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Mid-South Hero: Anesthesiologist spends decades giving back

Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 10:34 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A caring family man, with a passion for giving back to those less fortunate, are highlights of this month’s Mid-South Hero.

IBM sales seemed like a natural choice when Jim West graduated with a business degree from Memphis State University in 1973. But it didn’t take long for him to realize, that his heart wasn’t in it.

Jim’s true passion for helping others lead him to medical school.

It was there he found a path in anesthesiology, and, eventually, the opportunity to work with liver transplant patients.

“Liver transplants – every case is a challenge. Every case is different... makes me be able to use everything I’ve learned over the years to try to do a good job,” Dr. West said.

Dr. West currently serves as the Director of Transplant Anesthesiology at Methodist Healthcare, for the James Eason Transplant Institute. But his expertise reaches far beyond Memphis. With mission trips to Peru and Haiti, Dr. West has worked to train other physicians and provide routine medical care to those in need.

“Sometimes the most rewarding or the most valuable thing you can do are the things that touch a lot of people at one time that probably never even know your name,” Dr. West said.

In addition to his work overseas, charities closer to home are also important to Dr. West. Organizations like the Young Women’s Christian Association.

“Of all the organizations that do help women, they’re the only organization that has 24 hour rescue service for domestic violence,” Dr. West said.

Additionally, his time at St. Jude has prompted decades of giving to children with cancer.

“I’ve, through the help of many of my partners been able to raise enough money to grant a wish for a child every year around Christmas time through make a wish of the Mid-South for probably at least the last 20 years,” Dr. West said.

West’s determination to become a doctor has now transformed into a determination to use those talents to help those around him.

“To whom much is given, much is expected, and I’ve really been very fortunate…and I think when you receive those things - not everybody’s lucky enough to receive them – I think it’s important to give back and to use those gifts that you’re given for good,” Dr. West said.

Making the Mid-South a better place through thoughtful, caring work, congratulations Dr. Jim West you are this month’s Mid-South Hero

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