The power of place: through volunteering

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Chesnutt with his family.Dr. James "Jim" Chesnutt lives in the Arnold Creek neighborhood with his wife, Karin, and three children who have attended Stephenson Elementary School and Jackson Middle School. Erika graduated from Wilson High School and is a senior at the University of Oregon. Kristin graduated from Wilson and is a freshman at Stanford University and Matthew is a sophomore at Westside Christian High School in Lake Oswego.

Jim Chesnutt’s parents still live in the house where he and his two brothers grew up. Graduating from Wilson, all three brothers learned to give back to support the highest quality of public education in their community.

Jim and Karin Chesnutt have been volunteering in local schools for years. Both are active in music and youth programs with the community of Faith Lutheran Church in Tualatin and were volunteer basketball and soccer coaches for 10 years. A gifted musician and graduate of Stanford University, Karin Chesnutt has been involved with a variety of music programs in Wilson cluster schools, including producing musicals and accompanying the school’s choirs.

Jim Chesnutt graduated from Stanford University, then Oregon Health Sciences University Medical School with a residency in the U.S. Air Force. He joined the OHSU faculty in family medicine in 1995 and is the medical director of the Sports Medicine Program at South Waterfront.

Advising Portland Public Schools and the Oregon School Activities Association for student sports health and safety, Jim Chesnutt has been the volunteer team physician at Wilson for the last 18 years. In 2009, the Portland Interscholastic League named him as the recipient of the Robert Blanchard Distinguished Service award.

Mike Clopton, retired Wilson athletic director and current Wilson baseball coach, values his efforts.

“He came along at the time when we had lost the trainer program and needed some help for our athletes,” Clopton said. “Jim has always been available and has provided countless and invaluable volunteer hours to help our students and the Wilson Athletic Department.”

Jim Chesnutt believes he has been blessed with many great opportunities and he wants to share that with others “to help improve their lives and help them to reach for their dreams.”

“Volunteering is giving freely to society to help provide the resources and role models that help kids grow up in a supportive and loving environment in ways that enhance opportunities and exposures beyond the home and school,” he said.

“This not only helps those that receive the service you donate but also enriches our lives, making us less self-focused and more community minded. Ultimately our society is more cohesive and friendly for all those involved if we volunteer.”

Do you know a volunteer who deserves some recognition? Send the name and contact information for the volunteer with details about his or her work to Linda Doyle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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