Since 1977, NDMA has been honoring physicians with the Physician Community and Professional Services Award. The award recognizes physicians for outstanding leadership and service to the people of North Dakota and who serve as role models and are active in both their profession and in their community.
The 2022 recipient of the NDMA Physician Community and Professional Services Award was presented to Dr. Paul Carson.
During the pandemic, Dr. Paul Carson became known to many as the scientific expert and the voice of reason. He became a regular consultant to the North Dakota Department of Health and served on Governor Burgum’s task force to address the pandemic response. Into all hours of the nights and early mornings, he took the necessary time to respond to texts, emails and phone calls and worked relentlessly to assure the public was getting the most accurate up-to-date information possible. He delivered seminars and information updates too numerous to count and addressed national requests for information and interviews. In addition to state duties, he took his community and colleagues to heart by serving in a volunteer capacity to many community groups, church groups, hospital systems, and physician groups.
His dedication to helping physicians learn first-hand about the pandemic by attending the Physicians Advisory Group was recognized by Dr. David Field, who nominated Carson for the award. In 2015 he founded the NDSU Center for Immunization Research and Education. In 2020, Dr. Carson received the NDSU College of Health Professions Mary J. Berg Award for Excellence in Teaching. His most recent accomplishment was being awarded the 2022 NDSU Faculty Lectureship Award.
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Friend of Medicine
For 2022, NDMA selected two deserving recipients.
The North Dakota Medical Association created the “Friend of Medicine” Award in 1999 to formally acknowledge non-physician citizens of our state who have distinguished themselves by serving as effective advocates for health care, patient services, or the profession of medicine in the state of North Dakota.
ND Department of Health
Bismarck Burleigh Public Health Director
Nominated by Dr. Joan Connell, Renae has dedicated nearly 20 years to healthcare. Since taking on the position as director in 2013, she helped locate funding sources to provide assistance for those who don’t have direct access to everyday healthcare. She has taken on many leadership roles to address community health issues such as opioid and substance abuse, behavioral health and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic.
She has gone the extra mile to attend and contribute to NDMA’s Physician Advisory Group (PAG) and strives to make a difference by representing health no matter the repercussions. She serves as a role model for others to stay strong during the storms.
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Director of Public Health at Fargo Cass Public Health
Nominated by Dr. Richard Vetter, Desi works relentlessly to positively impact those around her. For the past thirty years, she has dedicated her efforts to Fargo Cass Public Health by serving as a maternal child nurse, nursing supervisor, director of nursing and most currently the position of Director.
During several flood events she served in the Emergency Operations Center and during the pandemic served as incident commander and co-chair of the Red River Valley Covid-19 Task Force. She is also an active participant of NDMA’s Physicians Advisory Group. Her strong characteristics are instrumental in guiding a community and state through any crisis.
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NDMA COPIC Humanitarian Award
Dr. James Buhr
The COPIC Humanitarian Award is presented annually to honor a physician for volunteer medical services and contributions to their community. COPIC seeks to recognize physicians who volunteer outside the spectrum of their day-to-day lives. The recipient of the award designates a $10,000 donation from COPIC to be provided to a health care-related 501(c)(3) organization within North Dakota.
Dr. Buhr had practiced in rural medicine for nearly 40 years prior to his retirement from clinical practice in May of 2020. During those years he demonstrated commitment to his patients, family, and colleagues which made a significant impact on his community. He was instrumental in bringing Hospice to the Valley City community in the 1980s and served as their local medical director. He continued to serve as the county health officer helping with the COVID 19 response until August of 2021.
He has a special interest in humanitarian efforts for the underserved and dedicated a great deal of time on mission trips to Africa to assist with health care and hospital infrastructure. He continues to be active with the Global Health Ministries and was also the primary physician for many years for the Open Door Center which serves adults and children with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the Valley City community. Dr Buhr’s contributions to his profession and his community display a commitment to the health and wellbeing of others.
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COPIC is a great investment. Frequency of claims among COPIC insureds is 30% less than the national average.
The North Dakota Medical Association (NDMA) is pleased to partner with COPIC as the endorsed medical professional liability insurance provider for its members.