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01 September 2012

Medford doctor recognized for 40 years of helping shape end-of-life care in Southern Oregon

Dr. John Forsyth to receive a $50,000 Cambia Health Foundation Sojourns Award

MEDFORD, Ore. – Medical ethicist and retired cardiologist, Dr. John Forsyth, is being honored for four decades of encouraging Southern Oregonians to talk about their wishes and preferences for care at the end of life.
Dr. Forsyth, who chairs the Jefferson Regional Health Alliance’s “COHO: Choosing Options, Honoring Options” coalition, was selected to receive a Sojourns Award from the Cambia Health Foundation (previously The Regence Foundation). The award recognizes leadership and innovation in the field of palliative and end-of-life care. The award also comes with a $50,000 grant, which Dr. Forsyth plans to donate to COHO to continue its work educating the community and health care providers about end-of-life care, advance care planning and the importance of family conversations about these subjects.
“A compassionate physician, a good listener, and a great storyteller – that’s Dr. Forsyth,” said Peggy Maguire, Cambia Health Foundation board chair. “For many years, he has been encouraging Southern Oregonians to talk more openly about end-of-life care, and he’s helped create a community with quality end-of-life care choices that far outpace other similarly sized communities.”
As one of the physicians who nominated Dr. Forsyth for the award said, “I offer you a man who has devoted a lifelong career in cardiology, and later in ethics, to help his colleagues and community better navigate the complex waters of care at end of life. Quietly, but persistently, Dr. John Forsyth has made a life of service to those here in Southern Oregon and is most deserving of this award.”
In addition to Dr. Forsyth’s role with COHO, he is a member of the Board of Ethics for both Rogue Valley Medical Center and Providence Hospitals. He also continues to work as a volunteer physician for Community Health Center, as well as a champion for the local VolPACT, linking low-income, uninsured patients requiring specialty care with free or low-cost services. He regularly speaks about end-of-life issues across Oregon.