Bluefield University will hold its inaugural Spring Commencement for the Master of Arts in Biomedical Sciences on Saturday, May 18, 2019, at 10 a.m. on the campus quad lawn. In the event of rain, the commencement ceremony will move to the Dome Gymnasium. One hundred and fourteen graduate candidates have been approved to receive diplomas during the commencement ceremony. Dr. Phillip A. Peterson, M.D., will provide the keynote address for the ceremony.
Peterson is a family medicine and geriatric specialist in Bluefield, Virginia. He graduated from the University of Iowa Carver University of Medicine in 1985. Having more than 34 years of diverse physician care experiences, Dr. Peterson affiliates with regional hospitals and cooperates with other doctors and specialists in the area.
Presently, Dr. Peterson is the medical director at Westwood Health Care Center, medical director at Mountaineer Home Health, MSA, in Princeton, WV, regional medical director at Total Hospice Care, MSA, in Grundy, VA, and the associate medical director with Hospice Compassus in McDowell County, WV.
Dr. Peterson has served as clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and as an adjunct faculty member at Edward Via University of Osteopathic Medicine on the Blacksburg campus. Additionally, he oversaw residents in the Geriatrics in Internal Medicine and Family Practice Programs at Bluefield Regional Medical Center, where he also served as chief of medicine and co-medical director of the Skilled Nursing Unit. He has held national leadership positions with the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and AMDA, the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care.
Having a heart for serving his community, Dr. Peterson has served on the Bluefield Regional Medical Center Board of Directors, Appalachian Teen Challenge Board of Directors, which he also served as chair, and Abel Crisis Pregnancy Center Advisory Board. He is Ruling Elder at Westminster Presbyterian Church where he and his family are members. Additionally, he has participated in medical mission experiences in Nicaragua, Chile, and South Africa. In 2019, Dr. Peterson received the Compassus Sean Morrison Award, a national award for “Outstanding Achievement in Physician Leadership.”
Dr. Emily Lambert, associate professor of biology, will provide a scripture reading for the graduates and Dr. Michael P. Harris, Pharm.D. will bring greetings to the graduates from Bluefield University’s Board of Trustees. The ceremony will also include student addresses from Ms. Patricia Pittman of Greensboro, North Carolina and Mr. Emmanuel Ayompe of Bowie, Maryland. Dr. John-Scott Moir, assistant professor of music, will lead special music with accompanist Mr. David Pedde, director of Bluefield University’s center for worship arts.
Candidates for graduation will be presented by Dr. Marshall Flowers, vice president for academic affairs and Dr. Brian Hill, director of the Master of Arts in biomedical sciences program. Bluefield University President, Dr. David W. Olive, will confer the degrees.