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2017 NAFP/F Scholarship Recipients

Charles Ashby Scholarship (Two Scholarships Awarded)
This scholarship is given in memory of Dr. Ashby to new NAFP family physicians practicing in Nebraska. Dr. Ashby was a 60 year charter member of the NAFP, serving as president in 1964. He was active in state and local affairs, medical societies, community and public service. He was dedicated to being a family physician, deeply committed to caring for his patients until the day he died. This scholarship is intended to assist new family physicians as they begin their practice in Nebraska. The recipients of this year’s awards are Dr. Josue Gutierrez, MD of Crete, NE and Dr. Drea Jones, MD of Omaha, NE.

Dr. Josue Gutierrez was a graduate of LMEP Residency in 2016. Dr. Gutierrez currently practices in Crete, NE. This is a growing and diverse town. As in many rural towns in Nebraska, there is a great need in Crete for Family Physicians. There are a substantial number of underinsured and uninsured populations, and having reliable access to primary care is difficult for many in the community. This is an area that Josue would like to focus his energies on. Becoming a family physician was his goal from very young age. He experienced first-hand the impact a family doctor can have. While growing up in Guatemala, his family faced hardships and thus medical care was not easily obtained. A family physician came to their aid and not only helped them physically, but emotionally as well. During this time Josue realized the holistic impact a family physician can have. This is the reason he chose to become a family physician. He enjoys practicing in a rural community with the opportunity to provide a full spectrum of care, and providing comprehensive, quality care for every patient, every time. He also enjoys being a mentor for future medical students and residents to reignite the fire for family medicine.

Dr. Drea Jones was a graduate of UNMC Residency program in 2015. She refers to herself as a homegrown Family Physician on the faculty at UNMC. She was born in Austin, Texas, the daughter of a career serviceman in the Air Force, but moved to Omaha, her mother’s hometown, when she was nine. While a medical student at UNMC, Dr. Jones participated in the accelerated residency program in Family Medicine, which focused on underserved medicine. For her peers, that meant a focus on rural underserved medicine, one of the core strengths of the medical education program at UNMC. She was the first student accepted into the accelerated track to focus on urban underserved, where her passion lies and where the greatest concentration of acute medical inequalities and need reside in our state. As a multi-racial woman of color from the community, it has long been her goal to earn, and then use her medical degree back in the community, particularly in North Omaha, serving a disproportionately African American population with a wide range of pressing health-related needs. She feels fortunate to be able to craft a practice at UNMC that flows from those core values and that community-based commitment. Currently, she practices full-time at Nebraska Medicine’s Fontenelle Clinic in North Omaha. She also serves as the first Medical Director at the new health clinic expansion of the Girls, Inc. facility in North Omaha.

Donald J. Larson Resident Scholarship
The NAFP Foundation established the Donald J. Larson, MD, Scholarship in memory of Dr. Larson in 2008. Don was a valued member and was president of the Nebraska Academy in 1978. He was an acclaimed teacher of family medicine graduate education and served as program director of the Lincoln Family Practice Residency Program. This scholarship is presented annually to a family medicine resident who is interested in family medicine in rural practice. The recipient of the 2017 Donald J. Larson Resident Scholarship is Dr. Kelli Osborn.

Kelli Osborn is in Residency at UNMC Family Medicine Rural Training Track – Norfolk and has an anticipated graduation date of 2018. As early as 4th grade, Kelli wrote an essay about her aspirations to become a doctor. Since then all of the key decisions in her life have been focused on achieving this goal. She grew up on a farm outside of the small rural town of Tilden, Nebraska. In her experience family practice physicians were the only kind of doctors she knew. By the time she even learned there were other types of physicians, her heart was already sold on family physician of practice. Taking care of family and friends, infants to elderly, managing chronic and acute needs, delivering babies, performing procedures, she asked herself who could ask for anything more? Becoming a family medicine practitioner and returning to her little niche in northeast Nebraska has long been her dream. She grew up on a farm with her six siblings. She shared in her scholarship application she never had a shortage of “patients” around. Following completion of her Family Medicine residency from the UNMC Rural Training Tracks program in Norfolk, NE, she will begin practicing in the rural setting with full-spectrum family medicine in Neligh, NE at the Antelope Memorial Hospital and Clinic.

Haiti Mission Scholarship
The Haiti Mission scholarship is given to a resident or student who is interested in participating in a medical mission trip to Haiti. Dr. Joe Miller has been very instrumental in the development and support of this scholarship program and he has participated in many trips to Haiti over the past few years. This year we award this scholarship to Dr. Elliot Frank who is a resident at LMEP.

Dr Elliot Frank is a first year resident at LMEP. In his scholarship application he reiterated the family physician battle cry as physicians choose family medicine, which is “I am interested in full scope family medicine.” His interest in family medicine is to have a knowledge base broad enough in scope to both keep his patients healthy every day and yet, when needed, to step in procedurally when nobody else can. In his letter of recommendation from Dr. Christi Keim, faculty physician at LMEP, she noted his diagnostic skills and procedural aptitude. She stated he always maintains a positive attitude and a calm demeanor. Dr Frank has also shown a desire to give back to the community, by volunteering his time and skills at Clinic with a Heart, a free clinic for those who have fallen through the cracks in our health care system. He works as a team with all those providing care there, and he is respectful and thoughtful to those receiving services. Dr Frank’s fluency in French will be very helpful to the Haiti Mission Trip. He will be a huge asset to any team lucky enough to have him.

Medical Mission Grant
Dr. Kathleen Bliese Walk, a trustee on the NAFP Foundation Board, was instrumental in establishing the Medical Mission Scholarship in 2002 to help defray expenses for medical students participating in medical mission trips as part of their medical educational experience. This year we award this grant to Jonathan Campbell, M4 who is a student at Creighton University.

Jonathon Campbell is an M4 student at Creighton University Medical School. He is interested in participating in a medical mission trip for several reasons that he feels will all play a vital role in his future as a primary care provider. He chose the Dominican Republic in order to improve his medical and conversational Spanish. Throughout his clerkships in Omaha, most notably at OneWorld and CUMC, he has witnessed the barrier that language can place between patients and their health care providers. Being a Spanish speaking medical student, he was able to view the difference which speaking a patient’s language can provide for their treatment. Secondly, he shared that in medicine physicians are constantly interacting with patients of various cultures, beliefs and customs. Working in a culture unique from his will be a great asset in compassionately working with patients of differing views. Lastly he shared as a primary care provider, the role physicians can play in reducing financial burden for patients can be paramount. Therefore, with a year of working in an underserved area, his knowledge for how to best use adjuvant tests as well as improving his knowledge for accessory physical exam findings will grow. In low resource settings, the importance of a quality physical exam and effective adjuvant testing is vital and play an enormous role when working with a limited budget.

William A. DeRoin Scholarship
The DeRoin Memorial scholarship is presented each year in memory of Dr. William A. DeRoin. Bill was president of the Nebraska Academy in 1979-1980. He had been very active in the Academy and particularly in helping to form and work with the student family practice clubs. Dr. DeRoin passed away in 1980 and the DeRoin scholarship was created in his memory. It is presented annually to a Nebraska medical student attending either Creighton University or the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The 2017 William A. DeRoin scholarship was given to Alexis Erbst. Alexis Erbst is a M4 at UNMC. Alexis shared that her calling to medicine started early with a trip to see her family physician on an Easter morning. She was heading towards her Grandma’s farm outside Naper, NE. She had convinced her older cousins to take her to the bee boxes at the start of her Grandma’s two-mile long lane. At the advanced age of 6, she thought she and her trusty bike, Blue Belle, were ready for the journey. She flipped herself over the handle bars hitting her lip. After an hour long journey to O’Neil and seven stiches later, Dr. Ptacek, their family physician, had her laughing about the chunk missing from her lip. It was that trip to her family physician peaked her interest in the field of medicine, especially in family medicine. Alexis stated that family medicine physicians have to be a “jack of all trades.” She felt these physicians not only treat the acute ailments, but also have their hand in assisting patients in forming healthy habits, making end of life decisions and even bringing new life into the world. She expressed family physicians have the great honor to play a large role in their patient’s lives and get to know them on a more personal level, which is her favorite aspect of family medicine.

Dennis DeRoin Scholarship
Dennis DeRoin followed his father's footsteps and made the decision to go to medical school and be a Family Physician. Dennis was privileged to work with his father one year before his father's early death at age 52. Dennis worked in private practice from 1979 until 1988 and then worked with Methodist Physician's Clinic until 2015 when he retired from the Louisville NE clinic. Throughout his career he enjoyed the variety of family medicine including delivering babies and caring for them and the entire family. He enjoyed having students and residents come spend time at his clinic. He served on many Methodist Hospital committees including the Physician's Clinic Executive Committee. He got involved with the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians when he was a medical student and his father brought him along to the annual meetings. He served as president of the NAFP from 1997 to 1998 and also served on and chaired many NAFP committees. He was on the AAFP Subcommittee on Indian Health and the Commission on Minority Health Affairs, both of which interested him because of his American Indian heritage. He enjoyed being a Family Physician and especially loved spending time with his own family -- wife, Marcia, and children, Nicole and Bill.

The 2017 scholarship goes to Danika Peterson. Danika is a M4 at Creighton School of Medicine. Danika shared in her scholarship application through her own personal experience with health complications and interactions with physicians she was inspired to enter the field of medicine. Through these experiences, she discovered a longing within herself to serve patients enduring their own maladies with the same caring, understanding spirit that several of her doctors possessed. In particular, during this time she realized her calling to become a family physician. Just as her health has been restored, she yearns to restore a similar fullness of life to her future patients. Her aspirations have been further solidified by her involvement with professional organizations and interactions with diverse patient populations over the last several years, which have re-affirmed her calling to become a family physician. She has a deep respect for the men and women who treat such an enormous variety of diseases and care for such an incredible range of patients. She’s witnessed the intimate relationships family doctors are able to form with their patients. She’s looking forward to fulfilling a similar role in a small, rural community someday in the future.