Elizabeth Hatfield-Keller M.D.
1959 - 2021
Elizabeth Hatfield-Keller M.D.
July 1, 1959 - Sept. 13, 2021
On Sept. 13, 2021, Elizabeth Hatfield-Keller passed away from a many-years-long battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her husband of 37 years, Greg Keller, and other members of her immediate family.
Liz was an Oregon Centennial baby born July 1, 1959. Her life epitomized Oregon's independent nature and the pioneer work-ethic. As a child Liz's love of science foreshadowed her career in medicine when, at age 10, she built a model of the human eyeball, learned and mastered every part of the "Human Vision System," and explained how sight worked to any adult willing to listen.
Her life's CV is filled with accomplishment and learning. Liz attended the University of Oregon completing degree work in psychology. She began working as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and then as a paramedic. She went on to nursing school at Linfield College/Good Samaritan Hospital, graduating in the first nursing class in 1984. After spending five years as first an Emergency Department (ED) nurse and then as the evening assistant head ED nurse, Liz realized that all along her life's desire was to go to medical school. At age 34, she earned a Medical Degree in1993 from Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).
Residency, fellowship, and awards followed. Liz spent 16 years as an Emergency Department physician at OHSU and then moved to the VA Hospital where she was an Emergency Department physician from 2012 until just before her death. She was also an assistant professor for the Department of Emergency Medicine at OHSU from 1997 till her death. Liz served as an associate Medical Director for Multnomah County Emergency Medical Services (EMS). So respected was Liz that her colleagues at the Oregon Health Authority renamed their EMS Medical Director of the Year Award the "Elizabeth Hatfield-Keller EMS award."
Liz was the Medical Director for Reed College's student health center for 20 years, recently stepping down because of her health. For those same 20 years, she was also a volunteer physician and the supervising physician for paramedics during the summer at the Washington Family Ranch Young Life camp in central Oregon. In addition, she served on Young Life's national medical advisory board.
Liz was also particularly proud and honored to serve on the board of directors for both the Oregon Historical Society and the Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington. Her leadership and service to the state of Oregon and beyond, made a mark alongside and stride for stride with those of her late father, Mark O. Hatfield. His example was the lesson she learned from and practiced perhaps the most of all: "service to others before self, protect life and save life at all levels of threat, show compassion to all, trust in faith and family."
Liz reminded us of all the goodness of humanity, and she had the capacity to find the humanity in everyone. Liz was there to receive, to comfort, to triage, to serve. She counseled people how to advocate for themselves and for their own health. She explained medicine and the wonder of the human body to her patients in the simplest of terms, with a compassionate understanding.
Liz wore many hats: Dr. Liz, wife, sister, aunt, daughter, cousin, caregiver, Oregonian, volunteer, nurse, medical director, assistant professor, Portlander, physician, mentor, diplomat, EMT, camp physician, counselor and perhaps the one most often used, "friend."
Elizabeth Hatfield-Keller is survived by her loving husband, Greg Keller of Portland, Ore.; her mother, Antoinette Hatfield of Portland; her brother, Mark O. Hatfield, Jr. (Kathleen) of Miami, Fla.; her sister, Theresa Hatfield Cooney (Manus) of Potomac, Md.; and her brother, Charles Vincent "Visko" Hatfield (Sharron) of Bantam, Conn. She also leaves behind 12 nieces and nephews, who have all been influenced by her path of achievement and who have been fostered by her medical advice. Liz was predeceased by her father, Mark O. Hatfield.
Liz is also survived by many teams of physicians, nurses and, first responders with whom she worked, learned, and grew.
Elizabeth Hatfield-Keller's life reminds us of all the strength of the human body and spirit, and of the fragility of life itself. May God rest her soul and comfort those who knew her and who loved her.
The family is planning a celebration of Liz's life later in the spring of 2022.
It was Liz's wish that any memorial tributes be made in the form of charitable contributions to Portland's own: Friends of Hopewell House, a residential hospice care facility; and The OHSU Knight Cancer Institute.
Please sign the online guest book at www.oregonlive.com/obits
Published by The Oregonian from Oct. 8 to Oct. 10, 2021.
To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Sponsored by The Family.
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13 Entries
We are saddened to hear of Liz's passing, and wish to express our deepest condolences. Biz and Ken
Ken Bizovi and Elizabeth Donohue
October 24, 2021
What a legacy and a life fully lived. Greg my thoughts of gratefulness include you and Elizabeth´s time together.
Patty Rueter
October 22, 2021
Liz was amazing. She was everything god would want in a human. I will miss her so very much. My prayers are being sent to her family, collogues, and friends.
Charmaine Kaptur
October 19, 2021
Liz was an inspiration as a fellow ER doc and human being always willing to volunteer her time and expertise. I will miss her!
Helenka Marcinek
October 14, 2021
I worked with Liz in the ED at OHSU, she was always a shining light to her patients and great to work with. My sincere condolences for your loss. May she Rest In Peace.
Michelle LaVina
October 13, 2021
Dear Greg, Antoinette, and family, I am so very sorry to hear of Elizabeth´s passing. My heart goes out to all of you, we send our deepest sympathy and love at this difficult time. What a wonderful life she led and shared with everyone! I have very fond memories of summers we shared in Oregon when we were young, we were up to many shenanigans. Please let me know when you have the memorial - hugs to all.
Joanne Polich Corrigan
October 11, 2021
We shared some patients and laughs. Your guidance taught me well. You will not be forgotten. RIP dear doctor. You've earned it.
Peter Chordas
October 11, 2021
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Raelene Jarvis
October 11, 2021
Dear Greg and Hatfield family, we are heartbroken to hear this news. Perk said it best tonight: Elizabeth was one of those special people you were proud just to talk to. It´s unimaginable that someone who´s given so much to others has to leave us way too soon. We send our love and prayers and thank you for sharing this incredible human being with us.
Sara and Perk Freeman
October 10, 2021
Elizabeth was wise, graceful and thoughtful. She inspired with her passion for medicine and the healing arts. She and Greg embraced the extended Hatfield staff family with appreciation. Her loss is immense.
Sue Hildick
October 10, 2021
After decades hearing about Liz, I got to work with her at the VA ER. What a great person, multitasking doc, and her smile. She made me feel empowered in medicine and like a friend. Please know that you made such a great impact on people like me. You are irreplaceable and missed. Robin
Robin Sterin
October 10, 2021
What a beautiful memorial for my dearest friend Liz. She was one of a kind and the most amazing person I know . She helped me to be who I am today in life and in my career as a nurse. I am so grateful we met in nursing school and quickly became such good friends. God Bless you all of her family and friends as we remember her in all we do throughout our lives. Sending love to you all.
Beth Gately
October 10, 2021
My sincere condolences to Elizabeth's family. Elizabeth is a model for all of us to give back at every opportunity.
Carol Gardner
October 9, 2021
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