VIDEO: Surprise celebration for Dr. Stephen Plymate’s national award

Huge surprise this afternoon for physician and researcher Stephen Plymate, MD, as he returned to his home near Lincoln Park after a walk. Family and friends surprised him with a classic coronavirus-era celebration – a drive-by parade in honor of a national award he’s just won.

Dr. Plymate, who has worked at the UW and the Puget Sound VA for about 20 years, is the 2020 recipient of the Middleton Award, granted annually to a VA scientist for “outstanding scientific contributions and achievements in the areas of biomedical and bio-behavioral research relevant to the health care of Veterans.” As his wife Dr. Lisa Plymate explains, he “is the 4th physician to be granted this award from the Puget Sound VA in the 58 years it has been given out. He’s the first, however, to have his awards ceremony, usually held in D.C. with great fanfare, thwarted by a virus.” But family and friends weren’t going to let the virus preclude a parade, which we recorded on video:

The pandemic has kept Lisa Plymate on the east coast, so, she explains, “Steve’s Tacoma daughter Corinne worked hard to organize this surprise. She contacted his lab and colleagues plus family and friends.”

Along with his work for the Veterans Administration, Stephen Plymate is also a veteran himself, a retired U.S. Army Colonel. A local veterans’ advocate, Seattle Police Lt. Steve Strand, led today’s parade, in his dress uniform:

Pre-parade, as he walked unsuspectingly up the street, Dr. Plymate was serenaded by one of his neighbors, tenor José Iñiguez from Encanto Arts – we caught a bit of that on video too:

More about Dr. Plymate’s accomplishments, from his wife: He “is professor of endocrinology in the Department of Medicine and director of Prostate Cancer Endocrinology as well as a founding member of the Institute for Prostate Cancer Research at the UW and Fred Hutchison. His work has focused on prostate cancer and its treatment for over 25 years. He has over 300 publications in peer-reviewed journals and is internationally known for his work,” which she says he continues to do about “80 hours per week” in addition to remaining “an avid skier and bicyclist.”

Lisa Plymate adds, “Steve’s 12-year-old granddaughter Liora compiled a montage of congratulatory videos sent by family members and colleagues from around the world. This is also a surprise he will be able to watch after the parade. The entire Plymate clan thanks all the scientists, friends, and neighbors who have helped us put this together in his honor. And they’re grateful for this bit of excitement during our stay-at-home era!”

21 Replies to "VIDEO: Surprise celebration for Dr. Stephen Plymate's national award"

  • Kathy May 23, 2020 (5:37 pm)

    Awesome!! Congratulations Dr. Plymate!

  • Lisa Plymate May 23, 2020 (7:05 pm)

    Thank you so much to WS Blog for such great coverage!  Wish I had been there!!

    • Ann May 24, 2020 (7:59 am)

      Lisa, WOW, just WOW! Loved hearing Jose in the background throughout the parade of cars. Our orange Fiat would have been a nice addition if we had known and you know we would have been there. So glad Steve was able to be recognized in this way in this weird time!

    • Brenda Barnes May 24, 2020 (10:10 am)

      The parade was wonderful and we miss you Lisa!

  • Soojin May 23, 2020 (7:41 pm)

    Congratulations Dr. Plymate!!

  • Patricia A Shuster May 23, 2020 (8:12 pm)

    Congratulations Steve!! 

  • Shana A May 23, 2020 (8:21 pm)

    Congratulations, Steve!  Well-deserved award!  What a fun celebration! Thanks WS blog, for such great photos and  reporting!

  • KayK May 23, 2020 (9:36 pm)

    I think that Frodo looks very proud too!

  • Elyas May 23, 2020 (10:11 pm)

    A very fun day. Congratulation Dr. Plymate. 

  • Mike T May 23, 2020 (10:27 pm)

    Congratulations Dr Plymate

  • Ellen May 23, 2020 (10:48 pm)

    Congratulations Dr. Plymate!  

  • Sarah Plymate May 24, 2020 (3:07 am)

    LOVE YOU and CONGRATS DAD!  Wish were there to celebrate!  THANK YOU to all who helped make this possible including that fabulous West Seattle Blog and my amazing sister who organized the whole thing, Corinne Plymate, and all of the neighbors.  Of course Jose, with the beautiful voice. What a great day.  

  • Peggy L. Moats May 24, 2020 (4:54 am)

    Congratulations Dr. Plymate and thank you for your tireless work on this !  We all thank you and are glad that you have been properly recognized for your work.  The country should stand and be a part of your parade!

  • Dale Swanson May 24, 2020 (6:48 am)

    Very Proud of him and his contributions to science and humankind. Wow!

  • Ann May 24, 2020 (7:45 am)

    Sorry we missed this! Tony and I have been trying to think of a way to personally congratulate Steve for this wonderful recognition of his work. Better late than never. Congratulations, Steve! See you soon, I hope.

  • Brian Hughes May 24, 2020 (8:11 am)

    What a terrific award for work that benefits so many!  Thank you!  Well done!

  • Bruce Klaehn May 24, 2020 (8:44 am)

    So glad to see the recognition you received today, Steve. It is so apparent you are admired and appreciated for your life’s work. Enjoy your well-deserved attention and honor!

  • Alexia May 24, 2020 (9:42 am)

    Thank you West Seattle blog for being present and sharing in our community celebration for Dr. Steve Plymate. 

  • Leslie May 24, 2020 (10:06 am)

    Congratulations entire Plymate family and village – he’d be the first to thank his partners in this extraordinary journey! 

  • Joan Garden May 24, 2020 (1:43 pm)

    Congratulations, Steve!We are joining your many friends and family with our fond memories of our times spent together!  Hugs,Bob and Joan 

  • Melissa Haley June 5, 2020 (2:25 pm)

    Congratulations Steve!  What an honor it is to know you!

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