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State Medical Examiner Receives OSP Career Achievement Award
11/06/2009
The State’s Medical Examiner was recognized Tuesday as the second person to receive the Oregon State Police award for distinguished career achievements.  Named after the Department’s first Superintendent, Charles P. Pray, the award is presented to Department employees whose body of work or career accomplishment(s) has a significant effect on the Department and establishes positive state, national or international recognition.
 
On November 3, 2009, Oregon State Police (OSP) Superintendent Timothy McLain presented the "Charles P. Pray Award" to Oregon State Medical Examiner, Dr. Karen Gunson.  In presenting the award, Superintendent McLain praised Dr. Gunson for going beyond the boundaries of her specific career field and duties as Oregon’s Medical Examiner to make a lasting impact.
 
"Dr. Gunson’s lifetime commitment and devotion to medical science has greatly enhanced the lives of numerous citizens of Oregon.  Her demonstrated national and regional leadership in the field of organ donation and Native American remain identification has had an immediate impact and far reaching impact by giving citizens an opportunity for a healthier life in the present, while preserving the sanctity and memory of a peoples’ past,” Superintendent McLain said.
 
Having served the citizens of Oregon for over 24 years, Dr. Gunson is an Oregon native and grew up in Bend. She holds two undergraduate degrees, one from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and another from Oregon State University in Corvallis.  She obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree at Oregon Health Sciences University and performed her residency there in Clinical and Anatomical Pathology.  Board Certified in Anatomical, Clinical and Forensic Pathology, Dr. Gunson was appointed Deputy State Medical Examiner in 1985 until her appointment to the position as State Medical Examiner in 1999.
 
The "Charles P. Pray Award" is named after the first Superintendent of Oregon State Police. A State Parole Officer and former Department of Justice Agent, Charles P. Pray was appointed Superintendent effective June 7, 1931 and served as the Department's leader until 1946. Upon creation of the Department of State Police, he announced its objective to be "dignified and courteous law enforcement service devoted to the needs of the public." His concept has not changed throughout the years, even though the challenges faced by public safety have.
 
The first “Charles P. Pray Award” was presented in February 2008 to Don Pfohl, Technical Project Manager for the Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network (OWIN).