Barbara Gunter Flynn, pioneering Washington State physician assistant and director of the Spokane training site for MEDEX Northwest, died from cancer on Sunday, September 1. She was 51.
In 1992 Flynn joined the MEDEX program to develop its new training site in Yakima, Wash. She was responsible for the extensive community contacts including involvement in achieving the first state legislative support for physician assistant training. Flynn also worked actively with the medical community in Eastern Washington to develop clinical training experiences in rural and medically underserved communities. After four years in Yakima, Flynn and her husband Steve moved to Spokane in 1997 where she was equally successful in the development of the MEDEX Spokane site.
Flynn was the first physician assistant to be a member of the Washington State Medical Association. She was also the first recipient of the MEDEX Alumni Associations Outstanding Educator Award.
Flynn received her initial training in the U.S. Coast Guard where she was one of the few females to serve as a medical corps person. She graduated from Seattle Pacific University in 1977 with a B.A. in biology prior to entering the MEDEX program in 1978. Flynn served as a physician assistant and later as an administrator for the Washington Department of Corrections in Monroe, Walla Walla, and Olympia. She was the first female physician assistant to work in the Washington State Corrections system.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, September 7, 2002 at 11 a.m. at the Boulevard Park Presbyterian Church, 1822 S. 128th, Burien, Wash. Memorial contributions in lieu of flowers may be sent to:
MEDEX Northwest Barbara Gunter Flynn Scholarship Fund
c/o MEDEX Northwest,
4245 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105