Congratulations to Jim Walton, the newest recipient of the Kimi and George Tanbara, MD Humanitarian Award. This award, while not given yearly, is presented to those members of our community who have left a profound impact on Community Health Care and Pierce County.
Jim Walton is one of Community Health Care’s six founders and has a long history of other significant community contributions. He will be honored at an evening event on October 9th as we gather his family, friends, and former co-workers to honor Jim and all he has done for our community. There will be a social hour starting at 5:30 p.m. and program and dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available here.
As a young man, just out of military service, Jim settled in Tacoma and attended Tacoma Community College. In 1969, when racial tensions surfaced at the college, Jim led the way in finding a logical and acceptable path forward. He stepped in again when violence broke out in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood by guiding a small group of leaders to help quell the unrest and win concessions from the City Council. From that group’s leaders, the Black Collective was formed to address the concerns of the African American community and carry them to the City. Jim still helps lead the Collective nearly 50 years later.
Jim served the City of Tacoma well in many roles for 35 years, starting as Director of the Human Relations Department, then Assistant City Manager, then Deputy City Manager and finished his working career in 2005 as City Manager.
In the community, Jim has worked tirelessly on the boards of the Youth Build Program, the Local Employment and Apprenticeship Program, and Tacoma Goodwill Industries (now Goodwill Olympics and Rainier Region). He has worked in the community through Tacoma Sunrise Rotary and was its first African American President. He has served or serves on the boards of Safe Streets, Homeownership Center of Tacoma, The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation, Commencement Bank and the United Way of Tacoma-Pierce County where he served as President. Jim was elected to the Pierce County Charter Review Commission and served as Vice Chair.
Jim was instrumental in the founding of the Urban Coalition, in 1969 which started a free clinic program that would give rise to what would become Community Health Care. The original clinic was formed to address the health needs of underinsured and low-income residents throughout Pierce County. We have continued to do so for 49 years. Jim has served on the Development Advisory Council for Community Health Care and as Co-Chair for both the Tanbara Health Center Campaign in Salishan on Tacoma’s Eastside, and the Hilltop Regional Health Center Campaign on Tacoma’s Hilltop.
Due to his lifetime of work and dedication to the community and his concerted and ongoing effort to improve the lives of those who have the fewest resources, Community Health Care is proud to award the Kimi and George Tanbara, MD Humanitarian Award to James L. Walton, an outstanding member of our community and society.