COPIC Humanitarian Award Winners


The COPIC Humanitarian Award is presented each year to honor a physician for volunteer medical services and contributions to the community. The award 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 their respective state. If you know a worthy candidate, please nominate him or her for this award. Learn more about the COPIC Humanitarian Award here.

Learn more about COPIC.

Dr. Grant Syverson: 2023 COPIC Humanitarian Award Recipient

Nominated by Make-A-Wish North Dakota, the foundation shares that Dr. Syverson exemplifies what it means to be a humanitarian both within his profession and beyond. His support for Wish Kids has helped them grow and experience life in ways they otherwise wouldn’t have.

While many rheumatology patients are unaware that they qualify for a wish, Dr. Syverson has been diligent in referring his patients, allowing them the “opportunity to have opportunities” as he puts it.

Beyond Make-A-Wish, Dr. Syverson volunteers with the Arthritis Foundation in North Dakota, its annual Jingle Bell Run and Camp Sisu for young people with arthritis. He also serves on the board of ShareHouse, which provides Substance Use Disorder services to the region, and serves on the Fargo Cass County Board of Health.


Dr. James Buhr: 2022 COPIC Humanitarian Award Recipient

Dr. James Buhr


Dr. Buhr practiced 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 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 and continues to be active with the Global Health Ministries. He 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.

Dr. James Miles: 2021 COPIC Humanitarian Award Recipient

Dr. James Miles


Dr. Miles was nominated by Make a Wish North Dakota. Dr. James Miles has made an indelible mark on children across North Dakota, not only through his work as one of only two board certified, fellowship trained pediatric neurologists in the state, but also through his volunteer work, which has focused on supporting children with critical or life-threatening illnesses.

Dr. Dennis Wolf: 2020 COPIC Humanitarian Award Recipient

Dr. Dennis Wolf

Nominated by Dr. Kamille Sherman, she has this to say about Dr. Wolf: Dr. Wolf has dedicated his life to the practice of medicine in rural North Dakota for nearly 60 years, during which time he has demonstrated unceasing commitment to medicine and his community.
ABLE, INC. shared a letter of graditude to Dr. Wolf for his contributions and are most grateful for the $10,000 honorarium. LEARN MORE.


Dr. Aaland: 2019 COPIC Humanitarian Award Recipient

Dr. Aaland's dedication to training communities on how to STOP THE BLEED led to a $10,000 grant to assist smaller communities in being able to benefit from this program designed to save lives when seconds matter.

"I am pleased to report, that two very talented high school students developed a project as part of their engagement in the Future Business Leaders of American to teach all high school students the course STOP THE BLEED."  Dr. Aaland

The funds allowed the program to purchase over 200 kits (each kit costs $69) and 215 students completed the training program.

STOP THE BLEED classes were taught to all Emmons County High School Students: Linton, Strasburg and Hazelton; 7th and 8th grades were added in Linton and Hazelton schools.

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