Joel Axelrod, Ashland, Oregon. After more than 30 years of medical practice, Joel recently retired from HealthCare Partners Medical Group (HCP) as a Senior Partner and Medical Director of Outpatient Surgical Specialties. Joel has been with HCP from the first years of its inception to its successful maturity in becoming the largest physician-owned and physician-run medical group in California until merging in 2012 with DaVita, a leading provider of kidney care in the U.S. and abroad.
Joel is a veteran of the Navy, who served as a fleet Marine Combat Hospital Corpsman. Upon discharge from active duty, he worked as a lab tech in UCLA's Neuropsychiatric Institute researching genetically transmitted diseases and later as a lab tech in UCLA's Department of Geology and Geophysics studying off shore sediments, petroleum precursors, and Apollo 14 lunar rock samples. Work at UCLA and as a Navy Corpsman fostered his interest in science and medicine.
Theater arts, as well as the sciences, have always been a part of Joel's life and pursuits. Joel worked as an actor with the Committee workshop and Synergy Trust under the direction of Del Close, Corey Fischer, and Naomi Neuman. He studied acting with Jeff Corey and was featured in many TV commercials and sitcoms. He also produced and directed commercials until entering the medical profession. Now retired, Joel has time to devote to his many interests. Since moving to Ashland from San Marino, California 3 years ago, Joel and his wife, Dr. Judy Yin Shih, have held fund-raising house concerts and plan on holding more outdoor concerts and movies in their newly renovated courtyard. Joel plays the blues harmonica and piano... and if he is not sketching a new idea, he is capturing his visions in a linocut, block printing, mask making, and pyrography. Joel has a deep and unwavering commitment to supporting the performing arts and in making a lasting positive difference in the community.