Portland Anesthesiologist Honored for Lifetime International Medical Missions Work

April 9, 2013
Portland,Oregon
Rick Westermeyer Zimbabwe

Dr. Richard Westermeyer, an anesthesiologist with the Oregon Anesthesiology Group, who practices at Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Oregon, has been selected from more than 115 physician national entries as the inaugural international honoree in the Mission:MD MedicalMissions.org Physician of the Year Awards by LocumTenens.com, a full-service locum tenens staffing agency and leading industry job board. The awards program honors physicians who donate their time to help underserved patients in the United States and abroad gain access to critically-needed healthcare services.

Dr. Westermeyer, has devoted thousands of hours of time over the past 30 years to medical missions work and charity care, including as a team leader doing disaster relief work during humanitarian disasters such as a cholera outbreak among Ethiopian refugees in 1984 and in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake. He is part of the disaster response pool with Portland-based Medical Teams International, responding to major international disasters and refugee crises on a regular basis. He has lectured on disaster response to the Oregon Health Science University global health course for the past three years. He served on the board of Christian Family adoption for 12 years and his family has frequently cared for foster babies awaiting adoption. The Westermeyer family served four times as medical host families for children being brought to U.S. from overseas for advanced surgical procedures by Healing the Children. In addition to the disaster response work, he has volunteered in free clinics or mission hospitals in Africa, Asia and South America.

For Dr. Westermeyer, medical missions work is a family affair. He met his wife, Ann, a nurse, in medical school, and the two of them immediately began doing mission work together after marriage. Ann was raised by medical missionary parents in New Guinea who subsequently served in Zimbabwe, Africa. There, they established an orphanage for children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic. Both of the Westermeyer’s daughters are nurses who regularly do long-term mission work in underserved countries. The $10,000 award will go to Africa Orphan Care. Founded in 2011 by family and like-minded friends such as board president Ron Benfield, the non-profit organization will support several orphanages in Zimbabwe, including the one founded by Dr. Westermeyer’s in-laws.

“Dr. Rick Westermeyer is the perfect example of a physician using his training and skills to serve patients who otherwise would have little access to care,” said R. Shane Jackson, president of LocumTenens.com. “Dr. Westermeyer’s work has touched the lives of thousands. We are proud to help him and his family and friends provide care by supporting Africa Orphan Care.”

“Dr. Westermeyer is a person who sees a need and does something about it. His purpose in life is to make a positive difference for others, and this drives his day-to-day agenda,” said Ron Benfield, board president of Africa Orphan Cares and chief operating officer of Adventist Medical Center. “It’s hard to picture any one more deserving of this honor.”

About Adventist Medical Center (AMC)

Adventist Medical Center (AMC), located in southeast Portland, is a nonprofit, 302-bed acute care facility, offering a full range of inpatient, outpatient and emergency services throughout the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area. It is home to Adventist Health-Portland, which includes more than 30 primary care and specialty clinics in the metro area.
Adventist Health-Portland is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,900 includes more than 21,200 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,200 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 170 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, six hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit www.adventisthealthnw.com for more information.

About MedicalMissions.org

MedicalMissions.org is a 501(c)(3) organization that connects medical volunteers and other volunteers with organizations sponsoring medical missions all over the world. Our services are 100 percent free for both medical volunteers who register and mission organizations posting their opportunities. The goal of MedicalMissions.org is to connect motivated healthcare providers with organizations sponsoring medical missions by offering a free, searchable database of health-related volunteer opportunities and medical mission trips. These include short and long-term medical volunteer opportunities, both domestic and international.


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Media Contacts

  • Judy Leach, Director Marketing & Communications: leachjl@ah.org, 503-251-6162
10123 SE Market St, Portland, OR 97216(503) 257-2500