The Lawrence Rotary Club honored Dr. Matthew Stein with its 2012 Non-Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow Award on Monday at the Lawrence Holiday Inn.
The award recognizes individuals for their professional achievements and for having given service above self.
Rotary member Peter Curran said Stein received the coveted honor because of his dedication to providing medical services for those dealing with cancer in the Lawrence community.
Oncology services were not available in Lawrence until 1983, when Stein joined a private practice in Lawrence. His office-based oncology and hematology practice was the only one of its kind in the community for 13 years.
In 1996, Stein continued to see his patients, but couldn’t keep up with the growing demand for oncology services, so new patients had to see part-time oncologists from Kansas City, Topeka or elsewhere.
In 2001, Lawrence Memorial Hospital opened its Oncology Center and Stein joined the center. Today, he is one of five oncologists who works at the center that serves about 600 new patients and administers 18,000 treatments per year.
Stein is a fellow in the American College of Physicians and he has been published extensively in medical publications. He has served on numerous committees and boards for organizations, including LMH, Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association, Douglas County Community Corrections and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center.
In addition to his medical work, he served as an adjunct professor in Humanities and Western Civilization at Kansas University for 20 years, and served one year as director of its Study Abroad program. For 14 years, he was a youth soccer coach and served on the Kaw Valley Soccer Board.
Curran said Stein is well known for his modesty and deflecting credit for his work. But LMH staff and his patients told stories about the self-sacrificing service that he provides.
“A small example of his nature is that one Christmas Day, he called the hospital receptionist on duty to thank her for just being there to accommodate patients,” Curran said. “Stein’s patients also give him rave reviews like, ‘Matt is a man who has dedicated his life to saving the lives of other and to making the end of life as comfortable as medically possible.”
Another said, “He is an oncological treasure and we are blessed that he calls Lawrence home.”