Richard Church earns 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon Foundation Alumni Relations Manager Meghan Blood, Valley Catholic School President Bob Weber, Myrna Church and Ministries Corporation President Sr. Adele Marie Altenhofen display the Distinguished Alumni Award presented last week to Dr. Richard Church.A physician specializing in emergency medicine is the recipient of the 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award from Valley Catholic School.

Dr. Richard Church is an attending physician at the University and Memorial campuses of the UMass Memorial Medical Center. He was recently promoted to assistant residency director of the emergency medicine residence at the University of Massachusetts.

Church, who graduated from Valley Catholic in 1995, was a member of the school’s first coed graduating class. While at Valley Catholic, he participated in athletics, student government and music. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Dr. Richard Church, a 1995 Valley Catholic graduate, was unable to attend the Jan. 29 award presentation, so his mother Myrna Church accepted the honor on his behalf.

One of Church’s former teachers remembers the strong writing skills he developed while at Valley Catholic, saying, “If he ever gets tired of being an emergency room doctor, he could easily pursue a career in writing. He was that good.”

After graduating from Valley Catholic, Church attended St. Olaf College in Minnesota before earning his doctor of medicine degree from Tufts University in 2004.

Church and his wife Julie live in Franklin, Mass., with their two children, Delanie, 6, and Grayson, 3. They are expecting their third child in May.

Church, who was unable to accept the award in person, sent a video message to students, faculty and staff. His mother, Myrna Church, accepted the award on his behalf during an all-school Mass and assembly on Jan. 29.

Myrna Church served in the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon infirmary for many years. She continues to volunteer at the SSMO convent and in the emergency room at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center.

Founded by the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon and known for many years as St. Mary of the Valley School, Valley Catholic School is Oregon’s only pre-K through grade 12 Catholic school system. It is located on the SSMO campus in Beaverton.

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