February 2013

Dr. Lidge leaves behind legacy

Ralph Lidge, MD, was a founding father of the Northwest Community Hospital medical staff.
Shown here with his wife, Jackie, at NCH's 50th anniversary gala in 2009, the late Ralph Lidge, MD, served NCH from its opening in 1959 until his retirement in 1998.

Retired orthopedic surgeon Ralph T. Lidge, MD, died peacefully on January 26, 2013, at age 91. A legendary "founding father" of the Northwest Community Hospital medical staff, Dr. Lidge will long be remembered with respect and affection throughout the northwest suburban community and the NCH family.

When the hospital opened in December 1959, Dr. Lidge was already a member of the first Credentials Committee, ensuring that only physicians who met the highest standards of quality were admitted to the staff. He ultimately served as chief of surgery and held the office of medical staff president in 1981. A founding member of Orthopedic Associates, S.C., Arlington Heights, Dr. Lidge practiced there for more than 30 years before retiring in 1998.

Driven by his passion for orthopedics and top-quality care, Dr. Lidge worked hard to serve patients with personal dedication, helped train residents at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and kept abreast of the latest research and developments in his profession. A pioneer in arthroscopic surgery and joint replacement surgery, Dr. Lidge went out of his way to learn new techniques and bring them to Northwest Community Hospital where he taught others.

While Dr. Lidge received many honors and accolades, he was best known by his patients as someone who cared about them and always tried to do the right thing. "Ralph spent his whole life trying to be a better doctor and he treated everyone from all walks of life equally," his longtime partner Francis Lamberta, MD, said.

The Lidge family has named the NCH Foundation as a place where memorial gifts may be offered. To make a gift, please visit or call the Foundation office at 847.618.4260.