Back to Focus

Madigan doc believes Scouting saves lives

Military, Boy Scouts go hand in hand

Email Article Print Article Share on Facebook Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon

When not in his military uniform, Lt. Col. John L. Westhoff can still be found wearing one.

The second uniform he wears is that of a registered Boy Scouts of America (BSA) adult leader.

Westhoff works at the Madigan Healthcare System as a staff physician for the Emergency Room and Preventative Medicine departments. When not working or with his family, he volunteers by simultaneously serving as the Scoutmaster of Troop 494, the varsity coach of Team 494, and the associate advisor of Crew 494 in DuPont.  

When asked if working with Boy Scouts has influenced him in his professional life, Westhoff remarked, "Absolutely. Working with teenagers isn't something I'm naturally good at, though I have three teenage boys of my own.  I've learned a ton from my Scouts.  That helps when you're working with adolescents, and even our younger Soldiers in clinical settings."  

His professional life has been invaluable to his Scouting service as well, he added. "As an Army physician with training in emergency and preventive medicine and a strong interest in wilderness medicine, I'm in a position to teach the boys what I know about staying healthy and safe in the field."

When Westhoff leaves for Camp Zama, Japan, on PCS orders in July, more than the medical staff at Madigan and the Dupont Scouts will miss him.

Westhoff has been serving as the Glacier View District Boy Scout Roundtable Commissioner.  This volunteer position allows him to share his vast wilderness and medical experience and knowledge with other adult Scout leaders who want to learn more to help the Scouts in their own units.  Topics taught by Westhoff, sometimes standing room only, have included water purification; backpacking; wilderness medicine; animal hazards in the wild; building first aid kits; and blister prevention.  

His love of Scouting and the wilderness shows, as he is a Wilderness First Aid Task Force member of the BSA's National Health and Safety Committee.

Westhoff's service to his own Scouting units and the district was recognized during the district's Annual Awards Banquet in March, where he was presented the District Award of Merit.  

Whether in DuPont, Japan, or elsewhere, Westhoff will continue to serve his country as a Servicemember and to help boys become better men as he volunteers as an adult leader for the BSA. 

Why does he volunteer?  "I am convinced that Scouting saves lives," he said.

Comments for "Madigan doc believes Scouting saves lives"

Comments for this article are currently closed.