David E. Sullivan, M.D.
1914 - 2013
David Eugene Sullivan MD passed away on September 29, 2013 in Spokane, WA. Dr. Sullivan was 99 years old. Dr. Sullivan was born on August 5, 1914 in Billings, MT. He grew up in Portland, OR where he attended Columbia Preparatory and graduated from the University of Portland. Dr. Sullivan graduated from Oregon Health Sciences University where he met and married Alice Elvena Schaefer who graduated from the University of Oregon Nursing School and Public Health Program. They celebrated 73 years together this past June. Dr. Sullivan served in the US Navy from 1941 to 1946 as a flight surgeon. He initially served on the carrier USS Card in the Atlantic. The Card was assigned to destroy U-Boats and was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for destroying more than any other ship. Dr. Sullivan later served as Senior Medical officer on the USS Saratoga in the Pacific. In addition to the World War II Victory Medal, he was awarded all three theater medals: American, European-African-Middle Eastern and Asiatic-Pacific.
He would complete his medical training after WWII by doing residency training in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Kansas, McGill University in Montreal and Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Sullivan was the first Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon to practice in Spokane. He did most of his work at St. Lukeís Memorial Hospital and closed his own office in 1979 after 30 years. He performed surgery until his late 70ís focusing primarily on patients at the Veteranís Hospital and Shrinerís Childrenís Hospital. He also quietly volunteered time for the House of Charity Clinic for a number of years. Dr. Sullivan was one of the surgeons who developed the modern surgical techniques for repairing cleft palates in children and taught other surgeons around the world how to perform the procedure. Of all his accomplishments during his life, he said he was most proud of the cleft lips and palates he repaired. Dr. Sullivan was a member of many national, state and local professional societies. He had many articles published in medical journals. He was also a member of Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honorary fraternity. The American society of Plastic Surgery honored him by electing him an officer and later a trustee.