Ted Mackett Receives Crystal Angel Award

Trust is an important factor in a successful patient and physician relationship. Ted Mackett, general surgeon at Adventist Medical Center (AMC) in Portland, Ore., understands this concept and specializes in establishing remarkable trust with his patients. "He takes time to understand the patient’s life beyond just their medical chart and gets to know intimate details such as their family dynamics, what makes them happy or their hobbies,” says Wesley Rippey, AMC chief medical officer. “This is why it was an easy decision for the Adventist Medical Center community to award Mackett with the Crystal Angel Award.”

Each year, Adventist Medical Center honors an outstanding physician who has put into practice the spiritual mission of Adventist Health. This individual is presented with the hospital’s Crystal Angel Award.

“It is most fitting that the 2014 Crystal Angel Award be given to Dr. Ted Mackett,” says Tom Russell, AMC president and CEO. “Dr. Mackett consistently demonstrates the healing ministry of Jesus Christ in his interactions with patients, staff and community. His Christian compassion coupled with his superb attention to quality outcomes makes him most deserving of the award.”

Mackett felt the calling to be a physician from a very early age. The epiphany hit him when he fell and broke his arm while trekking the Himalayan mountain range. Seeing how attentively his physicians cared for him inspired him to care for others in that manner. The doctors even let him wear their white lab coats and pretend he was a physician. As he stood proudly in his lab coat, he was certain that he had to be a physician.

In his 20 years of service at AMC, Mackett has always tried to put patients and their needs as his number-one priority in life. “To me the patient comes first even before personal life and family,” says Mackett. “I luckily have an amazing wife who is happy to take up the slack at home.”

“His commitment to his patients is really awe-inspiring,” says Julee Thomas, director of risk and insurance services at the Adventist Health corporate offices in Roseville, Calif., and Mackett’s sister-in-law. “My sister has had supper waiting for very long at night, but he won’t leave until he has made sure that every patient in his care has been taken care of in the best way possible.”

“Mackett makes stressful experiences into pleasant experiences with his demeanor,” states Rippey. He is known among his patients and co-workers for his great sense of humor and memory of people’s lives. He will walk into a room and have everyone laughing with his colorful storytelling but will also listen very attentively when they are talking and will remember every detail.

Rippey states that these qualities have established a very loyal patient following, with some flying from many parts of the United States to see Mackett. “Not everyone wants to keep seeing their surgeon, but Mackett’s patients are often skeptical to end their surgical relationship with him because of how well he cares for them.”

Mackett states that it is easy for him to go that extra mile while caring for his patients when he realizes that this is why God made him. “We physicians are God’s representatives on this Earth,” he says. “Jesus spent most of his time on this Earth healing, so healing is very a personal experience not just between the patient and physician but also with a higher being. When I think of this, how can I help myself from loving what I do?”

March 13, 2014 / Adventist Health