Portland Anesthesiologist Honored for Lifetime International Medical Missions Work


April 9, 2013-- 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.”  
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