Eric Johnson, a family nurse practitioner at the Telluride Regional Medical Center, has announced his intentions to retire from medicine at the end of this year.

For nearly 25 years Johnson MS, FNP-BC has made the drive from Ridgway — where for 18 years he served as a town councilman — to Telluride to serve as a primary care provider for the community.

Thousands of patients have received care from Johnson over the course of his long tenure — many of whom he has provided care for consistently for more than two decades.

Dr. Sharon Grundy, who herself has worked alongside Johnson for two decades, said that Johnson will be most remembered for his “dedication and calm, steadying presence” at the clinic.

Dr. Grundy shared that Johnson has flexed into many positions, as needed, at the Med Center, including Clinical Nurse Manager, Lab Manager and Primary Care Practice Manager.

“Eric was one of our foundational providers who helped forge our path as a premiere family care practice. He’s gotten us through so many transitions, like leaving the Montrose Memorial Hospital system (2005) and of course, the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Rain, snow or sunshine, his car always pulled up, he was always there for all of us,” said Dr. Grundy.

Johnson is also a poet and on occasion would share his writing with staff.

An excerpt from something he shared recently to help staff navigate grief:

There is no way to quantify the pain of loss

There are no questions to ask

That can be answered

And, how do you identify the pain of those 

Who chose to depart without saying goodbye?

I can know the body’s pain but,

Not the pain of a broken heart or a broken spirit

Dr. Christine Mahoney, primary care medical director said, “Eric has been a mentor to me as a provider, and an inspiration to me as a writer. I will greatly miss his insights and spirit around the med center.”

Johnson is working diligently to reach out directly to his patients to let them know of his retirement. He’s highly recommending his replacement, Emily McGough MSN, APN, FNP-BC, CPN who many already know from her years working at the clinic.

As for the future, Johnson plans to turn his attention to home projects, more writing and time with Kaye, his wife of 46 years.

He says the trick to making a relationships work long-term is “patience and perseverance and a willingness to listen.” According to his peers at the clinic, this is the same approach he also employs to honor his patients.

“Of course some days you’re better at it than others,” said Johnson.

McGough will join the ranks of other primary care providers at the clinic, including Dr. Christine Mahoney, Dr. Sharon Grundy, Dr. Kent Gaylord, Laura Cattell MS PA-C and Elaina Collins, PA-C.

“I am so excited to start in this new role as a primary care provider and be able to continue serving our community in an expanded capacity,” said McGough.

While patients of Johnson will have the opportunity to find the provider that best matches their needs, Dr. Grundy notes McGough as an excellent provider to carry Johnson’s “tradition of patience, perseverance and thoughtful listening.”

If you’d like to send Eric Johnson MS, FNP-BC a farewell message, you can do so here.