St. Luke’s honors medical staff for exceptional care on National Doctor’s Day, March 30

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Dr. Jeff Viar and Janet Howell, PA-C of Foothills Medical Associates

Dr. Jeff Viar and Janet Howell, PA-C of Foothills Medical Associates

St. Luke’s is celebrating National Doctors’ Day – March 30 – by recognizing its outstanding group of men and women who are devoted to providing high quality healthcare with convenient access for the citizens of Polk County. Doctors’ Day is a national day of observance to pay tribute to physicians and their dedication to the health and welfare of their communities.

As one of only four North Carolina hospitals to recently receive a five-star patient satisfaction rating from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid, St. Luke’s Hospital plans to use National Doctors’ Day as another way to celebrate its award-winning staff. St. Luke’s staff encourages the community to join them in showing appreciation for its “outstanding and caring group of physicians who provide general, specialized and emergency care.”

“On Doctors’ Day, and every day, we appreciate our doctors’ commitment to providing quality patient care, continuing advancements in treatment, and encouraging health prevention and education,” Ken Shull, CEO of St. Luke’s Hospital, said. “We can provide exceptional care because we have exceptional doctors.”

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National Doctors’ Day was initiated in 1935 by the Southern Medical Auxiliary. March 30 was the day Dr. Crawford Long, a renowned physician in Georgia, first used ether anesthesia in surgery. The year was 1842 when Dr. Long administered sulfuric ether on a towel to a 21-year-old patient in order to remove a tumor on the back of his neck. The patient, James Venable, inhaled the ether during the entire operation. Since he never experienced the slightest pain, Mr. Venable was doubtful the operation took place, until he saw the removed cyst.

“Medical care has come a long way over the years,” Shull said. “We’ve experienced tremendous advancements in diagnosing and treating patients, and that, in large part, is due to compassion and commitment physicians feel for their patients.”

St. Luke’s Hospital is encouraging the community to join administration and staff in appreciating its medical staff by sending messages of thanks through email to or by postal service to 101 Hospital Drive, Columbus, NC 28722.

-Submitted by Kathy Woodham