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TODAY news for Thursday, January 29, 2007

School of Medicine news

LLU physician and professor serves as Rancho Cucamonga mayor

Donald Kurth, MD, and his wife, Dee Matreyek, PhD, participate in the Founder�s Day Parade at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga on November 11, 2006, shortly after the election.
Donald Kurth, MD, and his wife, Dee Matreyek, PhD, participate in the Founder’s Day Parade at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga on November 11, 2006, shortly after the election.
Professor, physician, student, business owner, mayor. Not many people can apply all four of these descriptors to themselves, but Don Kurth, MD, can.

The title “mayor” is newest. Dr. Kurth was sworn in as mayor of Rancho Cucamonga in December.

Around Loma Linda, however, he is known as the chief of addiction medicine at LLU Behavioral Medicine Center. He is also an associate professor in the psychiatry department, LLU School of Medicine, and an MBA student in the School of Public Health. He also owns Alta Loma Medical Group and Urgent Care Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

Of his time in the mayoral office, Dr. Kurth says, “It has been wonderful. It is exciting how much support the city staff and the community have shown.”

A highlight of the position thus far has been delivering the State of the City address to an audience of about 300 people on January 10.

Dr. Kurth is pleased to be mayor because the position gives him the opportunity to improve lives.

“Physicians help people on a one-to-one basis. It is life-saving work,” he says. “But to really make a difference on a broad scale, you have to address issues at a policy level.”

Dr. Kurth wants this to be a time of change for the city of Rancho Cucamonga.

“It’s an exciting opportunity for me, and I’m looking forward to leading Rancho Cucamonga in a new direction,” he says. “We have an excellent city council. I will do my best to empower the council members to work as a team.”

Though this is his first time as mayor, Dr. Kurth has previously held political and local leadership positions including president of the Rancho Cucamonga Chamber of Commerce, president of Cucamonga County Water District, and member of the Rancho Cucamonga City Council.

By Heather Reifsnyder

TODAY news for Thursday, January 29, 2007