By UNIVERSITY RELATIONS
Dr. Jeffery “Jeff” Curtis, MD, has joined the Health and Wellness Services team at Fort Hays State University as its new medical director. He replaces Dr. Dallas Richards, who served as medical director for 30 years.
Curtis oversees medical clinic operations and works closely with campus academic and student affairs partners to support student wellness, health, and safety.
“We are honored that Dr. Curtis chose to come home to FHSU and continue his remarkable career in medicine at his alma mater,” FHSU President Tisa Mason said. “He is the epitome of the engaged global citizen that is the hallmark of so many of our graduates. For more than 20 years, he has provided invaluable leadership, generosity, and service as an FHSU Foundation Executive Board member.”
Curtis’ ties to Fort Hays State are deep and span decades and generations in his family. His father and mother attended FHSU and were married on the same day they graduated in 1950. As a boy, Curtis grew up a block from the FHSU campus and spent many days playing football and basketball on the Tiger football practice field and in Sheridan Coliseum.
After graduating from Fort Hays State in 1977, Curtis went on to earn his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He then completed a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Very early in his medical career, Curtis was a 1987 recipient of the FHSU Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Award.
In 1988, he and his wife Connie decided to return to Kansas.
“We wanted to come home to a place we are comfortable, a place where family comes first,“ Curtis said.
At the time, there was no opportunity for Curtis to practice cardiology in Hays, so the family settled in Topeka, where it spent the next 14 years.
When an opportunity opened at Hays Medical Center in 2002, Curtis was able to bring his family to Hays. He worked as a cardiologist and director of cardiology services at HaysMed for the next 19 years and retired in August 2021.
“It’s been a privilege to practice medicine for two decades in the town where I grew up,” he said. “I’ve never needed to attend any high school or homecoming events, because my job kept me connected to lifelong friends.”
As he began to look for his next professional challenge after retirement, Curtis found FHSU’s new integrated Health and Wellness Services model particularly appealing. He plans to draw on the experience of nurse practitioners, nurses, and other clinical professionals as he learns more about the new approach to wellness. He also looks forward to sharing his extensive medical knowledge as a teacher in the clinic and the university’s nursing program.
A long-serving member of the FHSU Foundation’s executive committee, Curtis currently serves as the Nominating Committee Chair for the Foundation. He is also a Wooster Society member, a 20-year donor, and a Leadership Circle member.
Jeffery and Connie Curtis are the parents of three, including son Christian, a graduate student at FHSU; daughter Cathryn, a graduate of the FHSU BSN nursing program and a graduate in the first class of BSN to DNP doctorate of nursing practice program. She currently serves as a nurse practitioner at HaysMed’s Family Medicine Clinic. Son Carter passed away in 2020. Cathryn and her husband, A.J. Preisner, are the parents of Jeffery and Connie’s four grandchildren.