Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In memoriam: John J. Ulwelling

We were saddened to hear about the death, this weekend, of another member of the Portland medical community: John J. Ulwelling, president emeritus of The Foundation for Medical Excellence, succumbed to a long illness.

In 1974, Mr. Ulwelling first joined the state's medical community as Director of Public Affairs at the Oregon Medical Association. In 1977, he moved to the Oregon State Board of Medical Examiners as Executive Director, a position he held until 1994. He also held a position as clinical professor with the Department of Public Health & Preventive Medicine at OHSU.

Mr. Ulwelling was one of the founders of TFME and served as its president from its inception in 1984 until his retirement in May of last year. Of Ulwelling's tenure at TFME, former OHSU School of Medicine dean Joseph Bloom, MD, said: "I consider much of the success due to his ability to bring people together, and blend them into a harmonious group. He's been able to bridge potential rivalries and meld that through the force of his personality, to get people to help each other in a positive manner."

Anyone encountering John Ulwelling was immediately aware of that force, and his early training and success as a teacher and coach. He was one of those rare souls who inspire everyone around him to be better than they are, to do more, to help, to try to understand what was happening in the world and to make changes to improve whatever situation they encountered. He will be greatly missed, but his spirit will live on in the people he touched.

1 comment:

Mark Kemball said...

Nicely put, Sara. Thanks for giving us a moment to reflect on how much we owe him.