Lecture Committee

Gregory A Brown, MD

  • Birthplace:  San Francisco, CA
  • High School: Rumson-Fair Haven HS, Rumson, NJ
  • B.A.: Whitman College, 1970
  • M.D.: Case Western Reserve University, 1978
  • Residency in Family Medicine: Sacred Heart Hospital. Spokane 1978-79
  • President, Walla Walla Valley Medical Society, 1987
  • President, Washington Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians, 1993 – 1995

Employment: USPS Alaska Native Health Center, Anchorage 1979-1982: St. Mary Medical Center ED, Walla Walla, WA 1982-88: St. Joseph Hospital ED, Bellingham, WA 1988-2002: Kadlec Medical Center, Richland, WA 2002-06: TeamHealth Chief Medical Informatics Officer 2006-2014.

In 1982 I joined a group of four physicians to provide the first full-time 24 hour physician staffing for the emergency department at St. Mary Medical Center.  We were fortunate to have as a colleague and friend in Jim McClellan to support the development of our service and to facilitate the transition of critically ill and injured patients from the ED to the ICU.  I can remember the many times Jim arrived in the ED to assume the care of complex patients.  In 2015, I was pleased to join the Lecture Committee and to participate in the ongoing effort to honor Jim’s legacy.

Kenneth H.Z. Isaacs, MD

  • Birthplace:  La Jolla, CA
  • High School: San Dieguito HS, Encinitas CA 1967
  • B.S.: University of California, Davis, 1972
  • Princeton University- High Energy Physics 1972-1973
  • M.D.: Drexel University, Philadelphia 1977
  • Internship/Residency in Neurology: University of California, San Diego, 1977-1981
  • Fellowship in Neuromuscular Disease: 1981
  • Washington State Medical Association: President 2004-2005
  • Washington Health Foundation: Board Chair, 2009-2013

Employment: private practice of neurology: Walla Walla, WA 1982-2012

I arrived in Walla Walla to practice Neurology in 1982. Soon Jim McClellan and I were working together to promote a local MRI scanner, the first in the Northwest east of the Cascades. When I created the project, World Health Volunteers, he eagerly joined: this project, sponsored by St. Mary Medical Center in Walla Walla, sent medical teams to countries in need. In our daily clinical work together I came especially to value his ability to put families at ease and his seemingly untiring presence and support for both patients and staff, the latter including me and other colleagues. When he died, several of us championed remembering him via the memorial garden established at Providence St. Mary Medical Center. Still, we wanted something more. At that time, Helen Kilzer was holding discussion groups about medical practice. One night, as we talked over the topic of “legacy,” we began to think toward Jim’s memorial. From there, with Helen in the lead initially, Bob Johnson, Joe Wujek, and I set up the structure for the James McClellan Annual Lecture.

Robert Arnold Johnson, MD

  • Birthplace: Caldwell, ID
  • High School: Othello, WA, 1960
  • B.S.: Washington State University, 1964
  • M.D.: University of Washington School of Medicine,1969
  • Residency in Internal Medicine: Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, 1969-71, 1972-73
  • Fellowship in Cardiology: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, 1971-72, 1973-74
  • Residency in Psychiatry: Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, 2004-2007

Employment: Massachusetts General Hospital & Harvard Medical School, Boston, 1974-1984 (practice of cardiology, teaching, and clinical research); Walla Walla Clinic  & St. Mary Medical Center, Walla Walla, WA, 1984-2001 (practice of cardiology); private practice of psychiatry, Walla Walla, WA: 2007-present

I came to know Jim McClellan through our caring for patients at St. Mary Medical Center soon after I arrived in Walla Walla from Boston to practice cardiology in late 1983. He was a colleague and friend, then, for the nearly two decades following. When Helen Kilzer in 2005 began to form a plan for holding an annual lecture in his honor, she thought of me because I had given a speech about Jim on the occasion of his retirement from medical practice. I was pleased to join her, and soon she’d recruited Dr Ken Isaacs into our small group, followed later on, when Helen decided to move to Colorado, by Joe Wujek and Casey McClellan. From my standpoint, the most important decisions we’ve made has been to focus the purpose of the lectures around the theme of the humanity of the clinician, which Dr McClellan famously exemplified.

Linda Herbert, RN

  • Birthplace: Herlong, CA
  • High School: Waitsburg, WA, 1972
  • B.S.: Washington State University, 1977
  • A.A.: Nursing, Walla Walla Community College, 1979

Employment: Providence St Mary Medical Center, 1970-2014 (ICU nurse, 1979-2007, Infusion Services 2007-2014). Retired from nursing in 2014. Presently employed part-time as sustainability coordinator for PSMMC.

I am so grateful that I met Dr. McClellan in my formative years as a nurse! He taught me that patient care is as much about compassion, empathy, and communication as it is about competence. His enthusiasm for his work was relentless. Patients and their families sometimes face painful decisions about how, or if, to proceed with treatment; Dr. Mac excelled in easing them through those often gut-wrenching choices. When things got tough, we nurses could count on Dr. Mac to step up and get things done. It was such a relief to see him, with his long, loping stride, come through the door! Even the JACHO surveyors were impressed; after seeing his Zorro-like cursive “J” signature in the majority of charts in the ICU, signing off on everything from Tums to critical infusions, they asked “Who IS this [masked] man?!” Their query was the basis for a Christmas party skit: a remote-control Jeep with a picture of his face in the driver’s seat, zipping onto center stage to the theme of “The Lone Ranger.”

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