OMA Announces Recipient of Fourth Annual Dr. George E. Miller Patient Safety Award

The Oregon Medical Association is pleased to announce that Rick Waller, MD, has received the fourth annual Dr. George E. Miller Patient Safety Award. The award was presented on November 15 in Portland at the cHealth Innovation Symposium, a coordinated health care transformation and health IT education event jointly presented by the OMA, OCHIN and the Oregon Health Network. 
The award is named after George E. Miller, MD, a pediatrician and dedicated advocate for improving patient safety, who passed away in 2007. Dr. Miller was appointed by Governor Ted Kulongoski to the Oregon Patient Safety Commission upon its formation in 2004, and he served as the Commission’s first board chairman. His 30-year medical career in Oregon also included service as Medical Director at Salem Hospital. Dr. Miller epitomized compassionate care and service to his community. We honor him in the presentation of this award. 
Dr. Waller, a recently-retired Portland neurosurgeon, is a fourth generation Oregonian who comes from a long line of physicians. In his more than three decades with Providence, Dr. Waller served as president of the Providence St. Vincent medical staff, medical director of quality management, chief of surgery, and medical director of the Oregon Surgery Program. 
He has considerable expertise in promoting a culture of safety in the hospital environment and utilized his position as the chief of surgery as a podium for change. Dr. Waller successfully 
implemented a standardized surgical order set that reduced the number of surgical errors for the hospital and has been integrated into multiple Providence hospitals on the West Coast. His work has had a very broad impact and will continue to promote safe patient care long into the future. 
After retiring in 2012, Dr. Waller has continued his role as vice-chair of the Oregon Community Ministry Board and continues to look for opportunities to improve the culture of patient safety. 
The Oregon Medical Association is an organization of over 8,000 physicians, physician assistants and medical students organized to serve and support physicians in their efforts to improve the health of Oregonians. Additional information can be found at
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