When Dr. David Faddis walks out of surgery for the last time later this month, his presence in the operating room may be gone but hospital officials say the legacy he created with the Samaritan Medical Group Breast Center will enrich patients for years to come at the Samaritan Pastega Resource Cancer Center.
“He brought structure and focus to the care of breast cancer patients across the system,” said Barbara Croney, VP of ancillary services-academic affairs. “He joined us with a vision for a breast center, and then to see the vision come to fruition before he retired, it’s really rewarding.”
Currently, Samaritan’s cancer center sees nearly all of the Mid-Valley’s breast cancer patients. Staff members credit Faddis’ temperament and professionalism with much of that success.
“I think the first thing to know about him is he has an amazing bedside manner,” said Christina Lee, physician assistant. “He immediately can put people at ease with his quick wit. He has a great sense of humor.”
Faddis’ interest in fighting breast cancer can be traced back to his mother’s battle with the disease nearly 50 years ago.
“I think that is probably what influenced my career tract,” Faddis said.
Faddis sees tremendous advancements in the field from when his mother was recovering from her cancer treatments a half century ago.
“I think we know a lot more about breast cancer,” Faddis said. “We know when not to treat it aggressively and we know who needs the aggressive treatments.
“The survival rate has definitely improved over the time I started practicing,” added Faddis, who grew up in Southern California and established a private practice in Pasadena before moving to Corvallis in 2005.
“I came out of training as a surgical oncologist in the community hospital environment,” Faddis said. “Most surgical oncologists were also going to be doing general surgery.”
Working in Corvallis, Faddis did his fair share of general and trauma surgeries. During one shift, Faddis saw a patient who had been misdiagnosed twice elsewhere with appendicitis. After that successful surgery, the patient was so grateful that when she needed her gallbladder removed, she specifically requested Dr. Faddis as her surgeon.
“He’s just very human. He’ll sit at the bedside and talk to patients in the hospital, really sit down and grab their hand and talk to them.” Lee said. “I think patients feel that he’s like them. He’s a normal person.”
Outside of the hospital, Faddis has been involved as a musician playing bass for church worship teams and pop and R&B music at local venues.
Faddis has participated in service projects for a group called Faith in Practice, which led him to Guatemala three times to assist in surgeries
“The medical teams from Corvallis would go down two to three weeks beforehand, find the folks that needed the surgery and then bring them into the hospital in Antigua,” Faddis said. “It was a combined effort.”
The person responsible for enlisting Faddis in this venture was Dr. Peter Hinkle.
“He’s the one who got this going,” Faddis said. “And interestingly, he’s my inlaw now because his son married my daughter.”
Six years ago, Faddis led the efforts in the accreditation program with the Board National Accreditation Program of Breast Centers.
“It’s an important accreditation that not all hospitals across the country are able to obtain,” Croney said. The program received reaccreditation three years ago.
After his retirement announcement went public, Faddis has been showered with cards from friends and former patients.
“It’s bittersweet,” Faddis said of his retirement. “I have been blessed. I’m probably going to miss most, the interaction with the patients.”
“I’m a believer, and I don’t know how anybody does what I do without that,” Faddis said. “Without spiritual foundation, people tend to take on issues, problems, complications alone. I am thankful that I didn’t have to do that over all these years. I have to say anything good about me is God’s fault.”
In retirement Faddis plans on enjoying time with his family which includes his three grandchildren. He also wants to concentrate on hobbies like biking, fishing and snow skiing.
Music is also in Faddis’ retirement plans. He currently plays bass in a band called Side Hustle.
“We have to keep our day jobs,” Faddis joked.
Several of the band members have ties to Samaritan, including Becky Byrd, Dan Riker, Tim Gertson, Paul Smith and Phil Esclanar.
“I really like these individuals,“ Faddis said. “All better musicians than me.”
Side Hustle will be performing at Common Fields on Jan. 14 and at Bombs Away Café on Jan. 29.