Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society
Bradley E. Chipps, MD

Presented, January 16, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time now for the Society to bestow its highest honor on a member of the Sierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society.

Candidates for the Golden Stethoscope Award shall be judged primarily for their devotion to patient care, and the medical needs of their community.  Recipients of the award have demonstrated a career that is clearly oriented to their practice and the care of their individual patients in an environment of unselfishness, compassion and empathy.

This year we are proudly honoring Bradley E. Chipps, MD.

Dr. Bradley Chipps was born October 8, 1947 in Fort Worth, Texas.  He graduated in 1972 from the University of Texas Medical Branch, in Galveston.  Following graduation from medical school, he was a Pediatric Resident at the University of Texas before serving in the Air Force at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota for two years as a General Pediatrician.  In 1978 he completed a combined Allergy and Pulmonary Fellowship at John Hopkins University.


When Brad moved to Sacramento in 1979, it marked the beginning of the formation of a strong core of pediatric respiratory practitioners who were committed to Intensive Care Pediatrics at Sutter Memorial Hospital.  Today, this service involves 60 Intensivists and Specialists who deliver “World Class Care” right here in Sacramento.

Before it was on the radar screen of most physicians locally, Brad recognized that sleep apnea was a significant health risk that was not being addressed.  In 1984 he established the Sutter Community Hospitals’ Sleep Laboratory, the first one at the time in Northern California outside of the Bay Area.  He continues to serve as Associate Medical Director for the lab.

He is also the Medical Director of Respiratory Therapy and the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Sutter Medical Center.   This is an extremely time intensive effort on his part requiring multi-specialty care for extremely complicated, chronically sick patients with genetic diseases.  Brad’s immense compassion, unflappable dedication and commitment to his patients has led to continued accreditation by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for Sutter’s Cystic Fibrosis Program.

Colleague, Dr. Lydia Wytrzes, states, “What has always impressed me about Brad is his strong commitment to the practice of medicine, whether to his patients or referring healthcare providers.  He never says “no” when his help is sought.  He never turns away a patient nor would he even consider turning down a request for his help by another doctor.”

“He also gets the award for the most well-read doctor.  He subscribes to more journals than any other doctor I have ever met, but, more impressively, he actually reads them!  This is a doctor who works very hard and very long hours, seeing patients at multiple office locations and hospitals.  If he ever retires (unlikely in my opinion), there will be a very big hole to fill.”

His colleague, Dr. Gordon Wong, commented, “I have known Brad since he began his practice in Sacramento.  He is an excellent physician, dedicated to the best care for his patients.  He is forward thinking and always on the cutting edge for new medical treatment modalities.”

In addition to his practice, we have learned that Brad is actively engaged in Hope for Haiti, an organization working in southern Haiti to create healthy sustainable communities and to improve the quality of life for the Haitian people, particularly children, through education, nutrition and healthcare.  He has traveled to Haiti 4 times in the last 10 months where he conducted asthma training for Hope for Haiti’s medical team.  During a recent trip, he treated over 20 acute asthma & COPD patients in a single day.  He also holds monthly teleconference calls to the Haitian medical team to support this mission.

According to Stephanie Jepsen, Director of Development for Hope for Haiti, “We are thrilled to have the expertise of Dr. Chipps available to the organization to improve the treatment of such a pervasive chronic illness in Haiti.”

In addition to the unlimited amounts of his time and talents he gives in the Sacramento area and internationally, Brad is tremendously involved in academic research, scientific advancement and national and international leadership and academic conferences.

According to his wife, Donna, “Brad is very proactive in challenging himself to stay current and ahead of the curve in new treatment modalities for his patients.  He is always pushing the limit to find the best treatment for his patients.  And, it is commendable to note that some of the patients he is seeing now are 3rd generation patients.”

In addition to these clinical services and caring for more than 100,000 patients in his 30+ years of clinical practice, Brad has authored over 87 scientific publications and/or book chapters.  Some of these he has co-authored with his daughter, Julia Harder, a pharmacist.

He has been the recipient of numerous honors over the years, including the local Hero in Healthcare and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Jerome Glaser Distinguished Service Award.  He has also served on the Board of Regents of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and was recently elected as Treasurer of the 5,000 member organization.

He met his wife, Donna, in 1987, when she worked as a charge nurse in the ICU at Sutter Memorial Hospital.  They have 6 children and 8 grandchildren.

Donna commented, “Brad is dedicated to his practice and his patients, and he is so committed that there is little time to do much else.  But as busy as he is, he always makes time to visit his children and grandchildren, and he greatly enjoys spending time with his entire family during vacations in Hawaii.  Also, she noted, he is a golf fanatic and plays pro am events where he has done very well.  In fact, he even won his very first pro-am game.”

Donna further stated, “Brad has no plans to retire.  Although slowing down would be nice, he does not recognize that speed in his life.”

Dr. Bradley Chipps has been described as an extremely warm and inviting person who understands both human suffering and service to our community.  He is a pillar in the medical community of Sacramento, especially to those who have received care from him for chronic respiratory disease.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is an honor to recognize such a compassionate physician scientist who has dedicated more than three decades of his life and career to support and benefit the patients in our community.

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