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Dr. Look Wins Adventist Health Physician of the Year Mission Award

Awards & Recognition

Media Contact:

Joshua Cowan, 707-339-0269,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dr. Look Wins Adventist Health Physician of the Year Mission Award

ST. HELENA, Calif. – October 25, 2010 – Dr. Rodney Look, M.D., chief of St. Helena Hospital’s emergency services, has been named an Adventist Health “mission-driven physician” and presented with a Physician of the Year Mission Award. He is one of 15 physicians so-honored at Adventist Health hospitals across the nation.

The Award Committee recognized Dr. Look for “creating an environment of Sacred Work for our patients, their families and our staff,” noting that he “establishes a quick rapport with his patients, asks if he can pray for them as he takes their pulse, creating a calm, healing environment. Whenever possible, he involves both the patient and their families in the process of diagnosis and treatment.”

A board-certified emergency medicine specialist, Dr. Look often invites loved ones to the patient’s bedside – even during a “code blue” emergency – to involve them in the decision-making process.

“Sometimes, at Dr. Look’s request, a meal prepared by the cafeteria suddenly arrives in the Emergency Department for staff members who have not had time to eat,” explained Michael Calkins, RN, St. Helena Hospital Emergency Department Coordinator and colleague. “He looks after our staff and he is always searching for new ways to improve patient care.”

A good example of Dr. Look’s patient-centered focus is St. Helena’s “No Wait ER” policy, which he implemented to insure a triage a nurse sees patients the moment they walk into the emergency room. To further enhance patient care, Dr. Look is taking the policy one step farther, according to Nurse Calkins: “by having us bring people directly into the treatment room when they arrive rather than wait for a triage nurse.” This compares to an average wait for treatment of nearly four hours in most emergency rooms.

For these policies and his caring approach to patients and staff, The Adventist Award Committee concluded that Dr. Look “exemplifies the mission of Adventist Health. He is a compassionate caregiver with high standards of care and excellent communications skills.”

A Personal Note: Following college, Dr. Look worked as an archaeologist in the Middle East and then served as a medical missionary in Nigeria, where he founded the Nigerian Prison Outreach program.

After extensive travel, he met his wife, Adair, and they decided to pursue medical degrees together. After finishing a Harvard-affiliated residency training program at Massachusetts General Hospital, he came west to St. Helena Hospital where he appreciates the opportunity to spend quality time with each patient who enters the ER.

Outside of work, Dr. Look has his hands full, literally, with three small children and a plethora of hobbies.

About St. Helena Hospital: With its many innovative wellness programs and other top quality healthcare services, including the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center and Coon Joint Replacement Institute, St. Helena Hospital, situated in the heart of the Napa Valley, is one of the nation’s premier healthcare destinations. The hospital serves Napa, Lake, Solano, Sonoma and Mendocino counties with cardiovascular, cancer, emergency, medical, surgical and behavioral health care. For more information, visit