Two Guttenberg physicians earn statewide awards

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Dr. Jeff Hoffmann, right, receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from Dr. Robin Barnett, IAFP Board Chair. According to a colleague, “Dr. Hoffmann practices the full range of family practice. He does obstetrics, pediatrics, and emergency medicine and has an active clinic. He shows great empathy to his patients and is well liked by these people for whom he has cared. Despite long hours and hard work, Dr. Hoffmann exudes an attitude that is positive and encouraging.” (Photo submitted)

By Molly Moser

Two Guttenberg physicians were honored with awards from the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) in November. Dr. Jeff Hoffmann was recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Dr. Nathan Shaw was chosen to receive the Farm Bureau Rural Physician Scholarship. 

Dr. Hoffmann is both a committee member and past president of IAFP, and donor to the IAFP Foundation. He was nominated and selected by his colleagues for the Lifetime Achievement Award, given annually to a family physician who serves as a role model for other family physicians, residents, or medical students and has been significantly involved in community service and civic activities. 

Dr. Hoffmann received the Iowa High School Athletic Association Sports Medicine Award during the 2013 Boys’ State Basketball Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Clayton Ridge High School Principal Kris Einck nominated Dr. Hoffmann for that award because of his significant contributions to the Guttenberg and Clayton Ridge athletic programs. Dr. Hoffmann began serving on the sidelines for local athletic teams in the early 1990s, when he and his wife Carolyn moved to Guttenberg, and helped found the first local wrestling program for students in 1991. 

While his contributions to high school sports are admirable, Dr. Hoffmann’s involvement in the community goes far beyond athletics. Every year for the past two decades, Dr. Hoffmann has visited 5th grade classrooms in Guttenberg to teach a program called Tar Wars, where students learn about the harmful effects of tobacco. He serves on the school board and was also a prominent advocate for whole grade sharing between the Garnavillo and Guttenberg School Districts.

The IAFP honored three physicians alongside Dr. Hoffmann with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014, and those were Thomas Evans, M.D., of Johnston, Charles Korte, M.D., and Larry Severidt, M.D., both of Des Moines. “The IAFP would like to thank each recipient for their significant contributions to their communities and patients, and to recognize their service to family medicine in their roles as mentors, role models and teachers,” say organizers. 

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Dr. Nathan Shaw applied for the $2,500 Farm Bureau Rural Physician Scholarship with a poignant essay that began in an unusual manner. “Boobs, butts, and bellies,” I snicker to a classmate as we walk down the familiar stairwell leading into the school cafeteria. At age seven, my knowledge of the medical profession was almost completely limited to this simple and seemingly inappropriate phrase that my father, a general surgeon, taught me to describe the basic aspects of his surgical practice.” 

Dr. Shaw’s father is Dubuque general surgeon Keith Shaw, who has been practicing medicine for nearly forty years. “While I have always been drawn to the excitement, challenge, and importance of the healthcare field, it was not until I had the opportunity to experience medicine for myself as a medical student that I developed a much deeper understanding of the medical profession. Almost immediately after I started working with patients in a clinical setting, I realized that medicine is much more than a body part or surgical procedure. It is even more than treating disease, pain, and suffering. Medicine is about building trusting and lasting relationships with patients and their families, a viewpoint that ultimately led to my decision to pursue a career in Family Medicine,” wrote Dr. Shaw in his application essay.

Doug Martin, M.D., President of the IAFP Foundation, and Craig Hill, President Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, made four $2,500 award presentations during the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians’ annual meeting on Nov. 14. Recipients were students Amanda Harris, D.O., a native of nearby Earlville; Amber Meyer, M.D., of Genesis Quad Cities Family Medicine in Davenport; and residents Erin Schmidt, M.D., of Iowa Falls; and Dr. Shaw. 

Dr. Shaw graduated from the University of Iowa in 2007 with a B.S. in Integrative Physiology, then entered The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, graduating in May of 2011. Dr. Shaw completed his residency at Genesis Quad Cities Family Medicine Program in Davenport. As both a medical student and resident, Dr. Shaw had the opportunity to work in several rural Iowa communities, including Guttenberg. 

“As a third year family medicine resident, I had the opportunity to spend a month practicing medicine in Guttenberg, a small town with a population of less than 2000 people,” wrote Dr. Shaw. “One of the most memorable aspects of the preceptorship was the sense of community and accountability that I felt after arriving in Guttenberg. Every day, the clinic and hospital nurses educated me on how each patient was connected to the community, whether they were someone’s family member, friend, or a prominent figure in the community. It quickly became obvious that these relationships enhanced patient care, as I saw daily examples of healthcare workers going out of their way to make sure patients were treated like “family.” Similar to my experience as a medical student, I was inspired by the quality of the relationships I was able to form with hospital staff, patients, and individuals in the community over the short course of a month. During this preceptorship, I also experienced a degree of patient continuity that is often impossible in larger cities. Due to the multiple roles required of a rural physician, I was able to care for patients in a variety of settings, including the clinic, emergency department, and hospital. This continuity allowed me to learn a great deal about every patient and provide individualized, patient-centered care.”

In addition to maximizing the variety in his practice by working in the outpatient clinic, emergency department, inpatient unit, obstetric unit, and nursing home, Dr. Shaw is also looking forward to making a positive difference in the community. 

Each year the IAFP Foundation, the philanthropic body of the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians, works with the Iowa Farm Bureau Foundation to make these scholarships possible.   “Iowa’s strength and even its identity come from its rural roots.”  States Former IAFP Foundation president, Dr. Dave Larson.  “The Iowa Academy of Family Physicians and its Foundation strive to enhance that strength by encouraging young physicians to serve in rural areas.  By establishing their “medical homes” in the small towns of Iowa, they will continue the legacy of quality healthcare that for which Iowa is known.  We also are honored to partner with the Iowa Farm Bureau Foundation in its wise investment in its own roots and in these young doctors.”  

Barb Lykins, Iowa Farm Bureau Director Community Resources, said “The Iowa Farm Bureau is committed to Iowa’s rural character; after all, the citizens in our rural communities founded this great state and continue to be the backbone of our Iowa character.  We’re proud to sponsor this scholarship as a means to not only ‘give back’ to our rural citizens, but to encourage our highly-valued graduates to stay in Iowa and serve the rural community.”

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