Dr. Richard Bartsh is Bethany’s 2018 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient. Dr. Bartsh was born in Zumbrota, Minnesota, where he grew up and then attended Zumbrota High School. After high school, Bartsh enrolled at Bethany Lutheran College, played on the baseball team coached by Professor Ron Younge, and graduated with his associate in arts degree in 1972. After Bethany, he attended the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, where he earned his bachelor of science degree, and was a Seymour Award recipient representing the highest-ranking graduate. Bartsh graduated from the University of Wisconsin River Falls with a 4.0 GPA and was then accepted into the prestigious Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota. He received his doctor of medicine in 1978, and then attended the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine where he practiced during his family medicine residency, and earned board certification in family medicine in 1981.
Dr. Bartsh began his medical career in Le Sueur, Minnesota, where he practiced at Valley Medical Associates until 1983. From there he was hired as the Medical Director for Spencer’s Inc. in Mount Airy, North Carolina, and held that position until 1992 when he joined John Deere Health Care.
At John Deere Health Care, Dr. Bartsh held various positions from Medical Director, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer, and then Executive Vice President. In 2000, he became the President of John Deere Health Care, the health care division of John Deere & Company. John Deere Health served employees and retirees of John Deere as well as other employers in the United States.
Dr. Bartsh served as the President of John Deere Health until 2006 when they were purchased by UnitedHealthcare. He then served as the CEO and President of UnitedHealthcare of The River Valley, the former John Deere Health, and oversaw their operation in Iowa and Illinois. In 2008, Dr. Bartsh retired from the medical field. Bartsh and his wife Joanne are parents to three grown children and have been blessed with seven grandchildren. The Bartsh’s maintain memberships at both Glades Lutheran Church in Naples, Florida, and Redeemer Lutheran in Bettendorf, Iowa, where they have homes.