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NAFP/F Scholarship Winners

Charles F. Ashby, MD, Memorial 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 Drs. Tiffany Svoboda, of Callaway, and Ashley Tiahrt, of Pender.

Dr. Svoboda grew up in a small town not far from where she practices now. She said growing up she went to the same clinic from the time she was born all the way through high school. “Having this continuity of care is why I chose to practice Family Medicine in a rural community near the place I call home.” She hopes that other families can trust her as their physician year after year as their children and they themselves grow older. Dr. Svoboda enjoys being a part of the community and seeing her patients in and outside of the clinic. 

Dr. Tiahrt’s dreams of becoming a small-town family physician started at age 17 when she was accepted into the Chadron State Rural Health Opportunities Program. She grew up on a farm outside of Laurel, NE and knows how important it was for physicians to return to communities like hers. As a child she remembers going to Dr. Dave Felber’s house on the weekend and he put sutures in her brother’s forehead in his own kitchen. She says, “A small town has a community network and there is nothing I want more than to be a small-town provider.” 

Donald A. Larson, MD, Memorial 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 2020 Donald J. Larson Resident Scholarship is Dr. Samantha Sholes. Dr. Sholes chose a career as a primary care physician because she enjoys the continuity of care, seeing patients of all ages, and whole person healthcare. In her scholarship application, she wrote, “I am planning to practice Family Medicine in rural Nebraska. I hope to provide the most comprehensive care that I am able to in order to keep my patients close to home.” She plans to have a broad scope practice including clinic, hospital medicine and ER coverage. Dr. Sholes is passionate about preventative healthcare, but also enjoys many other aspects and cannot wait to thrive in the field of Family Medicine. 

Haiti Mission Trip 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. Unfortunately due to the current conditions in Haiti, they are not able to provide a mission trip at this time.

Medical Mission Trip 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 Eva Schaible, M1, who is a student at CUMC. Ms. Eva Schaible wrote in her application about why she chooses to participate in medical mission trips, “It will help me to better understand and relate to future patients, allowing me to be a more empathetic physician in the future.” She is excited to use the skills they have learned thus far to bring care to those who normally have no access to medical care. She says, “I have always been interested in Family Medicine, this trip will help me gain essential skills in caring for the entire patient: mind, body and soul. It’s important to me to be able to form long-lasting, meaningful relationships with my patients of all ages and backgrounds.” 

William A. DeRoin, MD, Memorial Scholarship

The DeRoin Memorial scholarship is presented each year in memory of Dr. William A. DeRoin. Dr. DeRoin was the 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. He 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 2020 William A. DeRoin scholarship was given to Garret Dockweiler, who is a M3 at UNMC. Mr. Dockweiler wrote in his scholarship application, “I want to be the primary care provider for my patients, and I love the breadth of practice in Family Medicine.” He and his wife both desire to live and raise their future family in a small town. Mr. Dockweiler would like to become more involved within the NAFP after he graduates, especially in advocating for rural Nebraska medicine. He says, “Family Medicine has repeatedly shown me that it is the field best suited for my broad interest in medicine, my diverse skillset, and my desire to be a contributing member of a small community.” 

Dennis DeRoin, MD, Memorial 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. Dennis 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 2020 scholarship recipient is Jeffrey Wallman, who is a M3 at UNMC. Mr. Wallman is proud to be a first-generation college student and first-generation medical student. He said in his scholarship application, “I am attracted to many aspects of the Family Medicine field, including the variety of conditions for which one cares, the continuity of care one establishes with patients, and the leadership opportunities available for healthcare advocacy.” His Family Medicine clerkship in Scottsbluff, cemented his desire to practice in a rural setting. Mr. Wallman stated, “My experience with the providers and patients in the field there confirmed my passion for serving the people of greater Nebraska.” 

Rural Student Externship Grant

The purpose of this six-week Externship is to introduce medical students to the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model of care. The student will work in multiple locations over a six-week period. The student would have the opportunity to see how the Patient-Centered Medical Home concept is integrated into the policies of the ACO and how the medical director helps guide the members of the ACO in developing and implementing the Patient-Centered Medical Home model within their clinic.

The 2020 recipient of the externship opportunity is Nathan Maginnis, an M1 at UNMC. Mr. Maginnis was a participant in Rural Health Opportunities Program in Chadron for four years. Ever since he had an interest in medicine his goal was to be in Family Medicine and return to a rural setting for practice. In his application he talks about why he enjoys Family Medicine, “The long-term relationships established with patients is one of a kind.”