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Family physician, UNMC students from rural Nebraska honored with awards

(Left to right) Family Medicine Medical Education Director Dr. Mindy Lacey, Dr. Geoffrey Talmon, Gretchen Vondrak, Nick Vondrak, Suzanne Hansen, Gretchen Hansen, Everett Hansen, Brad Hansen, Dr. Angela Brennan, Family Medicine Chairman Dr. Michael Sitorius, and Family Medicine Vice Chairman Dr. Jeff Harrison

Passionate – inspiring – committed. This is how students described St. Paul family physician and University of Nebraska Medical Center graduate, Dr. Angela Brennan, while completing their third-year family medicine clerkship in a rural community.

“Dr. Brennan is a shining example of what a UNMC-trained, rural doctor ought to be in terms of a clinician, teacher, mentor, and community role model,” said Sean Flor, a third-year medical student at UNMC who spent eight weeks with Dr. Brennan.

It is the example set through teaching, mentorship, and as a community role model that earned Dr. Brennan the Marion D. and Theodore H. Koefoot, Jr., M.D. Outstanding Preceptor in Rural Family Medicine Award. She received the award on May 3 at the UNMC Family Medicine annual awards banquet.

The Koefoot Award was created in 2005 in memory of Dr. Theodore Koefoot, who was a charter preceptor for UNMC's rural family medicine preceptorship.

The award is granted to a rural Nebraska family physician who provides outstanding teaching and mentoring of medical students during their family medicine rural preceptorship and serves as an outstanding community physician.

The award was established through a gift made to the University of Nebraska Foundation by Dr. Koefoot's wife, Marion, and his family, Gretchen and Nick Vondrak, Sarah and Gary Gernhart, Stephanie and Nicholas Vondrak, and Suzanne and Brad Hansen.

Marion Koefoot and two of her daughters and their husbands -- Gretchen and Nick Vondrak, and Suzanne and Brad Hansen, attended to recognize the importance of family medicine and acknowledge the influence of a preceptor's family on the medical student experience.

The highlight of the evening included a testimony from nominator and third-year medical student, Derek Hutchins, who spent his rotation with Dr. Brennan.

“I feel grateful to have spent my family medicine rotation in St. Paul, and lucky that I got to learn from someone who fully embraces and lives up to the diverse skills of doctors in this specialty.”

Several medical students from Nebraska also were honored at the annual banquet.

Hannah Baldridge, of North Platte, received the James L. Leahy Award, given to an outstanding senior medical student who will enter the Family Medicine House Officer program at UNMC.

Cole Marolf, of Holland, received the Fay Smith Award, given to a graduating UNMC medical student who has completed a family medicine clerkship and who will be entering a family medicine residency program.

Madeleine Wilson, of Omaha, received the Rodney A. Sitorius, M.D., and Virginia H. Sitorius Scholarship.

Derek Marshall of Elm Creek, was the recipient of the Audrey and Paul Paulman Scholarship.

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