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Dr. William "Bill" James
Dr. William "Bill" James was born in 1933 in Warren, Ohio, attended Ohio State University for undergraduate and graduate school, graduated from Ohio State Medical School, and interned at Colorado General Hospital in Denver. In 1959, instead of getting drafted into the Army, he joined the Indian Health Service and came to Alaska. He spent six months as a doctor on St. George Island in the Pribilof Islands, worked at the US Public Health Service Native hospital in Anchorage, was the ship doctor on the US Coast Guard ship North Wind on their summer Bering Sea patrol to provide medical care to the crew and coastal communities, and in 1960 started working at the US Public Health Service Native hospital in Tanana. In Tanana, he gained experience working with community health aides and traveling to nearby villages to provide medical care. In 1962, he resigned his Public Health Service commission in Tanana and became the fourth doctor at the newly formed Tanana Valley Clinic in Fairbanks, Alaska. From 1963 to 1966, Dr. James did a pediatric residency in Ohio and then returned to Fairbanks where he was a pediatrician at the Tanana Valley Clinic until 1973. He rejoined the Public Health Service and served as a physician with the Chief Andrew Issac Clinic in Fairbanks, and spent two more years in Tanana. Dr. James spent most of his career providing medical care for Alaska Natives in Interior Alaska. He retired from the Chief Andrew Issac Clinic in Fairbanks in 2003 at the age of 70, and is well remembered by people throughout Interior Alaska for his calm and caring manner. Dr. Bill James passed away on August 30, 2010. For more about Bill James, see his obituary in the Fairbanks Daily News-miner newspaper.