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Helenka Marcinek, MD, receives North Star Award recognizing an outstanding local physician

Oct. 22, 2018

BEND, Ore. - Lauded as a “shining role model” for her personal growth mindset and for elevating the standards of emergency services in Central Oregon over the last three decades, Dr. Helenka Marcinek, medical director of AirLink Critical Care Transport and Bend Fire Department, is the recipient of this year’s North Star Award.

The award recognizes an actively practicing physician in the region whose work has been defined by compassionate patient care, professionalism and a commitment to improving the lives of Central Oregonians.

“She inspires all of our crew, sets the bar high and challenges mediocracy around her,” said Kathy Dyck, AirLink’s program director, in her letter nominating Marcinek for the award. “Dr. Marcinek will be the clinical crew’s biggest advocate or, when needed, its biggest accountability figure.”

A graduate of the University of Ottawa School of Medicine, Marcinek completed residencies there and at The Mayo Clinic and Emanuel Hospital and Health Center. She is board-certified in both emergency medicine and internal medicine. Marcinek is employed by Central Oregon Emergency Physicians and practices at St. Charles Bend.

“Dr. Marcinek has faithfully served St. Charles, our patients and our communities for over 30 years,” said Dr. Gillian Salton, in her letter nominating Marcinek. “Medicine has never been her job, it has been her lifetime calling, and continues to be so wherever she sees a need. She has elevated the standards of our EMS services to a level unparalleled in the country and ensured that those high standards carry over into our hospital.”

Marcinek was presented with the award at the St. Charles Foundation’s annual Saints Gala event on Oct. 20 at The Riverhouse. A $5,000 scholarship will also be awarded in her name to a high school senior who is pursuing education for a career in health care.

Past recipients of the award include Drs. Gary Frei in 2017, Robert Pinnick in 2016 and John Zachem in 2015.

“Recognizing the North Star Physician of the Year is one of the highlights of the St. Charles Foundation’s Saints Gala,” said Lisa Dobey, executive director of the St. Charles Foundation and community engagement. “Central Oregon is fortunate to have outstanding physicians such as Dr. Marcinek.”

About St. Charles Foundation

As the philanthropic arm of St. Charles Health System, the Foundation works to support and improve health care in Central and Eastern Oregon. Private donations raised by the Foundation allow St. Charles to build new medical facilities, purchase state-of-the-art medical equipment, keep pace with the latest technological advances and deliver exceptional patient care in a healing environment. The Foundation does more than just raise money for bricks and mortar. The organization also raises money to support many programs that benefit low-income and uninsured patients.