Grand Island Family Physician Receives National Honor From American Academy of Family Physicians
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 28, 2006
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5204
The award honors an AAFP member for extraordinary and enduring humanitarian efforts both within and outside the United States. Bliese has been involved in the global development of family medicine and education for more than 25 years.
Bliese began her global efforts while still a medical student when she volunteered in medical clinics in the mountains of Mexico. After completing her medical training, she served on a relief team in Nigeria, working to save the lives of sick and starving children. Bliese spent the next 10 years volunteering her services in Bangladesh, where she helped build a 100-bed hospital to meet the basic needs of 10 million people.
In 1990, Bliese began leading medical teams to Nigeria to work in areas of the bush where there was no medical care. Today, she still goes there at least once a year to work in conjunction with the Nigerian government. She records diseases found in survey work and also treats the acutely ill. The government uses her research results to plan future health care services for Nigeria’s remote areas. In 1998, a 25-bed hospital was completed to serve as a base for her work. She has helped raise funds for a surgery center which will be completed this year.
Bliese serves as executive director of Hope International Services while also working full time as medical director of Employers Health Care in Grand Island, Neb. To recognize her commitment to the local community, a former governor of Nebraska declared March 8, 1996, “Dr. Kathy Bliese Day.”
In 2002, Bliese established the Nebraska Academy of Family Physicians Medical Mission Grant to provide scholarships to medical students who participate in medical mission trips as part of their medical training.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
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