic, but the opportunity comes as the latest step toward a medical career she has long desired.

“I was essentially raised in a hospital and I have done it all. My mother was a lab tech who worked her way up to hospital administrator and actually hired Dr. Chu in a small rural hospital in Colorado,” Ward said. “Whether it was cleaning floors, or cleaning bed pans, while growing up in rural Nebraska, I found myself, especially during the summers, in the hospital. I have even been on the patient side of being in the hospital, as well.”

A native of Wallace, Neb., Ward is no stranger to small-town life or the sense of community that often accompanies such locales.

“Growing up in a small town taught me what ‘community’ really means, and the vast impact a family physician can make,” Ward, who did her undergraduate work at Chadron State in Nebraska before moving on to medical school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, said. “The opportunity to serve an entire family, from ‘womb to tomb’ is very appealing to me. The Chu Clinic provides that and more and I am honored to be a part of it.”

Ward stepped into her new role earlier this month, a transition that included moving to a new town with little prior knowledge of the community and few preexisting relationships.

“Every single person I have met and/or my husband has met both in Demopolis and even in the greater Demopolis area has been extremely kind and accommodating,” Ward said of the early experiences she and her husband Johnny have had in Demopolis thus far. “We moved here on faith not knowing anyone except for the Chu’s and we feel as if every person we meet we have been friends for years.”

Ward brings with her a skillset that allows her to be a family practice doctor and simultaneously focus a portion of her energies on improving the area’s Labor and Delivery and Obstetric healthcare offerings.

“I am thrilled to live in Demopolis and I look forward to serving the greater Marengo county area,” Ward said. “My goals are to improve the overall health of the community and to turn the L&D/Obstetric program into one of best rural health options in all of Alabama.”

Ward will be working in the Demopolis office of the Chu Clinic Monday through Friday while also spending half a day in the Linden office twice a week.