The Acadia Parish Chamber of Commerce is honored to announce that Dr. Robert J. Aertker, III of Crowley Primary Care has been selected as the 2023 Business Person of the Year in conjunction with Acadia Parish Honors Annual Banquet and Awards Ceremony.
A native of Baton Rouge, with maternal roots in Lafayette, Dr. Aertker has been practicing in Crowley for 13 years. His undergraduate and graduate-level training at Louisiana State University was focused in microbiology with emphasis on immunopathology, viral vaccine research, and biochemistry. Dr. Aertker’s medical training began at LSU Medical Center of New Orleans in 2002, followed by LSU Earl K. Long Internal Medicine Residency in Baton Rouge from 2006-2009. Seeking to further his education, Dr. Aertker took an interim research opportunity on palliative care in Paris, France at L’hộpital Salpȇtriẻre. He then took an associate professorship with concentration in gastrointestinal/endoscopy at LSU Health in Baton Rouge for the next two years while he was introduced to a hospitalist position at the American Legion Hospital of Crowley.
Dr. Aertker has been a co-owner of Crowley Primary Care since its inception in 2014 along with Drs. Stephen Cannon, Claire Ronkartz, and Nancy Walker. He also shares his expertise with other medical services for the community as a Staff Consulting Physician for Compass Behavioral Health and Medical Director of Palliative and Hospice Care for Lamm Family Care Home Health and Hospice of Crowley. In 2018, Dr. Aertker received the Lafayette General Physician’s TORCH award for honorable, outstanding, and compassionate team focused care. From 2010-2022, he served as president of the Acadia Parish Medical Society. Additionally, he is currently the Chief Medical Officer of Ochsner Acadia General Hospital and a newly-nominated member of the Physicians Leadership Group for Ochsner Health. “Dr. Aertker has proven himself to be an effective leader of the hospital’s medical staff and works tirelessly to provide high-quality care to his patients and to improve the health of the community” said Joseph Mitchell, CEO of Ochsner Acadia General Hospital.
Owning a business means riding the ups and downs with grace, something Dr. Aertker has realized even more so in the past several years. “The most challenging time of my career was undoubtedly Covid,” Aertker said. “It affected our patients, our personal lives, and the hospital system as a whole as well as our community and region.”
When asked to serve Acadia Parish on the Physician’s Executive Council, he recounted gratitude for the opportunity. “I felt dutiful when asked to serve in that capacity,” Dr. Aertker said.
“This was a group of regional physicians and leaders, born out of need to lead the public through Covid-19. I was proud to work in this capacity – protecting our patients and emerging successfully – using the amount of training and knowledgeable opportunities God has afforded me thus far in my career.”
As all good businessmen do, Dr. Aertker keeps a steady eye on the future and opportunities to further serve his patients. He plans to expand his private medical businesses here in Crowley. “I want to have the most highly-trained physicians and access to specialized care available right here in our town,” he said.
In addition to his professional service, Dr. Aertker is an active member of the community. As a parishioner at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church and a member of the Grand Opera House of the South’s Board of Directors, he enjoys devoting time to religion, the arts, language, and our beloved Cajun culture. We are pleased to honor him as the 2023 Business Person of the Year.
Dr. Aertker is married to Brandi Aertker. They have three children, Mary Frances, Sarah Beth and Robert J. Aertker, IV (Bobby). Together, they reside in Crowley.
Dr. Robert J. Aertker, III will be presented this award on Thursday evening at the Acadia Parish Honors Annual Banquet & Awards Ceremony. The Acadia Parish Honors is open to the public. Guests will arrive at 6:00 pm for a cocktail and social hour while having the opportunity to bid on silent auction items. At 7:00 pm dinner will be served by Fezzo’s Seafood & Steakhouse. Tickets are $50, which includes dinner & drinks, and may be purchased on our website at AcadiaParishChamber.org or by calling 337-788-0177.