Professor awarded Distinguished Community Service Award

by McKinley Powers

Whitworth’s Distinguished Community Service Award was awarded to Christian Physician Dr. Jim Shaw in a lecture held on Tuesday, Oct. 29 in Robinson Teaching Theatre. The lecture was attended by students, community members and trustees.

“Jim’s persistence, humility and servant heart helped changed the face of healthcare,” Whitworth President Beck Taylor said in the introduction to Shaw’s lecture.

Shaw consistently cared for the Spokane community by caring for the emotional, spiritual and social needs of his patients, Beck said. Shaw’s service has “impressed, encouraged and inspired” many Whitworth faculty as they strive to fulfill Whitworth’s value of providing students with an education of the mind and heart, he added.

“I am profoundly humbled and honored to receive this award,” Dr. Shaw said in the opening to his lecture.

In his speech, he thanked Whitworth for placing such a high value on the mind, body and spirit for it’s students, such as he does for his patients and their families.Shaw is affiliated with Providence Health Care in Spokane and strives to make the experience of his patients as personal as possible, so that it is “a person experiencing an illness, rather than an illness experiencing a person.”

Whitworth’s Distinguished Community Service Award honors individuals who have shown tremendous care to the Spokane community and the individuals in it. Many of the community members in attendance to the lecture was a previous patient or had a loved one who was a previous patient of Dr. Shaw, including Whitworth faculty member Reverend Terence McGonigal, director of church engagement. McGonigal stated that Shaw provided him with a “peace that passes understanding” back in 2011 when he was diagnosed with cancer and received care from Shaw.

“Jim’s values in the healthcare profession align well with Whitworth’s values,” Dale Hammond, director of alumni and parent relations said. “What Dr. Shaw spoke to in his lecture can apply to many different professions.”

Shaw’s values and servant heart philosophy is applicable to any occupation, said Mike Ediger, head of the health department.

“The way he views compassion as a part of his job and the way his faith intersects in what he does in his vocation is beneficial to everyone who hears it,” Ediger said.

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