Orthopedic physicians killed in Tulsa shooting remembered by community


Two orthopedic physicians who were killed in a mass shooting at Tulsa, Okla.-based Saint Francis Health System on June 1 are being remembered for the care they gave in and outside their clinical work.

Spine surgeon Preston Phillips, MD, and sports medicine specialist Stephanie Husen, DO, were killed in a mass shooting at the hospital, Tulsa police said at a June 2 news conference.

Dr. Phillips was remembered by Saint Francis Health System CEO Cliff Robertson, MD, for his dedication to his work and care for patients.

"He is a man that we should all strive to emulate," Dr. Robertson said during the news conference. "He's one of those folks that tends to his clinic and cannot always be on time because he will spend every minute with patients that they need. He is one of those doctors that was cut from the cloth of four decades ago in terms of how he felt about people and how he felt about his calling. Not only is it a shock, it is the ultimate loss for Saint Francis and for Tulsa."

Outside of work, Dr. Phillips was remembered as "the best type of neighbor," his neighbors Paul and Patti Bernius told The Oklahoman in a June 2 report. He was also an avid jazz fan, The Oklahoman reported.

Like Dr. Phillips, Dr. Husen was also remembered as a friend to her neighbors. A neighbor told The Oklahoman that Dr. Husen was often seen walking her dog and gave free medical advice to people she met on walks.

Cindy Henry-Welch, a former colleague and nurse, described Dr. Husen as "truly amazing," according to a June 2 Tulsa World report.

"Some doctors have that personality where they're just a little bit better than the rest of us — but Dr. Husen was down to earth and the sweetest person," Ms. Henry-Welch said.

Felix Savoie III, MD, president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, remembered the two and mourned with the Tulsa community in a June 2 statement.

"We are heartbroken to learn of the death of our friend and colleague Preston Phillips, MD, along with his colleague, Stephanie Husen, DO, administrative staff member Amanda Glenn and patient William Love," Dr. Savoie wrote. "We offer condolences to their families, patients, hospital staff and the entire Tulsa community. What's more, we remain steadfast to helping ensure our practices and orthopedic healthcare centers remain places of comfort, healing and learning. Workplace violence is unfathomable, unacceptable and must be stopped."

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