Contact: Linda J Johnson, Spokesperson A.M. Rotary
Phone: (716) 969-2113

Local Physician & Busti Town Justice Dr. William Geary Receives Prestigious Paul Harris Fellow


Press Release Photo
lt. to rt.: Bill Briggs, charter member A.M. Rotary and club chair for Rotary International Foundation; William A. Geary, MD, Ph.D., PAUL HARRIS FELLOW AWARD RECIPIENT, pathologist, director of pathology services at UPMC Chautauqua WCA and Busti Town judge; Steve Hayes, Greater A.M. Rotary Club of Jamestown president. The Paul Harris Fellow recognition was created in memory of the founder of Rotary as a way to show appreciation for contributions to Rotary International’s humanitarian and educational programs.

JAMESTOWN, NEW YORK (Tuesday, December 13, 2016)— The Rotary Club of Greater A.M., Jamestown recently bestowed the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award to community member, William A. Geary, MD, Ph.D., pathologist at UPMC Chautauqua WCA, and Busti town justice, in appreciation of his outstanding service and significant contributions to Chautauqua County.

The citation, accompanied by a pin and medallion, notes that the award is given in appreciation of tangible and significant assistance given for the furtherance of better understanding and friendly relations among peoples of the world. 

“We bestow this honor to Dr. Geary not only for his notable integrity to advance the overall health and well-being of this community, but for his many contributions, support, and spirit of “service above self” to his patients, his work, and his community,” said Bill Briggs, charter club member and club chair for Rotary International Foundation.  “Today is a distinct occasion to publically acknowledge Dr. Geary’s noteworthy involvement to the betterment of this world.”

“I am delighted to present this special award to Dr. Geary,” added Dr. Bert Rappole, retired surgeon and charter member of A.M. Rotary Club.  “This gift is our special way to offer our appreciation for your compassionate work in this community.  The mission of the Rotary Foundation is to empower good will, advance world understanding, and extend peace through the improvement of health and community.  This morning, we are privileged to give tribute to you, Bill, as part of this great rotary tradition."

Ken Lasker, charter member of A.M. Rotary echoed Briggs and Rappole’s sentiments.  “Last summer my son, Josh, was diagnosed with cancer,” Lasker somberly remarked.  “Bill was there for my family in a way that I could never offer adequate praise.  I mentioned to my son that Dr. Geary was receiving this award and asked Josh if he wanted to offer a few words in recognition of Bill’s distinction.”  Ken recited Josh’s hand-written note, “After more than a month of hand-holding by Dr. Geary, there are two factors that I realized I have never been able to carry out—to successfully show my eminent appreciation for everything Dr. Geary did for me; and, how would I ever be able to pay him back.  He touched me like he has touched the lives of so many others.  I cannot imagine Jamestown without him.  He is a brilliant scholar and a kind friend whose expertise and sound reason guided me through my darkest days.  I am grateful, every day, for the positive impact he has impressed upon my life.  He is truly a worthy recipient of this honor.”

The Paul Harris Fellowship is named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary with three business associates in Chicago in 1905.  The Fellowship was established in his honor in 1957 to express appreciation for a contribution to the humanitarian and educational programs of The Rotary Foundation.  Rotarians may designate a Paul Harris Fellow to recognize another person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives and mission of The Rotary Foundation to build world understanding and peace.  Today, the Rotary is a worldwide organization with over 1.2 million members that hail from more than 200 countries and geographical areas.

"I am humbled by this honor," said Dr. Geary who stood speechless for a moment. "I want to extend my appreciation and thanks first and foremost to my wife, Kathy, alongside everyone in this room.  When family and friends question why I live in Jamestown, the only regret I acknowledge is that I did not arrive in this city sooner.  It has been a wonderful thirteen years and a privilege to serve my patients, our justice system, and the residents of this great community.  Thank you.”

Dr. Geary moved to Busti in 2003 to begin his practice as a pathologist at WCA Hospital, now with a new name, UPMC Chautauqua WCA.  He has served as president of the medical staff at the hospital and past president of the Chautauqua County Board of Health where he remains a member.  Originally, from Miami, Florida, Dr. Geary’s medical career spans several states and prominent medical positions.  He obtained his PhD in 1983 in neuroscience with specific research in the neurochemistry and neuropharmacology of opiate drug mechanisms in addiction and withdrawal at Washington University, Saint Louis.  He received his medical degree and served as a research associate in neurology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine where he also completed his residency in anatomic and clinical pathology in 1992. He has served as attending pathologist and professor of various ranks on the faculties of Washington University in Saint Louis, and Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana.  He currently serves on the board of directors of UPMC Chautauqua WCA Services, Inc.

The Greater Jamestown AM Rotary meets every Wednesday morning at 7:15 at the Babalu Café’ located at 14 E. 2nd Street, Jamestown.  If you would like to make a difference in the world or apply for membership to A.M. Rotary, contact Don Ray, membership chair, (716) 499-4605.  To learn more on-line about A.M. Rotary, visit their website at

< Back to Press Releases