Jeff Ritterman, MD
Jeff Ritterman is former Chief of Cardiology,
Kaiser Richmond Medical Center; Richmond, California, City Councilmember
(elected in November of 2008); and was appointed Vice Mayor of the City of
Richmond from January 2010 to January 2011.
Jeff Ritterman was born
in Brooklyn, New York. When he was 6 years old, the family moved to the
suburbs on Long Island, where Jeff
lived until leaving for college during the turbulent 1960s. At the University of Wisconsin, Jeff majored
in biology and began the political activism which has continued throughout his
life. He was active in the peace movement and in the grape boycott, supporting
the United Farmworkers Union. After college, Jeff worked for two years as
a VISTA volunteer teaching runaway and dropout high school students in Madison, Wisconsin. He attended medical
school at Temple University in Philadelphia.
Dr. Ritterman trained
for three years in Internal Medicine and then completed a two year
fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases in Seattle, Washington. He began his career as Chief of Cardiology at
the Kaiser Richmond Medical Center, where he worked to serve the Richmond community for 30 years. Dr. Ritterman retired from Kaiser
in November of 2010.
Dr. Ritterman has been
active in international health. In the 1980s, he started the Committee for
Health Rights in Central America to help provide medical relief to refugees
from the civil war in El Salvador. He personally delivered medical supplies to
Salvadoran refugees living in United Nations sponsored refugee camps in Honduras, and Costa Rica. In the mid-1980s, Dr. Ritterman founded the
Southern African Medical Aid Fund to help those suffering under apartheid. He personally delivered medical supplies to the
medical clinics of the African National Congress in Zambia and to clinics serving the poor throughout South Africa. With his partner Vivien
Feyer, Dr. Ritterman traveled to the Iraqi border, delivering medical supplies
to refugees from the bombing in Fallujah. Recently, the couple traveled to Iran on a peace-building mission. Both speak widely on the
medical, humanitarian and environmental consequences of war.
In addition to his
international work, Dr. Ritterman has been working to improve health in
his own local community. He has served on the
Public and Environmental Health Advisory Board of Contra Costa County since
1990. He is on the steering committee of the San
Francisco Bay Area chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR, and
serves on the Richmond Mayor’s Task Force on Environmental Justice and
Environmental Health). Dr. Ritterman has received numerous awards for his work
both as a doctor and as a community activist. In 2007, he received the Man of Merit Certificate of Recognition
for “being a positive influence in the lives of boys and young men in Contra CostaCounty.” He has been awarded with the distinguished Karis
“caring physician” award and the Donald P. Fisher award for
excellence. The Kaiser Permanente Medical Group recognized him with their
prestigious “Everyday Hero” award.
The proud father of a
large combined family, Dr. Ritterman has children who are active in the fields
of Public Health, Psychology, Music, Medical Technology and Engineering.
The World Would Change Tomorrow, July 28, 2011