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Amy Umble is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star

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Armitage working now at hospital in Springfield, Oregon

Dr. John Armitage, the former heart surgeon at Mary Washington Hospital, has taken a new job on the West Coast.

Dr. John Armitage works now in Oregon.

Armitage is the director of cardiothoracic surgery at McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center in Springfield, Ore. Springfield is in the western part of the state, just east of Eugene and about a hundred miles south of Portland. The hospital serves an area of about 300,000 people.

 McKenzie-Willamette, with 114 beds, is the smaller of two hospitals in Springfield.  The hospital’s heart surgery program opened in 2007, and Armitage started there in early May. He is also part of a group practice based in Portland, called the Star-Wood Cardiac Group.

Armitage arrived at Mary Washington from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center 16 years ago to help set up this area’s first heart surgery program. He was medical director of the program until his departure from Mary Washington in June 2010.

In an email yesterday, Armitage described what he calls his “transcontinental relocation.”

My wife, Lee Ann, daughter, Catherine, and canine companion, Beckham, are all here with me now, and we are still unpacking boxes in our new home.  My daughter, Madeline, will start her senior year at Virginia Tech after her semester abroad and internship with Marie Claire in New York.

Leaving Virginia and our home of 17 years was bittersweet, to be sure.  We are, however, excited and looking forward to our new West Coast adventure.  We very much like the community and hope to assist the medical center in growing and establishing their cardiac program.

We also miss our friends, patients and families whose lives touched ours.  We will be returning to Fredericksburg July 31 for our annual Justin Marshall Armitage Memorial Golf Tournament at Lee’s Hill Golf Course.

(McKenzie-Willamette’s web site is here. Click on the “Find a Physician” tab and put Armitage’s name in the search box to see an out-of-focus picture of him. An announcement for the 6th Annual Justin Marshall Armitage Memorial Golf Tournament can be seen here.)