Daniel V. Foster, PsyD Father of 11, Indian Health Service psychologist and former Olympian

Posted: September 4, 2018 in Life, Testimonial
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From the Willamette Athletic Director;

Congratulations on your selection to the Willamette University Athletic Hall of Fame! The Bearcats have an impressive history of accomplishments by our teams and student-athletes and our committee felt as though yours were at the top of that list. We are hopeful that you can join us for the induction ceremony on Friday, October 12th, and stay for some of the other exciting activities that are happening on campus as part of Family Weekend. Here are some additional details with more to come later this week. The ceremony will take place in the Cat Cavern on the second floor of the Putnam University Center on Friday, October 12th. There will be a cocktail reception starting at 6:30 pm with dinner and the program to start at approximately 7:00 pm. We hope to introduce all inductees during halftime of the football game on Saturday, October 13th. The game kicks off at 1:30 pm. All inductees and their families will be invited to a pre-game tailgate inside the stadium.

His job
Foster was director of behavioral health at the Rosebud Indian Health Service Hospital, a 38-bed hospital on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Rosebud, S.D., an area marked by high unemployment, poverty, and substance abuse. “We are a beautiful place in terms of the hills, trees, grass, rivers, animals, people and culture, but we are a very difficult place in socioeconomic terms,” says Foster. With no psychiatrists on the reservation, Foster and the reservation’s other four psychologists — including his wife, Becky — earned master’s degrees in psychopharmacology to help improve care. By both working and living on the reservation, Foster sees firsthand how his interventions improve people’s quality of life. “I find that very gratifying,” he says.

A welcoming spirit

After the Fosters’ first four children grew up, the couple adopted seven special-needs children. Their oldest son is 40, while their youngest children are 6-year-old twin girls. Balancing work and child-rearing often require Daniel Foster to remind himself to breathe throughout the day. “I feel like a one-legged man at a kickboxing tournament a good deal of the time,” he says.

A handball prodigy

Foster competed as a member of the U.S. National Handball Team, including in the Pan Am and Olympic Games, from 1971 to 1982. Foster, who had played football and basketball in college, for which he is being honored next month, came to handball as a fluke while he was in the Army in the early 1970s: Members of a handball team spied Foster working out one day and invited him to join them. He was a natural. “The coach ended up inviting me to compete in the nationals with the team in New York and we won the national championship,” he says. He has earned several National Gold Medals in handball since, the latest in 2002.

Giving back

Foster decided to become a psychologist when he witnessed how many fellow soldiers suffered psychological wounds much like those American Indians bore from oppression. To contribute to the profession on the national level, Foster is a member of APA’s Committee on Ethnic Minority Affairs and attends the annual meeting of the Society of Indian Psychologists — with all of his young children. Psychology, he believes, is the career he was born for. “I have truly enjoyed listening to and being a part of people’s life narrative,” he says.

Dan Foster is a lifelong friend and an example to me of what we should all aspire to be like. We met in the 8th grade in Council Idaho, a small logging and ranching community. He was the preacher’s kid and I was the new kid with no parents, so we formed a don’t mess with us society and became best friends. Dan, being of kind heart, probably does not remember it that way, but being large for my age, the tough guy of the class and I were having it out, so I needed friends. To be fair, I and this tough guy later became very good friends! I never won any of our fights, but I never gave up and he respected that, so finally decided we should be buddies, way easier that way!

Dan was always more concerned with others than himself, he is someone with whom friendship is an honor! He did not give me permission to post this, as he would have most likely, knowing him, said no! So I just went the hell ahead because some of his classmates might not know about some of his accomplishments. I got most of the information other than the hall of fame info from this website: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/06/random.aspx

Comments
  1. Lynne Cameron says:

    Nicely done

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