PeaceHealth Names Two ‘Physician of Excellence’ for 2014


The Medical Staff of PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center has honored Dag Jensen, MD, an interventional radiologist, and general surgeon Michael Pietro, MD, as “Physicians of Excellence” for 2014. 

Dr. Jensen graduated from Loma Linda University School of Medicine, where he also completed his residency and fellowship. He joined PeaceHealth in 1991 and divides his time between PeaceHealth St. Joseph, PeaceHealth Peace Island Medical Center on San Juan Island, and PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center in Alaska. A trained surgeon, Dr. Jensen is board-certified in vascular and interventional radiology. He is also fluent in Norwegian. 

Dr. Pietro, who also serves both PeaceHealth St. Joseph and Peace Island, is a board-certified general surgeon who graduated from Vanderbilt University’s medical school. He completed his internship and residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle. Dr. Pietro has been on staff at PeaceHealth since 1992.​

Both physicians were honored by their colleagues with nomination letters that cited their leadership, dedication and skilled, compassionate care.

Sara Mostad, MD, PhD, said of Dr. Pietro “I really appreciate working side-by-side with him. He is smart and committed and cares that the right things get done for patients.”

Terri Christy, RN, who led the effort to have PeaceHealth St. Joseph certified as a Level II Trauma Center in order to treat more emergency patients locally, praised Dr. Pietro as the “physician champion” who led the process. “There were many difficult and laborious discussions and he always had a great attitude and professional demeanor.”

Dr. Jensen was praised by fellow physicians Mark Zarzycki and Jason Stoane for his “can-do attitude, willingness to help” and as “one of the most talented, dedicated and courageous physicians I have ever met.”

Mark Owings, MD, PhD, who also nominated Dr. Jensen, said “his technical expertise is unsurpassed” and acknowledged his philanthropic work as well as Dr. Jensen’s compassion. “He encounters patients at the most stressful time – when they know something may be terribly wrong, but they don’t yet know what, or what the prognosis may be – and he immediately establishes rapport, putting patients at ease.”

Dr. Jensen and Dr. Pietro were honored at the annual Medical Staff dinner hosted by PeaceHealth on Jan. 14.  This year’s nominees included: Ken Bachenberg, MD; Valerie Behrndt, MD; Jim Bochsler, MD; Steven Bruce, MD; David Cahalan, MD; Andrew Coletti, MD; James Douglas, MD; Tony Gargano, MD; Emir Gharaei, MD; Martha Gilham, MD; Eduardo Goo, MD; Tung Ha, MD; Amy Harley, MD; Michael Higgins, MD; Will Hong, MD; Allen Johnson, MD; Bree Johnston, MD; Mark Lindenbaum, MD, PhD; David Lynch, MD; John MacGregor, MD; Doug Madsen, MD; Larry Moss, MD; Sara Mostad, MD; Ward Naviaux, MD; Mark Owings, MD, PhD; Dana Petersen, MD; Lora Sherman, MD; Benjamin Siemanowski, MD;  Peter Telfer, MD; Robert Watson, MD; and Eric Williams, MD.

Previous recipients of the “Physician of Excellence” honor, first presented in 2007, are:  in 2013, Donald Berry, MD, and Lora Sherman, MD; 2012, Gary Smith, MD; 2011, Ian Thompson, MD and Hull “Cactus” Cook, MD; 2010, Marvin Wayne, MD and Emily Gibson, MD; 2009, Claire Beiser, MD and Kenneth Bachenberg, MD; 2008, William Lombard, MD and Marcy Hipskind, MD; and 2007, Margaret Jacobson, MD and Kenneth Gass, MD.