• Print Print
  • Share
  • Text Size: A | A | A

Sister Peter Claver Humanitarian Award

Meet Sister Peter Claver

Sister Peter Claver was a humanitarian in every sense of the word. Her leadership in health care was her avenue to serve, with compassion and humility, to better the lives of others.

Watch this video to learn more about this amazing leader, who for 33 years was an inspiration to her staff at Sacred Heart, and the Spokane community.

Nominations are in!

See the list of nominees below

The Sister Peter Claver Humanitarian Award is presented each year to an extraordinary person whose faith and good works inspire their colleagues, friends or families, and enrich the lives of others—especially the poor and vulnerable.

From 1964 to 1987, Sister Peter Claver was at the helm of Sacred Heart Medical Center, during a time when the hospital became the largest medical center in the Northwest. Her compassion for those who suffer—whether in body, mind or spirit—truly led her work, and as you can imagine, her desk light burned late into the night.

She took particular care to walk the halls of her beloved hospital daily, looking after her staff and the patients and families they served.

Past award recipients have made a difference by dedicating themselves to creating safer neighborhoods; providing medical or social services; providing outreach to underserved populations; working daily on behalf of children who live in poverty or are abused; or spiritually enriching or inspiring the lives of others.

The winner will be announced at a special dinner and awards ceremony, October 4 at the Spokane Convention Center, beginning at 5:30 pm; admission is $50. Call for tickets: (509) 474-4898.

Definition of Humanitarian

  • Having concern for, or helping to improve the welfare of people.
  • Pertaining to the saving of human lives or to the alleviation of suffering.
  • A person actively engaged in promoting human welfare and social reforms. 

2016 Sister Peter Claver Humanitarian Award Nominees

Patrick Barker

Dr. Patrick Barker demonstrates his dedication to the day-to-day practice of medicine through his voluntary governance positions in the Dominican and Providence health care systems, Foundation, and his faculty position with the University of Washington family practice residency program. In 1978, Dr. Barker was the first internist to open a practice in Colville and is the founding father of the cardiovascular imaging lab at Providence Mount Carmel Hospital. He has cared for thousands of patients with compassion, dignity and respect, regardless of their place in society, race or religion. He defines humanitarian by saving lives, alleviating suffering, having concern for people, and by being actively engaged in promoting the welfare of all people.

Hal and Sandy Goldberg

For the past eight years, Hal and Sandy Goldbergs, as founding members of Healing Hearts Northwest, have given tireless effort to enrich and save the lives of those in Rwanda who have rheumatic heart disease. It began with Hal’s exploratory trip to Rwanda in 2008. The following year, they pulled together the first team of 50 volunteers. Since then, Healing Hearts Northwest has provided lifesaving surgeries to some of Rwanda’s most vulnerable people. Beyond surgery, they seek to educate local Rwandan medical professionals, empowering them to provide better cardiac care. This couple has shown that helping others in need benefits not only those directly affected by this disease, but to the larger family and community in which they live.

Deb Harper

Pediatrician, Dr. Deb Harper is the lead physician at Providence Valley Young People’s Clinic. Her humanitarian endeavors range from health care access to public health to Girl Scouts. Deb has worked tirelessly to provide care to abused children as their physician and as an advocate in the challenging courtroom setting. For more than 20 years, Deb has served with the Child Advocacy Center now known as Partners with Family & Children. She is active on the Northwest Mediation Center board and is a founding board member of the Empire Health Foundation. Spokane’s resources and abilities to help children who have suffered through abuse and neglect have been shaped by Deb’s work and many improvements in our area can be directly linked to her. Deb’s example of committing her life’s work to children has a far reaching impact by influencing others to do the same.

Rob McCann

As executive director of Catholic Charities Spokane, Rob serves the most vulnerable and marginalized in our region through programs rooted in compassion. Rob is vigilant to ensure resources are provided in the area of greatest need; food, shelter, clothing, education, counseling, assistance to the elderly, single parents, children, victims of abuse, the homeless, and immigration services. Beyond his role in his work, Rob demonstrates his concern and care for those who are in greatest need. Rob has built nearly 1,000 residences for the homeless and poor, served thousands weekly in the house of charity and day care facilities, personally delivered food and supplies to disaster victims and has supported mental health needs through various programs. The list goes on and on because whatever the need, Rob is there.

Joy Milos, CSJ

Sr. Joy Milos engages in the local and global community in a variety of ways, including preparing meals for those who are hungry, building homes for the homeless, and raising awareness around environmental issues. Since 2005, she has been preparing meals weekly at the Women’s Hearth. Sister Joy commits a great deal of her time to St. Ann’s Catholic Parish, serving meals to the homeless and has initiated a program to explore environmental problems globally. As a Habit for Humanity board member, she worked on many houses in Spokane, Peru and Mexico on their behalf. She volunteers all of her free time to the poor and vulnerable while juggling a busy teaching schedule at Gonzaga University. Sister Joy’s compassion and respect for all whom she comes in contact with shines in everything she does.

Beth Plumbo

Beth Plumbo is a Chaplain at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center who specializes in Palliative Care. She cares for the most vulnerable patients and families who are coping with pain and life-limiting illness. Beth goes far above and beyond the typical role of the Chaplain to assist patients, families and colleagues in need. The best examples are during the hours of a family’s greatest need when the loss of a loved one is imminent, or after they have already lost a loved one and aren’t sure of which steps to take. Beth cares for these people with hope, compassion and respect. She is a skilled listener who compassionately allows others to grieve freely. Beth is an example of meeting the needs of the “whole” person. She lives out the Providence way.

Curt Shoemaker

Curt is an attorney by profession, a humanitarian at heart and a servant leader by nature. He has served on many boards and has dedicated his time to helping the needs of the Spokane Community. Curt’s involvement in various organizations (more than 15) and efforts in the community is outstanding. To name a few, he has organized participation in Rebuilding Together Spokane, helped found the Martin Luther King Center for disadvantaged children and worked with the St. Clair hotel and Albert House owners to create quality low income housing for the homeless. Curt has spent hours upon hours quietly helping people. His faith and compassion for the poor, vulnerable and suffering has led to action improvement for many people in the Spokane community.