For 50 years many in the Toronto, Ohio, community have willingly placed their health and wellbeing in the capable hands of physician Jane Shaffer, who prefers to do her work with out fanfare or in the glare of the spotlight.
Born in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, Shaffer's family moved to Toronto, where she attended school, graduating from Toronto High School.
Following graduation, she attended the University of California at Berkeley, where she received a bachelor of arts degree. She earned her medical degree at the University of California at San Francisco. She was one of only 10 women in her medical school class of 1943.
Dr. Shaffer served her internship at the University of Rochester, Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. She served her residency at the University of California Hospital in San Francisco, Western Reserve University Lakeside Hospital in Cleveland and Permanente Foundation Hospital in Oakland, Calif.
After completing her residency, Dr. Shaffer returned to Toronto and established her practice in 1950. In the 50 years since opening her practice, Dr. Shaffer has cared for many Toronto area residents, seeing in some cases three and four generations of patients. Likewise, until she gave up delivering babies in 1988, she helped bring hundreds of infants into the world. Those infants were "her" babies. Her love for infants and children prompted her to open, in addition to her practice, a well-child clinic in 1956, which she continues to operate.
In addition to the medical care she has provided to community, Dr. Shaffer also has been a member of several boards that have benefited Jefferson County residents. She served on the Toronto Board of Education for 20 years, and in November 1974, she was one of only five school board members statewide to be named to an "All Ohio Board of Education." She was a member of the Jefferson County Joint Vocational School Board from planning to completion and operation of the facility. Appointed by the Jefferson County Probate Court to the 169 Board of Mental Retardation, Dr. Shaffer served more than 13 years, during which time the School of Bright Promise was developed and built. Also the board established six residential homes for retarded citizens of Jefferson County, which were named Shaffer Plaza in her honor.
The reluctant recipient of public recognition for her efforts, Shaffer has received "Citizen of the Year" honors by the Toronto Chamber of Commerce and Quinn A.M.E. Church. She also was honored for 50 years of practice by the Jefferson County Medical Society and named Trinity Health System's "Woman of the Year." She was featured in a 1998 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article about female physicians making a difference in the lives of their patients.
When she's not seeing patients, Dr. Shaffer may be found tending to her flower garden or singing in the choir at the First United Presbyterian Church of Toronto, where she is a longtime member.
Thriving on the practice of medicine, Shaffer vows that as long as she's having fun, she'll continue doing what she loves - caring for others.