The James McClellan Lecture

7TH ANNUAL LECTURE – Gar LaSalle, MD MFA FACEP – Physician, Novelist, Film maker

In Search of “The Good Doctor”
– The patient’s, media and insiders portrayal of the physician


We are pleased to announce that the speaker for our 7th annual lecture to be held October 14, 2017, 7:00 PM, Hunter Conservatory, Whitman College Campus will be Gar LaSalle, MD

A physician, sculptor, award-winning filmmaker, and author, Dr. LaSalle has been honored widely in the medical and fine arts communities for his leadership and creativity.

A graduate of Reed College, Cornell University Medical College, LaSalle completed a surgical internship at UC Irvine, received a Master in Fine Arts degree from California Institute of the Arts (Film-Animation-Video) and then completed an emergency medicine residency at UCLA.  He is adjunct Professor of Emergency Medicine at Cornell-Columbia, Distinguished Lecturer at the University of South Florida and teaches at the University of Washington EM Residency about the business of Medicine.

In 1978 LaSalle’s award winning feature length documentary, Diary of a Moonlighter premiered nationally on PBS and was the first-ever film about the new specialty of Emergency Medicine.

Returning home to Seattle, in 1984 he founded Northwest Emergency Physicians ultimately serving 22 Pacific Northwest hospitals.  In 1996 LaSalle co-founded TeamHealth, the nation’s largest provider of hospital based services, and from 2001 until he retired in 2015, served as its first national Chief Medical Officer.  In 2009 he also founded the nation’s largest Patient Safety Organization with over 8000 physician members serving 13 million patient visits annually.  While TeamHealth’s CMO, he continued making films, including several award winning Patient Safety Fables, which are used to train EM physicians and nurses about risk prevention and patient-physician interactions.  LaSalle is an executive producer of Triage Films, which created the documentary 24/7,  and with Triage Films, he is currently editing a new documentary, Never Say Die – Dying in America.

LaSalle is the author of two award-winning historical fiction novels. Widow Walk, published in 2014 by Greenleaf won multiple awards including the Eric Hoffer Award for Literature, the eLit Silver Medal, the IndieReaders Award for Best Novel, and the San Francisco Book Festival Grand Jury Prize for General Fiction.  Isthmus, published in 2015, the first sequel in the series was a finalist for the PNWWA Nancy Pearl award for literature.  His third novel, The Fairness of Beasts, is scheduled for release in 2017.




In honor of Dr. James McClellan and to celebrate his and deepen our understanding of Humanity in Clinical Care and Caregiving, we have created an annual Lectureship.

Dr. McClellan, in his years of practice at Providence St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, inspired many physicians, nurses and other caregivers with his dedication first to individuals as individuals, being an ever-gracious listener, being thoughtful, efficient, and practical and always available. Through his kindness and counsel he remains remembered and admired by those colleagues who shared patient care with him.

We will seek annually a speaker who is a clinician deeply respected for attention to human or humane values in the practice of his or her craft, to present an address on the theme of humanity in clinical care. While the lecture would primarily be directed to physicians, nurses, and other caregivers in our community, for every third lecture we would invite members of the public.

The Lectureship is organized and governed by an Administrative committee, including an ex officio member of the McClellan family. The Lectureship will be supported by an Advisory Committee that is to offer advice and counsel to the Administrative Committee.

We ask your contributions in support of the James McClellan Annual Lecture. Funds are administered by the Blue Mountain Community Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) Public Charity. Contributions are fully deductible to the extent of the law.

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