Adventist Health Honors Physicians’ Commitment to Healing
Elizabeth McMurtry has a commitment to healing that extends beyond the care she provides to patients every day in the emergency department at Walla Walla General Hospital in southeast Washington. She’s focused on the generations of physicians who will follow in her footsteps and be providing care to her patients’ children and grandchildren.
“We are all teachers,” says McMurty, an instructor and mentor with Pacific Northwest University in Yakima, Wash. She loves guiding her students' process of discovery and helping them determine their career path, all while seeking to provide whole-person care to patients who are presenting immediate health needs in the emergency room. Her colleagues agree McMurtry is as caring and dedicated with her patients as she is with medical students, who are the future of medicine.
McMurtry was one of 18 physicians honored with a Physician of the Year Mission Award, given at the 10th annual Adventist Health Physician Leadership Symposium in October. The Mission Awards are given to Adventist Health doctors who are living examples of the health provider’s mission of sharing God’s love by providing physical, mental and spiritual healing. Awardees are exemplary health ambassadors who work tirelessly to further the Adventist Health mission and continue to inspire others to provide remarkable care.
K. Gem Shaker, a physician at Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Ore., and James Rushing, a hospitalist at Tillamook Regional Medical Center (TRMC) in Tillamook, Ore., and primary care physician in Adventist Health’s rural health clinic in Manzanita, Ore., were also honored. Rushing, who died in July from complications of a heart attack, was recognized posthumously. His daughter, Jaclyn Rushing, graciously accepted the award on his behalf.
James Rushing was a beloved physician, colleague, community member and friend who lived the Adventist Health mission in both his professional and personal life. He also practiced whole-person care well before it became a national focus.
“Dr. Rushing impressed me as the best listener I have ever known,” says patient and colleague Mary Faith Bell, TRMC communication and marketing director. “He asked thoughtful questions about my life and health, not limited to my current condition. He listened with his full attention and remembered what I said. He cared about me as a whole person.”
The Physician of the Year Mission Awards are just one aspect of Adventist Health’s annual Physician Leadership Symposium, which brings together leaders from across the health care field for two days packed with education, inspirational presentations and panel discussions on topics like innovative care delivery models and partnering with the communities they serve.
MISSION AWARD WINNERS
K. Gem Shaker, a physician at Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Ore.
James Rushing, a hospitalist at Tillamook Regional Medical Center (TRMC), in Tillamook, Ore., and primary care physician in Adventist Health’s rural health clinic in Manzanita, Ore.
Elizabeth McMurtry, a physician at Walla Walla General Hospital in Walla Walla, Wash.