ROCK SPRINGS– Wyoming native and Sweetwater County resident, Dr. Thomas E. Spicer, M.D., was recognized this April in Casper with a 2019 Jefferson Award for Public Service for his years of volunteer service to the community .
The Jefferson Awards for Public Service began in 1972, created by the American Institute for Public Service, in partnership with Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft, Jr., and Sam Beard.
The Jefferson Awards are given at national and local levels, and recognize individuals who do great things for their communities through volunteerism and public service, without expectation of recognition.
On April 26, Dr. Spicer was honored with his very own Jefferson Award for his commitment to volunteerism in the state of Wyoming for the greater part of his life.
Professor Emeritus Craig Thompson, Water Scientist and Professor of Engineering at Western Wyoming Community College, nominated Dr. Spicer for the award. Thompson explained that Dr. Spicer could have had a career anywhere, but he chose to live in Wyoming and dedicate his life to making a difference in Wyoming.
“[Dr. Spicer] was an assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas in Dallas– an appointment that recognized two successful internships and two residency appointments at some of the best hospitals and medical schools in the country,” Thompson said. “He had appointments at Baylor Medical Center and other major Dallas hospitals, and a thriving private practice. Board certified in both surgery and plastic surgery, he was Chief of Plastic Surgery at world-renowned Parkland Memorial Hospital.”
Despite all of those out-of-state accomplishments, Dr. Spicer and his family chose to return to Wyoming to serve the community he grew up in.
“Tom chose to dedicate his life to making a difference in Wyoming,” Thompson said. “We, especially generations of Wyoming students, patients, and health care providers, have all benefited from Tom’s service.”
An Immeasurable Impact on the Community
Throughout Dr. Spicer’s life, he has served on multiple boards, committees, and councils, always taking pride in his work and efforts.
His volunteer work includes, but is not limited to:
- Trustee, Western Wyoming Community College (2013-Present)
- Director, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wyoming (2017-Present)
- Director, State Bank of Green River (1997-Present)
- Director, University of Wyoming Foundation (1996-2012)
- President, Vice President, Trustee, University of Wyoming (1997-2012)
- President, Speaker, Trustee, Wyoming Medical Society (1987-1998)
- Director, United Way of Sweetwater County (1989-1995)
By taking pride in his work and his community, Spicer has inspired the people he has worked with through the years. People who have worked with Spicer agree that he leads by example and is always willing to step into a position when needed.
“Dr. Tom Spicer has had an immeasurably positive impact on Rock Springs, on Wyoming, and on our country. The impact is enduring and is certainly not in the past tense,” Thompson wrote.
Motivated by the Enjoyment of Involvement
With every job, Dr. Spicer was never motivated by honors or rewards, but rather the opportunities he was granted to get involved.
“I was not motivated by the opportunity to gain an award. I enjoyed being involved with the community of Rock Springs and Wyoming, and was doing what seemed fun to me,” Dr. Spicer said. “Most of all, I enjoyed all the great Wyoming patriots with whom I got to interact.”
Spicer said what made this award so meaningful was because of the great company at the event.
“It was a real honor to be nominated, especially considering the other great contributors to our communities who were there,” Dr. Spicer said. He added that he was honored to be nominated by Thompson, as he has known and respected Thompson for years.