Peace Health Medical Group
Class of 1983
Ms. Sylvia Gregory is a graduate of the University of Colorado and the Duke University PA Program. She completed a postgraduate residency in emergency medicine in 1992 at Los Angeles County/University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.
Ms. Gregory’s contributions include serving the medical needs of the indigent population of Eugene, Oregon through her work at White Bird Medical Clinic in 1987-88 and 1990-91. She became fluent in Spanish in the mid-1980s when she began seeing Central American refugees in her work at White Bird Clinic and learned of their tragic personal histories facing the death squads in Central America. This led to her volunteering to accompany returning Salvadoran refugees in very remote war zone areas of El Salvador in 1988-89. She lived and worked with these destitute refugees during their first year of reconstruction of their bombed out village of Teosinte, El Salvador, and became deeply aware of the daily reality for these people—bombs falling all around them, army troops invading the community every third day, including various death squads, helicopter gunships with machine guns poised to shoot into their meager mud shacks, and grinding poverty.
Inspired by the people’s extraordinary and heroic hope, love and determination to create a better future for their children, upon return to the United States in 1989, Ms. Gregory vowed to always work with the community to assist them in their rise out of poverty. She founded the nonprofit organization, Women’s Empowerment Partnership, whose purpose is to assist the community in their efforts to rise out of poverty. The organization supports the salaries of two community members who have been taught some basic medical skills, supplies all community members with year-round supplies of medication, gives a “social security” stipend to all persons over 65 years of age, gives scholarships to all youth who wish to study beyond the eighth grade, including youth who wish to study at the university, has given grants to the community to repair the only dirt road that allows access in and out of the community and has assisted with various economic development projects. Ms. Gregory has continued to work with Teosinte, El Salvador for the past 14 years. She volunteers her time with the Women’s Empowerment Partnership performing administrative and fundraising duties and coordinates all communication with the community in Spanish. She travels to the community once or twice a year, using her vacation time for this work.
Ms. Gregory received the International Physician Assistant of the Year Award in 1991 from the American Academy of Physician Assistants for her work in El Salvador and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Physician Assistant Program in Duke University Medical Center in 1996 for humanitarian service.