Congratulations to the 2017 Winners!

2017 Family Physician of the Year

William Heifner, MD

William Heifner, MD is the lead physician, Dyad at UW Health Family Medicine Clinic in Oregon and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison. Dr. Heifner has served the community of Oregon for nearly 30 years where he gives twice-yearly lectures on sexual health to students at Oregon Middle School and High School. In addition, he has traveled to the Dominican Republic on medical missions five times of the last ten years. Dr. Heifner believes family medicine is a lifestyle and appreciates the opportunities to be involved in the community and build relationships of trust.

Colleague, Sandra Kamnetz, MD, states this about Dr. Heifner, "He genuinely cares for his patients, steadfastly supports the students who rotate through his clinic, and is highly respected by the community, his peers and organizational leaders."

Dr. Heifner strives to continue the ideals of family medicine in his practice as a personal goal, and he shares, "We have such a privilege as family physicians to enter into the lives of our patients at so many levels, and to engage with them in sickness and in health. We have that continuum across the life span that no other specialty has to engage with our families."

2017 Family Medicine Educator of the Year

Paul Klas, MD

Paul Klas, MD is Residency Program Director at the Gundersen Family Medicine Residency Program in La Crosse and is a staff family physician at Gundersen Health System in Onalaska. In addition to being a physician, a leader, and an educator, he is a preceptor for medical students and teaches motivational interviewing to students during their primary care clerkship. He strives to ensure that students graduate prepared to take on full spectrum family medicine as newly practicing physicians. 

Resident, Wesley Fox, MD states, "He consistently models the most admirable characteristics in a family physician: knowledge, empathy, professionalism, and humility. His lifetime of dedication has impacted the lives of many people, and his impact will keep growing for many more years through those he has taught and inspired."

Dr. Klas is also well regarded by his colleagues and according to Robyn Borge, MD, faculty member of the Family Medicine Residency Program at Gundersen Health Systems, "His passion for teaching and helping students is contagious. Under his leadership, the residency has already established a reputation as being a great place to receive high quality training and for providing excellent patient care."

In his own words, Dr. Klas says, "Being a program director for the Gundersen Foundation Family Medicine Residency, has given me the opportunity to help improve the health of our community outside of our clinic walls. We are joining forces with our community health workers, community social workers and several schools in our neighborhood. All of these endeavors are early in their development, but hold promise to show our residents how they can be involved in our great community."

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