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John Halverson, Class of 1959, Inducted in 2002

Perhaps the best way to express John's achievements in the field of medicine is by the testimony of those whose lives he's touched. 

"When my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997, we knew there was only one doctor for the job," says Pete Hartman, John Halverson's friend and former classmate.  "With his great compassion, counseling, understanding and surgical skill, he saved her life.  Multiply our case by hundreds and you understand why I nominate Dr. John Halverson for entry into the F-M Hall of Distinction."

John graduated from Hamilton College and received his MD degree from the SUNY Health Science Center in Syracuse.  From there, he moved to St. Louis, completing both his surgical internship and residency at the Washington University School of Medicine. 

Except for two years spent in the military, John served for the next 24 years on the faculty of the school, along with maintaining a busy clinical practice.  John has his board certification from the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Surgery. 

He's also received several honors and awards, including the SUNY Student Fellowship Award, Missouri Heart Association Fellowship, and the James IV Association Traveling Fellow to the United Kingdom, France and Switzerland.

John's special surgical interests are in the area of GI and breast malignancies, as well as biliopancreatic, laparoscopic and bariatric surgery.  He's served on numerous committees and professional organizations.  He's a prolific presenter on medical topics, and is the author/co-author of dozens of journal articles, books and book chapters.

During these busy years in St. Louis, John, and his wife Petie, had four children:  David, Julie, Anne and James.  They seemed settled in their family life in Missouri.  But in 1991 John was recruited back to the medical school in Syracuse as Chief of General Surgery and Director of the Surgical Residency Program.

"I had mixed feelings about leaving," John says.  "But Syracuse was ready to commit to the future.  It was a chance to return to my home community and get a different kind of professional gratification.

"I was raised to believe that personal gratification involves some sort of service to the community.  I was inspired by terrific teachers who prepared me with a background that would take me into the future no matter where I went."

But the best part of all about being back in the community for John is having two of his children attend F-M.  "It's a superb school system with a diverse range of academic opportunities."

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