Cover photo for Jennifer Alice Mayfield's Obituary
Jennifer Alice Mayfield Profile Photo

Jennifer Alice Mayfield

September 1, 1951 — June 7, 2020

Jennifer Alice Mayfield

Jennifer Alice Mayfield- Born September 1, 1951- Died June 7, 2020.
Jennifer Alice Mayfield spent decades in the service of others as a highly educated and caring physician. She passed away in Spokane, WA. Sunday night, June 7, 2020. She had battled pancreatic cancer for over a year with courage and grace. Jennifer was preceded in death by her parents Doris Iola Kanen, Donald Allen Mayfield, stepfather, Warren Taylor Kanen, younger half-sister Jeanette Marjorie Mayfield Garcia and stepbrother, David Frederick Kanen. Jennifer is survived by sisters Deborah Sue Mayfield King, Janice Marie Mayfield, Druscilla June Mayfield Covington, half-sister Donna Jean Mayfield, Jena Christine Mayfield Miller and three step siblings, Ardys Denise Kanen Abston, Don Warren Kanen, Marlene Joyce Kanen Savage.

During a career in medicine that spanned more than four decades, Jennifer was a researcher, medical school professor, and practicing physician. She held positions in schools of medicine at the University of Arizona, Georgetown, Indiana University, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Washington. She served for six years with the U.S. Public Health Service, with postings to Uzbekistan, to Indian reservations, and to the research office. Her specialties were family and preventive medicine.

Beloved by her patients, Jennifer combined an unwavering commitment to intelligent, evidence-based health care with the soul of a healer. She glimpsed early on the possibilities in the application of computer technology to research and patient treatment and employed it to make major contributions to improving the long-term treatment and preventive care of diabetic patients. Jennifer published nearly three dozen peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on diabetes treatment; was a leader in the creation and dissemination of new standards for care of diabetic foot and circulatory system issues; and, as Epidemiologist for the Diabetes Program of the Indian Health Service trained staff to use software to more effectively track patient progress.
Throughout her career Jennifer generously gave service and leadership to her profession. She reviewed submissions for multiple medical journals and held positions in medical professional associations, including serving as chair of the Health Care Commission of the Washington Academy of Family Practice.
For nearly a decade before her retirement in 2019, Jennifer worked in private practice in Spokane.

Jennifer was an avid outdoorswoman, loving whitewater kayaking, mountaineering, camping, hiking, cross-country and alpine skiing. Although she was born and raised in California her professional career took her all over the county, but her heart was in the northwest and she settled in Washington State for the final years of her career. She resided in Spokane For the past 13 years loving the easy access to mountains, rivers, and ski trails.

Jennifer was an organic gardener and master composter and was dedicated to reducing her carbon footprint on the planet. She never wasted resources and was frugal with herself, while being generous with others.
Jennifer was passionate about so many things. She had a beautiful voice, and took great pleasure in singing with a local women's choir. She was involved in local politics participating in activism and organizing activities alike. She was a weaver, knitter, seamstress, bird enthusiast, and self-educated geologist. She always knew about how the terrain of her current surrounding was created over time. She confessed that if she had her education to do over, she would have been a geologist.

Jennifer was loyal to family and friends. If you needed her, she was there for you whether in person or with thoughtful advice. She loved life and never took a single day for granted. She packed her life with adventure and accomplishments and countless relationships with friends and family who will forever miss her bright and shining, guiding light.
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