Dr. Ricky Mohon, the only pediatric pulmonologist and sleep medicine physician Johnson City has ever known, has accepted a job in Denver where he will continue his practice, albeit in a more administrative role.
Mohon, also a former city commissioner, will inherit two titles at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics Pulmonary Division: the university’s pediatric pulmonary fellowship program director and its pediatric sleep program medical director.
He begins his work in Denver on April 1 and he said he will begin winding things down here in Johnson City in February.
“Johnson City has been a great place for me and my family to live,” he said. “I have regrets — especially the patients I’ll be leaving with cystic fibrosis who I’ve followed since they were infants. The school in Denver asked me to come and interview. The first interview went very well. I did the second and brought my wife. That’s when I accepted the positions.”
Pediatric pulmonologists treat ailments of the lungs and respiratory system in children, and he is one of only 14 of these specialists in Tennessee who also practice pediatric sleep medicine. Mohon is with East Tennessee State University Physicians & Associates, and practices at Mountain States Health Alliance’s Niswonger Children’s Hospital.
Pediatric sleep medicine deals with the same sleep disorders as adults, including sleep apnea, narcolepsy and other complications
“We are grateful for Dr. Mohon’s years of caring for patients at Niswonger Children’s Hospital,” said Steven Godbold, Niswonger Children’s Hospital CEO. “His services included both pediatric pulmonology and pediatric intensive care, so we will begin working with ETSU immediately to fill both of those roles, preferably with a full-time physician for each, allowing us to expand our coverage in both pulmonology and intensive care.”
Mohon, who first received his state medical licence in 1985, started here in 1992 as an assistant professor of pediatrics at the ETSU’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine. He not only taught students but also practiced as a doctor in Johnson City Medical Center’s intensive care unit.
“That was when they first opened a pediatric intensive care unit on the fourth floor,” he said. “It remained there until just a few years ago when Niswonger was built and a 10-bed unit was opened, but I was director of that unit for 18 years.”
Mohon also served on the City Commission from 1999-2007.
“I enjoyed every bit of it,” he said. “I felt privileged to be able to serve two terms. The role as a physician and a commissioner allowed me to meet a cross-section of people in the community. It added to my quality of life, and I enjoyed our accomplishments during the time I served.”
He also was a candidate in 2011 for a seat on the Board of Education, but he finished just outside the top three vote-getters. He ran again unsuccessfully for a seat on the board in the 2012 municipal election.
Mohon graduated from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1981. He then served residencies at Miriam Hospital in Providence, R.I., and later at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine.
He holds the following certifications: American Board of Internal Medicine (22 years); American Board of Pediatrics (25 years); American Board of Pediatrics (for pediatric pulmonology, 19 years); and, American Board of Pediatrics (sleep medicine, four years).
He also has received numerous recognitions and awards for teaching and in 2010 was named Outstanding Pediatric Faculty of the Year by ETSU’s James H. Quillen College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.