General surgeon Dr. William Pierce was named Lompoc Valley Medical Center Physician of the Year for 2022 during a ceremony Dec. 13.

Employees cast votes for the physician whom they believe exemplifies the hospital district’s values and maintains the trust of the community, patients and residents. The votes are also directed toward a physician who strives continuously to improve services, and who works as a team member with hospital staff.

The award was presented by Steve Popkin, CEO of LVMC, during the annual medical staff holiday gathering at the Mission Club restaurant.

Dr. Pierce has been a member of the LVMC medical staff since 2003 and was chief of medical staff from 2019-21, during the emergence and height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He earned his medical degree from the UC Davis School of Medicine and completed a general surgery residency at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics.

Dr. Pierce called the recognition “a great honor.”

“I’ve come to understand as life goes on, that a person’s intrinsic opinion of themselves may not reflect their value to an organization,” he said to a roomful of fellow physicians.  “However, when people like the staff of Lompoc and people like you who work with me, and we appreciate each other and it’s such a tight ship, I’ve learned to very much appreciate the honor afforded this year to me.”

As part of the ceremony, Dr. Pierce was presented with a scroll of comments from the LVMC employee nominations. The nominations called him a dedicated, compassionate and thoughtful doctor. Many of them noted his kindness.

“I’ve worked with Dr. Pierce for 20 years,” one nomination stated. “I’ve seen how much he cares for the patients and their families. Dr. Pierce is always willing to assist other surgeons. If I have any questions about his procedures, he’s always nice when answering my questions.”

The surgeon was acknowledged in one nomination for his “constant presence.” The nomination continued that he “brings stability, genuinely loves and cares for his patients and staff, very dedicated.”

Dr. Pierce, one nomination noted, “treats every patient like his own family. He is a great teacher as well.”

Previous Physicians of the Year include Dr. Khawar Gul, 2021; Dr. Rahim Raoufi, 2020; Dr. Cedric Kwon, 2019; Dr. Rollin Bailey, 2018; Dr. Tomas Machin, 2017; Dr. Cindy Blifeld, 2016; and Dr. Randall Michel, 2015.