Adventist Health Honors Physicians for Exceptional Care

December 07, 2015 | Shelby Seibold

Adventist Health physicians spend each day living our mission — to share God’s love by providing physical, mental and spiritual healing. Out of more than 4,800 medical staff physicians, 18 were selected based on their commitment to remarkable patient care for the Physician of the Year Mission Awards, given at the Adventist Health Physician Leadership Symposium in October. The awardees came together from four states, 18 facilities and many different specialties, yet they all had in common their absolute commitment to the Adventist Health mission.

James A. Peters, a preventive medicine physician, was featured as the first alumni honoree of the awards for his work at the St. Helena (Calif.) Lifestyle Medicine Institute. Peters graduated from Loma Linda (Calif.) University School of Medicine and went on to earn a second doctorate in public health and a master’s in public health and epidemiology. In 2010, he and his wife, Cheryl Thomas-Peters, who holds a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition degree, co-founded TakeTEN, the only residential lifestyle program operated by a Seventh-day Adventist hospital in the U.S. At TakeTEN, participants learn practical ways to live healthier every day. It’s work such as this — and the work of each of the awardees — that is celebrated at the Physician of the Year Mission Awards. Watch the TakeTEN video.

“Our mission attracts some of the most compassionate people on the planet who dedicate their lives to providing hope and alleviating suffering,” says Paul Crampton, master of ceremonies for the award dinner and Adventist Health assistant vice president for mission and spiritual care. “The Physician of the Year Mission Award recognizes these extraordinary individuals who are God’s hands of healing and work each day to make the world better.”

Wesley Rippey is recognized at Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Ore., as an exceptional surgeon and extraordinarily hard worker. In addition to running his surgical practice, he serves as chief medical officer for the hospital and as board chairman for both Healthcare Resources NW and the hospital foundation. Beyond his commitment to his duties, Rippey’s life of service is a true demonstration of the healing ministry of Jesus Christ.

“As a fourth-generation surgeon in practice at the hospital, the mission of Adventist Medical Center is in my blood,” says Rippey.

Glen Sayler has been caring for Tillamook, Ore., families for 37 years in his career as a family practice physician — often delivering care to multiple generations of the same families. A trusted and admired diagnostician in the community, Sayler develops lifelong relationships with his patients. They recognize him for remaining calm in difficult situations and providing kind and nonjudgmental care to all he serves.

“I love helping people,” says Sayler. “To share God’s love … is my life philosophy. I am living it.”

Robert Betz is known for his excellent and thorough work in providing care to mothers and babies at Walla Walla General Hospital in Walla Walla, Wash., for nearly 30 years. His bilingual skills in English and Spanish have provided Betz the opportunity to serve more patients in the growing Hispanic community of the area. He also assists with the INK-OUT program, a community project that removes tattoos of antisocial behavior from local youth and adults who wish to change their appearance and lifestyle.

“I believe this service will enable young people to overcome the effects of past choices [that] do not reflect where they want their lives to go now,” says Betz. “I’m glad to play a part in helping them change the direction of their lives.”