Long-standing Oregon osteopathic physician Birdie Eugenie Willis, DO, practiced for more than 30 years in the Woodstock region of Portland. She earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Chicago College of Osteopathy in 1968 and completed her internship at Portland Osteopathic Hospital.

“No one was ever refused service and I gave full service to the best of my ability,” Dr. Willis said in an interview published in 2012 on the Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons of Oregon (OPSO) website. “I delivered babies, assisted in surgery and performed surgery, held hands and slapped them when necessary, and was available to my patients 24/7 until 2004.”

Answering to Birdie or Genie, Dr. Willis’s interests spanned from raising bees to women’s health and education. Dr. Willis gave not only her time back to her community, but contributed to scholarships for women in osteopathic medicine so she could help others who aspire to become osteopathic physicians, according to OPSO.

Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific and COMP-Northwest Dean Paula Crone, DO ’92, was one of Dr. Willis’ scholarship recipients as a fourth-year COMP student.

“She truly loved osteopathic medicine and was so proud when COMP-Northwest opened,” Crone said. “And she always, always supported students with scholarships.”

Dr. Willis passed away in December 2019. Her legacy of caring, compassion and mentorship will continue with her gift to WesternU to create the Birdie Willis Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund. This will fund Birdie Willis Memorial Scholarships for COMP-Northwest students.

“We will make sure her legacy is well honored and that those that are rising up behind her get the opportunities she spent her life working so hard for,” Crone said.