WICHITA, KANSAS –The Kansas Academy of Family Physicians (KAFP) has selected JERRY NIERNBERGER, DO, FAAFP as the 2017 Kansas Family Physician of the Year.He will be honored at the KAFP Annual Meeting in Wichita on June 9, 2017. Dr. Jerry Niernberger is a family physician at Via Christi Clinic. Dr. Niernberger serves as Chief, Family Medicine Department at Via Christi Health; and is a member of the Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) Development Committee, Via Christi Strategic Planning Committee and Via Christi Clinic Board of Directors. “What it means to be a family doc is that I get to support, nurture, and care for my ‘family members’ around the clock. I have had this privilege for 31 years. And in that time I have shared laughter, grief, sadness and many tears,” wrote Dr. Niernberger.
"Dr. Niernberger is brilliant and caring. He accurately diagnosed every matter I visited him for when ill. With the proliferation of self-diagnosis, which I am guilty of, Dr. Niernberger has always listened as I would describe my symptoms and what I felt was wrong with me. He is always patient with me," shares a patient and friend of 25 years.
Dr. Niernberger was born in Guymon, Oklahoma and grew up in Liberal, Kansas. His upbringing included attending St. Joseph Military Academy in Hays, Kansas. He joined the U.S. Army in 1972, which is where he first began his medical career. He was the clinical specialist at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas. After the service, he moved to Wichita, Kansas where he attended Wichita State University (WSU). After graduating from WSU, he attended medical school in Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Kansas City, Missouri. Dr. Niernberger completed an internship at Riverside Hospital in Wichita before his osteopathic residency program at Rocky Mountain Hospital/St Luke’s Medical Center in Denver Colorado. He also completed the allopathic residency program at St. Francis Medical Center in Wichita. He is board certified by both the American Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians and the American Board of Family Medicine, which is highly unusual. During his residency at St, Francis, he became active in his volunteer work at Guadalupe Clinic “God gave me a gift, I can’t believe I have. I need to contribute,” Dr. Niernberger shared. For 22 years he volunteered at Guadalupe and also served on Board of Providers Network.
From 2000 to 2007 he enjoyed being the team physician for the World Wrestling Federation, now known as, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and “The Undertaker” were some of the superstars he got to meet and greet.
“Jerry has personally trained me since I was a new provider. I have had the pleasure of working with him for nearly 20 years, and his passion for teaching and practicing have never wavered, even in the ever-changing world of medicine. I see the love and respect his patients and co-workers have for him. He is truly a good example of a compassionate physician who strives to live his life by serving others,” said Ronda Hanneman, certified physician assistant with Via Christi Clinic.
2017 Kansas Family Physician of the Year nominee finalists included: Amy Cunningham, DO (Neodesha); Lynn Fisher, MD, FAAFP (Plainville); Robert Freelove, MD (Salina); Charles Green, MD, FAAFP (Andover); Brian Holmes, MD (Abilene); Drew Miller, MD (Lakin); and George Wright, MD, FAAFP (Topeka).
KAFP has presented the Kansas Family Physician of the Year award since 1990. Past recipients can be found on the KAFP website at: http://www.kafponline.org/Members/Awards/FamilyPhysicianoftheYear/
About the KAFP
The Kansas Academy of Family Physicians is the largest medical specialty society in the state, with a total of 1,630 members. The mission of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians is to promote access to, and excellence in, health care for all Kansans through education and advocacy for family physicians and their patients. The KAFP is affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the national association for family physicians. For more information about the KAFP visit the KAFP Web site at www.kafponline.org.