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Merrick to receive Silver Medallion Award at winter commencement

Dr. David K. Merrick of Boise has been awarded the Boise State University 2021 Silver Medallion Award, recognizing people who make outstanding contributions to higher education and Boise State University.

College of Health Sciences Dean Tim Dunnagan nominated Merrick for the award.

“Man of letters, veteran, physician, teacher, teacher of teachers, this remarkable individual has distinguished himself, our university and several generations of medical practitioners, researchers and public health professionals,” Dunnagan wrote. “It is fair to say he has substantially changed the face of medical treatment and care in our region for the better.”

Merrick graduated from the University of Nebraska with a bachelor of arts degree in English in 1959 and received his doctorate of medicine from the university in 1963. After serving two years in the U.S. Army, he completed a fellowship in internal medicine in 1968 and a fellowship in pulmonary disease in 1970, both at the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. Merrick and alum Shandi Asher, the 2019 recipient of the Merrick Excellence Award.

Merrick came to Boise in 1970, where he served as medical director of respiratory care and as the Bloom Pulmonary Function Lab director at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center for more than 30 years. His tenure at St. Luke’s included roles as co-director of the Sleep Lab, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine, chief of staff and board member. He also served as chief of staff at the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital.

He served as the Boise State Respiratory Care Program’s medical director for more than 30 years, teaching courses each semester and providing respiratory care students with a background and understanding of pulmonary medicine that far exceeded what other programs provided.

In 2005 he established the Merrick Family Respiratory Care Scholarship, where more than two dozen respiratory care students have benefitted from his generosity. Dr. Merrick’s legacy of engagement with and service to Boise State and the Respiratory Care Department was elevated in 2018 with the creation of the Merrick Family Professorship in Respiratory Care. The first named professorship in the department helps recruit distinguished faculty members who will continue to advance excellence in the profession, clinical instruction and research.

Dr. Merrick will be honored at Boise State’s winter commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 18.