Ridings, Herbert D.
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Herbert D. Ridings died unexpectedly on Friday, October 5th, in Lexington, KY, at the age of 68. Loving son and brother, respected teacher and leader, Herbert "Herb" Ridings was born in 1944 in Binghamton, NY to Herbert and Charlotte Ridings. He attended school in Binghamton and his vacations were spent boating with his parents and brothers on Skaneateles Lake in Upstate New York. He graduated from Binghamton Central High School in the spring of 1962 and enrolled at Arizona State University the following fall. His studies were postponed for two years, while he trained and served as a Clinical Specialist in Vietnam with the 25th Infantry Division. During his tour, he was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. Following Herb's return home in 1968, he returned to Arizona State to complete his BA; he subsequently earned a BS in Medicine from Western Michigan University (WMU) Physician Assistant Program. Herb became Coordinator of the WMU Physician Assistant Program while completing his Master's Degree in Educational Leadership. He then served as Clinical Coordinator at Lake Erie College in Cleveland, OH. From 1985 to 1989, Herb worked in medical relief efforts in Africa and Sudan. He served as Project Director in Ethiopian refugee camps and Medical Director at the Lalmba Medical Relief Clinic in Kenya and later published an article ("Penetrating Legio Maria") on his experience there recounting clinicians' difficulties in attempting to stop the spread of Bubonic Plague inside a barricaded settlement in Kenya. Herb served as Principal Investigator for two grants from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees: one for the Ethiopian Medical, Sanitation, and Community Project and one for the USAID Ethiopian Refugee Food Distribution. Following his work as Director of Medical Relief operations, Herb returned to America, becoming Division Director and Associate Professor of the Division of Physician Assistant Studies, College of Allied Health Professions, University of Kentucky in Lexington. During his ten years in this role, Herb also worked part-time as a Physician Assistant at Planned Parenthood in Lexington. In 2003, he became Chair and Associate Professor, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, University of South Dakota School of Medicine. He spent the last six years of his professional career as Program Director and Associate Professor in the Surgical Physician Assistant Program's Department of Critical Care, as well as the Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Herb retired from professional work in January 2011, returning to Lexington to spend his retirement among friends and former colleagues. It is his dedication to training Physician Assistants, through both his teaching and his service, for which Herb will be most remembered and appreciated. Herb was preceded in death by his parents, Charlotte and Herbert, and his infant daughter, Courtney Anne. Herb is survived by and will be greatly missed by his son, Brian, and his three brothers, Robert, Thomas, and Randolph. There will be a celebration of the life and career of Herbert D. Ridings at the College of Health Sciences, University of Kentucky, on December 1st, from 4-6 p.m. in the 'Commons' meeting and reception space. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Planned Parenthood of Kentucky, 1025 S. 2nd St., Louisville, KY 40203.
Published in Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Nov. 25, 2012