Recent Award Winners

Peter Wolk

Peter J. Wolk, M.D., Honored with 2021 Physician Legacy Award

“Dr. Wolk is a multi-talented physician with a strong dedication to patients throughout the region,” said Marcia Nelson, M.D., Enloe’s Chief Medical Officer. “He brought cutting-edge cardiac interventions to Enloe, which laid the foundation for our exceptional cardiac care.”

Peter Wolk, M.D., has practiced cardiology since the early 1980s and is the physician who brought the balloon coronary angioplasty procedure to Enloe and Chico.

Dr. Wolk has practiced with Northstate Cardiology Consultants since its inception and has been an Enloe medical staff member since 1983. He has performed more than 10,000 cardiac catheterizations to date and has provided leadership at the hospital, serving on the Medical Executive Committee as chair of the Cardiology Department since 2011.

Originally from Long Island, New York, Dr. Wolk earned his medical degree from SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in New York. He moved to California to complete his fellowship and residency in Cardiology at University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. As a student at UCSF, Dr. Wolk had the opportunity to work in the cardiac cath lab with two faculty members of the inventor of the balloon angioplasty, or the PTCA (Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty). This is how he learned the technique, which he later brought to Chico.

In 1983, Dr. Wolk moved to Chico. He and three other Chico physicians — Steven Schwartz, M.D., Charles Whitcomb, M.D., and Eugene Moffett, M.D. — helped form Enloe’s interventional cardiology program. Dr. Wolk performed the first angioplasty at Enloe in December 1983. Dr. Wolk practices what he preaches about heart health, playing on local basketball teams and doing CrossFit. He is also a musician, playing guitar in local bands, including the Almond City Jammin’ Band.

One of the nomination ballots touts Dr. Wolk for “superior cardiac care” and “keeping abreast of innovations.” It touts his mentorship of many young people: “His patience and generosity in helping guide them, and his continued interest in and support of their goals toward obtaining higher medical careers. He truly loves his work and has an unwavering commitment to improving the lives of all with whom he comes in contact.”

2020: Charles Merriman, M.D.

Charles Merriman Physician Legacy Award“Over the past 26 years I have had the honor to watch as Dr. Chuck Merriman gave his heart and soul providing the best medical care to all patients and making Enloe Medical Center a premier medical facility,” said Vincent Balardi, M.D., emergency medicine specialist. “I am proud to call him my partner and friend, and I can think of no one else better deserving of the Enloe Physician Legacy Award.”

Merriman, an emergency medicine specialist of 26 years, retired in the fall. He was a hospital leader and champion of quality patient care throughout his career. After a career as a clinical lab professional in Reno, Nev., Dr. Merriman pursued his dream to become a medical doctor. Upon completing an internship and residency in Portland, Ore., he joined Enloe’s medical staff in 1994, practicing medicine until 2020.

Dr. Merriman is a founding member of Chico Emergency Physicians Medical Group, which has staffed Enloe’s Emergency department since 2000. He leaves a legacy of engaging and developing physicians and fostering a culture of quality improvement. He accomplished this through work on peer review, process improvements, leadership in Enloe’s Bioethics Committee and co-creating the annual Enloe Quality Summit.

Dr. Merriman served on multiple hospital committees and held numerous leadership positions, including chief of staff, chair and medical director of the Emergency department, chair of the Quality Committee, and medical director of the Flight Care Program. As chief of staff, he served as an ex-officio member of the Enloe Board of Trustees. Additionally, Dr. Merriman was a leader in his physician practice.

One of the nominations said Dr. Merriman always endeavors “to improve patient care, work conditions, physician quality and training, and state-of-the-art hospital services. He has left a lasting legacy … and is well-deserving of being remembered with the Physician Legacy Award.”

A fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians and American Academy of Emergency Medicine, Dr. Merriman completed his undergraduate education at the University of Nevada, Reno. He received his medical degree from the University of Nevada School of Medicine. Dr. Merriman completed his internship and residency at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.

2019: Marcia Nelson, M.D.

Marcia Nelson Physician Legacy Award“Dr. Nelson is a gifted leader who supports physicians and encourages quality care at Enloe and in Chico,” said cardiologist Peter Magnusson, M.D., who presented the award to Marcia Nelson, M.D.

Nelson, a Chico family practitioner and local physician leader, is the first woman to receive the Physician Legacy Award since it was founded 15 years ago.

Dr. Nelson began practicing medicine in Chico and joined Enloe’s medical staff in 1989. She has served as Enloe’s chief medical officer since 2005, representing physicians in hospital operations and supporting physician leaders in providing quality care. She has led the Enloe Quality Summit since it launched in 2009. This annual event highlights quality initiatives throughout the medical center and sets new priorities.

Additional recognition for Dr. Nelson includes the California Hospital Association’s Ritz E. Heerman Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to the improvement of patient care in California (2011), Enloe’s first Spirit of Planetree Physician Champion Award (2008) and the Enloe Quality Award for her role on a pneumonia quality improvement team (1997). She was also named the Chico Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Woman in Healthcare (2004).

During her personal time, Dr. Nelson enjoys spending time with family, cooking, knitting and singing with the North Valley Chamber Chorale.

Dr. Nelson graduated magna cum laude from California State University, Chico, in 1982 with a bachelor’s in biological chemistry, earned her medical degree from UCLA School of Medicine in 1986 and completed her family medicine residency in Merced, Calif., in 1989.

She received a master’s degree in medical management from USC in 2012, Certified Physician Executive certification from the Certifying Commission in Medical Management in 2013 and is a fellow of the American Association for Physician Leadership. Dr. Nelson was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2000.

2018: Scott Mellum, M.D.

Scott Mellum Physician Legacy Award“Dr. Mellum is widely known in the community for consistently providing patient-centered care,” said Marcia Nelson, M.D., MMM, FAAFP, FACPE, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Enloe Medical Center. “Scott Mellum’s name comes up frequently as a physician who makes patients feel cared for and valued. He is pleasant, respectful, and appreciative of nurses and staff. Dr. Mellum is a compassionate professional who is deserving of the Physician Legacy Award.”

Dr. Mellum began practicing obstetrics and gynecology in Chico in August 1995. He received his undergraduate degree and his medical degree from the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno. He completed his residency at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz., and is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology.

Dr. Mellum has served on several hospital committees and has led dozens of patient care initiatives since joining the Enloe medical staff. He served as chair of the Obstetrics/Gynecology department multiple times and was a past recipient of the Enloe Spirit of Planetree award.

The selection process for the Physician Legacy Award includes a review of nominations from physicians, employees, volunteers and community members. The final decision is made by Enloe’s Medical Executive Committee, composed of physicians elected by their peers to lead Enloe’s medical staff.

One nomination stated, “Dr. Mellum is a caring, compassionate man that has great heart for his profession as well as all of the staff. It’s a pleasure to work with him.” Another said, “I value knowing that when I refer patients to him, they will receive excellent medical care with a caring heart.”

Nominate a Physician

Members of the public, as well as Enloe caregivers, employees and volunteers can nominate a physician for the Physician Legacy Award.

Nominations are open through Oct. 22.