Ellen C. Lowe Community Advocate Award

​Created in 2007, the Ellen C. Lowe Community Advocate Award honors a community member for his or her unique and continuous support of your hospital's mission and/or the health of your community. We are seeking nominees that possess compassion, understanding and wisdom, and a clear vision to see to the care of community issues. He or she should be a public citizen: this award is meant for a community member and not a hospital employee.

Nominations for the award are currently closed.

Past Award Recipients

2007: Ellen C. Lowe

Veteran community advocate and lobbyist Ellen Lowe has worked in advocacy since the 1970s on behalf of the League of Women Voters, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. She was the inaugural recipient of the award named in her honor.

2008: Judie Foreman

Judie Foreman became a health care advocate after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990. Since that time, she has been an outspoken advocate of breast cancer awareness. She was a patient educator at Salem Health, and was often a speaker for the American Cancer Society.

2009: Betty Johnson

A health care advocate for more than 30 years, both professionally and personally, Betty Johnson began her health advocacy career as director of the Area Agency on Aging for Linn and Benton Social Services in 1972. She then helped found and operate the Benton Hospice Service. Johnson was active with the Oregon Health Action Campaign Advocacy Group and Mid-Valley Health Care Associates, and was a regular face in Salem advocating for her community.

2010: Lynn Read

Over her 30 year career with Oregon’s Department of Human Services, Lynn Read held many positions, including field medical worker, education coordinator, and policy and program manager. She was project director for the design, development and implementation of the Oregon Health Plan. In retirement, she continued to serve Oregonians as deputy and interim administrator for the Department of Medical Assistance Programs. She passed away in December 2011.

2011: R. Mike Shirtcliff, DMD

Dr. R. Mike Shirtcliff served on the Medicaid Advisory Committee for Oregon, chaired the Oregon Health Plan Medical Committee, and was a member of the Healthy Kids Advisory Committee and Oregon Health Transformation Team, among others. His primary focus has been increasing access to Oregonians living in poverty and addressing the responsibility of health care professionals to become a part of integrated care.

2012: Duncan Wyse

In his role as president of the Oregon Business Council, Duncan Wyse worked with the health care community to effectively keep the conversation about moderating health care costs at the forefront of the business community’s public policy agenda. He challenged the health care community to “bend the cost curve,” leading to the formation of the Oregon Health Leadership Council, an influential group comprised of health system and hospital leaders, health plan executives and physicians.


No award was given in 2013.

2014: Jill Gibson

Jill Gibson was the chief petitioner for the Right to Work measure, which allowed Oregon hospitals to amplify their mission to serve their communities. As a result of her work, hospitals were able to invest in public awareness of hospital efforts toward transformation and other proactive efforts to serve Oregonians in a meaningful way.

Media Contact Info

Philip Schmidt
Associate Vice President for Public Affairs
Direct: (503) 479-6020

Andy Van Pelt
Executive Vice President
Direct: (503) 479-6018