Heartbeat of Army’s healthcare
Local physician is honored for his dedication both inside and outside the office.
by Georgia Tzanidis
On May 13, 2009, The Salvation Army Western Territory will present its first Partner in Mission Award to Dr. F. Leland Reitler during a chapel service hosted by the territory’s Community Relations and Development Department, led by Major Robert Rudd. As part of the award’s criteria, the recipient must be a non-Salvationist individual who—by virtue of his/her professional standing in the community—demonstrates support for The Salvation Army in an extraordinary fashion.
Reitler is the first to receive this recognition for his dedicated years of service to The Salvation Army as a physician to many officers throughout the Southern California area. His care, concern and dedication make him a worthy candidate for this honor.
A humble man, Reitler goes to great lengths and takes personal time to assure the good health of his patients. He inquires about their spiritual condition as well as their physical. He prays with them. In one case, he made repeated house visits because an injured couple was unable to come to his office. In another, he insisted on a leave of absence for an officer in a stressful situation. He advocates whatever it takes for his Army officers to be and stay healthy.
Reitler began his practice in 1979. He has served as the senior president of the South Bay Medical Group for the past 15 years. Born in Johnstown, Penn., he moved to Southern California with his family at the age of 4. He graduated from UCLA in 1976 and completed a three-year residency in Family Practice at UCLA Hospital in Santa Monica, Calif.
He and his wife, Sally, have two sons and three grandchildren. When he is not practicing medicine, Reitler enjoys taking his grandchildren to the zoo, park, and bike riding. Sally notes that her husband “is always willing to give of himself and never looks for thanks.”
Reitler’s love for the Lord defines who he is and what he does. This is why a significant number of Army officers claim him as their doctor.
Invited chapel guests include Reitler’s pastor from Rolling Hills Covenant Church, Byron McDonald, Commissioners Bill and Gwen Luttrell, and Commissioners Peter and Grace Chang.
It is with gratitude that we recognize and honor Dr. Leland Reitler for his caring support of The Salvation Army and its officers.