Attending the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH) Renner-Hansen Awards is an opportunity to honor the heroes of family medicine. Faculty, staff, students, and friends of DFMCH gather annually to learn more about the work of early career faculty and the citizens of Wisconsin who strive to improve health care for all.

DFMCH Faculty Excellence Awards

Faculty Excellence Award recipients. From left: Sreevalli Atluru, MD, Jamie Kling, DO, FAAFP, and Vincent Minichiello, MD.

Marc Hansen Lectureship Award

Named for DFMCH founder Marc Hansen, MD, this award honors a DFMCH junior faculty member who has contributed to the education of students and residents or made a scholarly contribution to the academic discipline of family medicine. Hansen created a team practice model in the UW Department of Pediatrics that became the department’s first primary care teaching program, University Family Health Service. This program was a model for the Department of Family Medicine when it was created in 1970.

Past Honorees

Vice Chair for Education Ildi Martonffy, MD, received the award as junior faculty in 2015; and Jonas Lee, MD, who now practices at Access Community Health Center/Wingra Family Medical Center, took the honor in 2016. Both also completed their residencies at DFMCH.

John H. Renner Wisconsin Idea Award

The John H. Renner Wisconsin Idea Award was established in 2001 to honor Dr. John Renner, the first chair of the DFMCH. Hired in 1970 from his practice in Virginia, Renner possessed the vision and entrepreneurial spirit needed to run the newly established family medicine training program. Each year, a Wisconsin citizen or organization who exemplifies a commitment to family medicine and the health needs of Wisconsin receives the award.

Past Honorees

The first recipient was former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson who was instrumental in passing a bill as a state assembly member to provide funding to expand primary care teaching programs and initiate family medicine training. Subsequent honorees include Sister Rebecca Wright, chief executive officer of St. Mary’s Hospital from 1967-1985, who offered space and additional funding for the new department; Susan Skochelak, MD, MPH, senior associate dean for academic affairs at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health from 1997 -2009, developed the DFMCH’s first required medical student education programs, the Primary Care Clerkship and the Generalist Partners Program; and Dr. Dennis Baumgardner, a dedicated teacher and nationally recognized researcher, who served as director of the Aurora St. Lukes Family Medicine Residency Program from 1994-2001 and medical director for research for the Aurora-UW Medical Group.

2024 Celebration

This year’s Renner Wisconsin Idea Award recipient was Dr. Ken Loving, chief executive officer of Access Community Health Centers, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Madison. Loving began working as a full-time physician at what was then the Madison Community Health Center in 1996. A collaboration with the DFMCH led to the opening of the South Madison Health and Family Center, also known as Harambee, Swahili for “Pulling Together.”

Taking home the Marc Hansen Lectureship Award was DFMCH alum Nicole Bonk, MD. You can learn more about her career and impact on the people of Wisconsin on page six of the DFMCH Spring 2024 Alumni Newsletter.

Additional Awards

Alison Miller, DO.

Alison Miller, DO, accepts the Clinical Excellence Award from Vice Chair for Clinical Care Russ Lemmon, DO.

The ceremony includes several other awards for excellence in service, quality improvement and research. The Robert Drachenberg Staff Excellence Award is named for the longstanding department administrator responsible for leading the DFMCH through many successful years and is given to DFMCH staff who exemplify his work. The Faculty Excellence Award honors faculty for excellent performance and service to the mission of the DFMCH. The James Davis, MD, MS, Quality Improvement Awards recognize and honor outstanding quality improvement projects. The Richard Roberts, MD, JD, Clinical Excellence Award honors the contributions of Roberts to family medicine leadership at the state, national, and international levels and celebrates his dedication to patients and his commitment to excellence in patient care.

William Scheckler, MD, Research Awards

Scheckler, MD, Research Award Recipients. From left: Jonathan Temte, MD, PhD, MS, Asma Ali, PharmD, PhD, David Mallinson, PhD.

The William Scheckler, MD, Research Awards honor Dr. Scheckler’s contributions to the promotion of scholarly activity in the department. This award is given to a faculty or staff member whose paper published in a peer-reviewed journal over the previous calendar year is considered the best by a committee of peers. An additional award is given to a resident, fellow, or medical student for an outstanding research project completed during the year. The final award of the evening is the Chair’s Award for Exemplary Service recognizing staff and faculty for leadership and innovation.

Published: June 2024