Dr. Lowell Euhus, a longtime and now retired family physician serving Enterprise and all of Wallowa County, was honored Thursday, Jan. 9, when the Rotary Club of Wallowa County presented its Rotary Club Quarterly Award for his years of service.
The presentation was made during the regular Rotary luncheon meeting at St. Katherine of Siena Catholic Church in Enterprise.
The plaque presented read, “This award recognizes your exemplary service for profound contributions to the medical profession, rural areas across Oregon, especially the communities and people of Wallowa County.”
Euhus retired in 2005 after 33 years meeting the county’s medical needs. At one point in the 1980s, said Rotarian Rich Wandschneider, Euhus and Dr. Scott Siebe handled virtually all the emergency room calls at Wallowa Memorial Hospital.
After efforts by Euhus and others to recruit other physicians from Oregon Health and Sciences University and elsewhere, that number has grown. Now there are nine physicians available.
Wandscheider didn’t have all the details at hand, but said part of the increase in medical care in the county was after the Oregon Rural Health Coordinating Council got a program established at the Oregon Health and Sciences University to benefit rural communities by implementing a two-month rotational service for resident physicians. That rotation started with Enterprise, Wandschneider said.
Euhus also pushed for the formation of the county health care district and health care foundation and recommended a new hospital long before anyone thought it was feasible, according to a Chieftain story from the time of his retirement.
He is a 1968 graduate of the University of Oregon Medical School, served an internship in San Bernardino, Calif., and served three years in the U.S. Navy, stationed most of the time at the naval hospital in Yokosuka, Japan.
When he started seeking a place to practice, Wallowa County was at the top of his list having discovered it during a 1967 backpacking trip here while studying at the UO. He soon joined Dr. Harley Scholz in a practice that they they named Winding Waters Clinic.