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The Parkland Health Center Foundation hosted its second annual Foundation Celebration banquet at the Centene Center on Oct. 5. A highlight of the festive evening was the presentation of the Joyce Buchheit Excellence in Health Care Award to Dr. George Oliver.

The banquet was attended by foundation board members, hospital staff, and numerous colleagues, friends and family members of the honoree.

Dr. Oliver was selected for the prestigious Joyce Buchheit Excellence in Health Care Award following an exemplary career as a surgeon at Medical Arts Clinic from 1959 to 2001.

He was an active member of the group that founded Farmington Community Hospital, one of Parkland Health Center’s predecessors, and he served on the original governing board of the hospital, including terms as president, and he also served as chief of surgery at the hospital.

While he retired from surgical practice in 2001, Dr. Oliver continues to assist with medical care at Southeast Missouri Mental Health Center.

Born and raised in Richland, Dr. Oliver earned his AB Degree from Washington University and his MD from Washington University School of Medicine, graduating cum laude. He completed his internship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

He then served in the U.S. Army, Regimental Surgeon, 505th Airborne Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Following his service in the U.S. Army, he returned to complete his residency in surgery at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, and subsequently joined the staff at Medical Arts Clinic in Farmington.

In addition to Dr. Oliver’s instrumental role in health care in the Parkland region, he has been an instructor in surgery at Washington University in St. Louis. He was a founding member of the board of the Farmington Community Medical Foundation, now known as Parkland Health Center Foundation, and is a member of the St. Louis Surgical Society, having served terms on the governing board and as first vice president.

In addition, he is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons, and has served several years as chairman of American Surgeons of Missouri State Admissions Committee. He is a senior member of the Western Surgical Association and the Central Surgical Association.

He is a founding member of the board of the Central Surgical Foundation and is a member of the American Medical Association, Missouri State Medical Association and the Mineral Area Medical Society.

Dr. Oliver and his late wife, Barbara, have four grown children – Kay, Julie, Jeanne and David – as well as seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. All four children attended the banquet.

Tom Karl, president of Parkland Health Center, said, “I offer my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Oliver for this well-deserved honor. He has been an invaluable member of our medical community since 1959, and has made a significant impact on the development of health care in our region. We’ve been blessed he’s been here.”

Joyce Buchheit, the award’s namesake, is a member of the Parkland Health Center Foundation Board of Directors and the BJC HealthCare Board of Directors, as well as a past member of the Parkland Health Center Board of Directors.

Her leadership and contributions to the health care community were recognized in 2010 when the Missouri Hospital Association presented Buchheit with the Excellence in Governance Award.

Jill Colson, chairperson of the Parkland Health Center Foundation Board, said, “The board has made an excellent decision in honoring Dr. Oliver, and it was a pleasure to be a part of this memorable evening. Dr. Oliver is a vital part of the history of health care in our region.”

Parkland Health Center is part of BJC HealthCare which also includes St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the teaching hospitals for Washington University School of Medicine.


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