Orange County Business Journal

Arrest in Death of Greater Newport Physicians President

Jerry Sullivan Thursday, September 20, 2012

An Anaheim man faces charges that the truck he was driving struck and killed Catherine “Kit” Campion Ritz, an Irvine resident who was president of the Greater Newport Physicians doctors group for the past 18 years.

The Orange County District Attorney's office filed charges yesterday against Michael Jason Lopez. Newport Beach Police Department investigators said Lopez was driving a pickup truck that hit Campion Ritz on Sept. 15 as she rode her bicycle along Newport Coast Drive.

Campion Ritz died at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo a few hours later.

"Dr. Kit Campion was a warm, engaging leader, respected and loved by her patients, physician colleagues, nurses and health care professionals throughout Orange County," said Diane Laird, chief executive of Greater Newport Physicians. "She worked tirelessly to ensure that members of all the communities we serve had access to the best health care. Dr. Campion cared for thousands of patients over the last three decades and played an important role in the health of so many Orange County families."

Ritz practiced at Newport Family Medicine, was the first chair of the family practice department at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, and a founding board member of Nautilus Healthcare Management Group.

Ritz is survived by her husband, Patrick, five siblings, four nephews, and her mother, Corinne Campion.

The family has asked for donations to Casa Teresa, the Semper Fi Fund or the Wounded Warrior Project in lieu of flowers.