Dr. Ruth B. Nauts

Dr. Ruth B. Nauts
Orthopedic Surgeon

I'm the regional department chief for orthopedics and I'm excited about the great orthopedic doctors we have in our group. We are getting ready to staff a south medical surgical specialty office in the next year, in addition to our current practices at Franklin and Rock Creek.

I moved to Colorado because my step grandmother had a cabin in Nederland that I visited when I was a kid. The mountains impressed me, as did the blue skies. I came here for my fellowship in 1984 for one year and I couldn't leave because I ran in the Boulder Bolder, started hiking, skiing with the handicapped ski program at Winter Park, and learned how to really ride a bike during Ride the Rockies. While I was learning how to ride a bike in the mountains, I met my husband, Jack Gallagher, MD, who is a general surgeon. We've climbed “14ers” (not all 54 but several, many times with family and friends), rafted Colorado rivers and continue to ski (cross country and downhill) with step-kids and grandkids. We enjoy losing ourselves in the hills and forests while hiking or snowshoeing. We have never required a formal rescue.

I'm on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Health Foundation and am dedicated to its mission to make Colorado the healthiest state in the nation. As an orthopedist, I believe my job is to keep my patients active and moving because exercise is critical to overall health. This includes the concept of doing joint replacement surgery to allow regular activity like walking every day for conditioning and an opportunity to enjoy our Colorado weather (with appropriate gear). It's not just about mechanical issues like "straight joints" or bone carpentry.

We walk our two dogs every day, rain or shine, because the dogs won't let us take a day off. I've noticed that patients of mine who have a similar responsibility to regularly exercise do better with their X-rays for arthritis.

The reason I work at Kaiser Permanente is that I truly believe that by working together consistently with the same physician and health care partners, connected by a computerized medical record, I can do a better job for my patients.