A Life of Giving Back: San Diego Man Earns AARP California’s Highest Honor

Suzanne Potter | California News Service
Stuart Harvey, 85, is a Californian who's spent decades volunteering, and is a founding board member of a nonprofit free medical clinic in El Cajon. Photo Credit: Stuart Harvey

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A San Diego man has won AARP California’s Andrus Award – the organization’s highest honor. At age 85, Stuart Harvey is a retired civil engineer and a founding board member of the Volunteers in Medicine free clinic in El Cajon.

As part of the award, AARP will donate $1,000 to the nonprofit of Harvey’s choice – so of course, he chose the clinic.

“All of the doctors and nurses are all volunteers. The patients actually pay nothing,” Harvey said. “The only thing that they ever pay for is the prescription drugs from the pharmacy.”

The clinic sits on the property of Chapel of the Valley United Methodist Church, where Harvey has volunteered for more than 40 years. The clinic serves 3,000 uninsured patients a year.

Nancy McPherson, state director of AARP California, said the Volunteers in Medicine staff is doing critical work to help San Diego get through the pandemic.

“Individuals like Stuart and the team that he works with, they are the front-line workers,” McPherson said. “They are putting their lives and their health on the line every day to support the health of our communities. They deserve our thanks.”

The award is named after AARP’s founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, who also founded the National Retired Teachers’ Association.

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