News Release

Dr. Joseph Matthews honored with 2009 Physician Legacy Award

CHICO, Calif., Dec. 31, 2009 – Joseph Matthews, MD, has been selected by the Medical Executive Committee at Enloe Medical Center to receive the 2009 Enloe Physician Legacy Award. The award recognizes members of the Enloe Medical Staff for exceptional service, leadership and performance in medicine and the community. The Medical Executive Committee is composed of Medical Staff members who have been elected by their peers to lead the Medical Staff at Enloe Medical Center.

Dr. Matthews, a colorectal and general surgeon on the Enloe Medical Staff since 1983, was recognized for his unparalleled spirit of service. He is a physician member of the Enloe Board of Trustees, where he has served since Jan. 2007, and a member of Enloe’s Planetree Leadership Team, which identifies and facilitates processes that humanize, personalize and demystify the experience of health care. He also heads the Planetree Medical Advisory Team (PMAT). PMAT works to improve understanding of Planetree efforts at Enloe Medical Center, champions Planetree initiatives and advises administration about strategies for pursuing official Patient-Centered designation by the Joint Commission.

Dr. Matthews’ many other leadership roles have included Enloe’s Chief of Staff and chair of Enloe’s Quality Committee, Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, and the Surgery Department. In 1997, Dr. Matthews was the first recipient of Enloe’s Circle of Champions Award, recognizing commitment to one’s profession, volunteer leadership, family and service to the community. He was presented with an Outstanding Community Service Award in 2004 at the annual Enloe Board Recognition Dinner.

In addition, Dr. Matthews has a long record of involvement in the community. He is currently the medical director for the Boy Scouts of America Camp Lassen in Butte Meadows; was a Boy Scout Leader for Troop 2, Chico’s oldest Boy Scout Troop; and in 2003 received the Distinguished Citizen of the Boy Scouts of America, Golden Empire Council.

Dr. Matthews was nominated for the Physician Legacy Award 22 times in five years, with 12 nominations this year. Excerpts from his nominations include: “Dr. Matthews is a role model for all of us in servant leadership.” and “I appreciate his willingness to be a positive change agent.” A physician nominating Dr. Matthews said, “He has tirelessly worked in all capacities I can imagine for the hospital”.

Dr. Matthews received his medical degree from Boston University of Medicine. He completed his residency for general surgery at David Grant USAF Medical Center (California) and his fellowship at the Washington University School of Medicine (Missouri). Dr. Matthews is board certified by the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery and the American Board of Surgery.

Past recipients of the Physician Legacy Award were Terrance Fraters, MD, Joseph Chiapella, MD, Jimmy Roberts, MD, Walter Mazen, Sr., MD, James Wood, MD, and Donald Heithecker, MD. The selection process includes a review of nominations made by Enloe Medical Staff members, administrators, employees, volunteers and community members. The Medical Executive Committee makes the final decision and presents the award. Criteria includes an Enloe physician whose leadership at the hospital and in the community both locally and at large has changed our world for the better; who has been a member of the medical staff for more than one year; and who has excellent clinical knowledge and skill.

Media Contact:

Christina Chavira
Communications Specialist, Enloe Medical Center
530.332.5589 office; 530.588.4411 cell


Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at   Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif.  95926.

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