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SEATTLE, Wash. - (Nov. 20, 2007) - Virginia Mason Medical Center recognizes Travis and Suzy Keeler with the 2007 Meurk Distinguished Service Award for nearly 30 years of volunteer service. The award is given yearly to outstanding individuals for their service to the medical center. The couple served in numerous capacities to support the organization, including board appointments and fundraising campaigns over the years.

"I tell anybody that listens I got a lot more out of volunteering than I ever imagined … It is certainly something that I value being a part of and plan to continue. I think that you can't be a part of an organization like VM given its mission without being very impressed with the quality of people and making a commitment to help," Travis Keeler remarked.

Travis and Suzy Keeler began their service to Virginia Mason in 1977, when Travis joined the Board of Directors for the Virginia Mason Research Center. In the midst of this board service, he chaired the Associates Program, the Virginia Mason Foundation's annual fund program. He went on to be a Foundation board member, as well as serving terms as the treasurer, vice president and president of the Foundation board. He served on the Virginia Mason Hospital Board, the Hospital Board's executive committee, the Virginia Mason Health Systems Board and Finance Committee, and the Virginia Mason Medical Center's Board of Governors. Today, he continues to serve as a Foundation board member.

"The leadership and number of hours that Travis and Suzy have given to Virginia Mason is truly immense. We are extremely grateful for their commitment and gift of time to Virginia Mason. They have contributed tirelessly of themselves and their resources. It is for all these reasons that they have been selected as the 2007 recipients of the Meurk Distinguished Service Award," said Michael Vanderhoef, president of the Virginia Mason Foundation.

The Meurk Distinguished Service Award was established in 2000 by the Virginia Mason Foundation board. The award was named in honor of long-time friends and supporters of Virginia Mason, Jackie and Carl Meurk.

Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a non-profit comprehensive regional health care system that combines a primary and specialty care group practice of more than 400 physicians with a 336-bed acute care hospital in Seattle. In addition, Virginia Mason has a network of clinics located throughout the Puget Sound area, and manages Bailey-Boushay House, a nursing residence and adult day health program for people living with HIV and AIDS. Virginia Mason also has an internationally recognized research center, Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason.

Alisha Mark
Media Relations
(206) 341-1509

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