I first encountered Deb Robertson, the valley Woman of the Year, about a quarter-century ago when she was an eager med student and I was a shiny intern, both of us striving. At the time, I had no idea how she would impact my life but I was impressed by her gregarious nature, intelligence and work ethic. I discovered she was an accomplished mountaineer, having climbed dizzying routes in the Cascades, Andes, Alaskan and Himalayan ranges. She is one of a handful of women to climb Broad Peak in Pakistan, an 8,000-meter stack of cold granite. After becoming a physician, she returned to the Himalaya, volunteering at a medical clinic in Nepal. 

I will be forever in debt to Deb because, 10 years ago, she helped me land a job at St. Luke’s Wood River. Deb has a confident, almost superhuman mental strength, unusual for a person so warm and compassionate.  Honestly, I have never met anyone more unselfish than Deb; she pours her soul into everything she does.  A recent study showed that female doctors have superior patient outcomes and I was not surprised, having worked with physicians like Deb. 

I am honored to call her a colleague and blessed to call her a friend. 

Brent Russell

Emergency physician

St. Luke’s Wood River

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