The Catawba Valley Community College Foundation, Inc. recently received a gift from the Claude S. and Raenelle B. Abernethy Charitable Remainder Trust. The gift was recognized by naming the Medical/Surgical/Intensive Care Unit in the college’s ValleySim Hospital in memory of Newton native Army Captain George Andrew Rader, MD.
Army Captain Rader was one of Catawba County’s true heroes, a man who gave his life during World War II, not on a battlefield, but as a prisoner of war. He was a medical surgeon who treated several thousand fellow American POWs in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippines before going to his eternal rest at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
David Sain, chair of the CVCC Foundation’s board of directors and CVCC alumnus (’69), welcomed Dr. Rader’s relatives, many of whom had traveled from as far away as Texas to attend the dedication.
“Medical training today versus the conditions in which Dr. Rader practiced and saved lives does not allow comparison,” commented CVCC President Dr. Garrett D. Hinshaw, at the ceremony. “Today, we teach using high fidelity programmable manikins that mimic nearly every possible human health condition. We so very much appreciate this generous gift from the Claude S. and Raenelle B. Abernethy Charitable Remainder Trust.”
The new Captain George Andrew Rader, M.D. Medical/Surgical/Intensive Care Unit suite sign and plaque were unveiled by Hinshaw and Sain. The plaque reads as follows:
“A native of Newton, North Carolina, he served his country during World War II. A medical doctor, he was chief surgeon at U.S Army Hospital No. One in the Philippines, General MacArthur’s principal hospital, when the Japanese attacked in January 1942. He marched in the infamous “Bataan Death March,” set up a hospital at a Japanese prison camp on Corregidor, and provided care to over 2,000 of his fellow American prisoners of war. Refusing to accept the camp hospital conditions, his determination and tremendous personal courage, even suffering through multiple beatings, forced the Japanese to relent and provide sufficient medical supplies to bring the death rate to normal. His untiring efforts saved many lives through his gift of medical knowledge and efforts to care for his fellow prisoners, including denying himself the once-a-day meal of watery wormy cabbage soup given the prisoners, so that his sick patients would have more to eat.
Captain Rader was among those termed ‘killed in action’ on October 11, 1944, when an unmarked Japanese transport ship sailed from Manila with 1,790 American prisoners aboard in route to the Japanese home islands for further incarceration. The ship was sunk in the Pacific Ocean by ‘friendly fire.’ In 1967, the Army’s Fort Myer Clinic in Virginia, was officially named in honor of Captain Rader.”
Guests toured the ValleySim Hospital and observed a simulated emergency room patient visit in the Dr. George Andrew Rader, M.D. Medical/Surgical/Intensive Care Unit Suite.
The mission of the CVCC Foundation, Inc. is to foster and promote the growth, progress, and welfare of CVCC. For more information on becoming a partner with CVCC, contact Teresa Biggs, executive director of the CVCC Foundation, Inc., 828-327-7000, ext. 4288, firstname.lastname@example.org.