The Martha’s Vineyard Hospital announced just before Christmas that it would welcome the return of Dr. Richard H. Koehler, a surgeon and specialist in laparoscopic surgery.

Dr. Koehler was a staff surgeon at the hospital from 1994 to 2002. His arrival on the Vineyard was hailed as a new era in medicine on the Island. Seven years later he severed his contract with the hospital amid outspoken criticism of the former hospital administration and its board of trustees. The chief executive officer and board have since changed.

A practicing physician for 25 years, Dr. Koehler graduated from Boston College, magna cum laude and earned his medical degree from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his postgraduate work at the National Institutes of Health/Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Tufts New England Medical Center in General Surgery. A board-certified surgeon, his specialty is abdominal laparoscopic surgery.

He is a member of the New England Surgical Society, Boston Surgical Society, American Hernia Society, and the Cross and Crown Honor Society at the College of Arts & Sciences at Boston College. He is also a fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

In a short press release issued last week, the hospital said Dr. Koehler will begin providing surgical services in January.

Appointments or referrals may be made by calling 508-693-9012, the release said.