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Agriculture

Shepherd named Rural Health Physician of Excellence

Doctor honored for commitment to rural health care

Dr. Ben Shepherd (front row, right) is pictured with his wife, Becca, son Lincoln and daughter Arya. Also pictured (back row, from left) are Margaret Vaughn, IRHA director; Tim Muntz, president and CEO of St. Margaret's; nominators Diane Potts and Dr. Martin Macdowell, UI College of Medicine in Rockford; and state Rep. Dan Swanson. Dr. Shepherd was recently honored as a 2019 Illinois Rural Health Association Physician of Excellence.
Dr. Ben Shepherd (front row, right) is pictured with his wife, Becca, son Lincoln and daughter Arya. Also pictured (back row, from left) are Margaret Vaughn, IRHA director; Tim Muntz, president and CEO of St. Margaret's; nominators Diane Potts and Dr. Martin Macdowell, UI College of Medicine in Rockford; and state Rep. Dan Swanson. Dr. Shepherd was recently honored as a 2019 Illinois Rural Health Association Physician of Excellence.

SPRING VALLEY — St. Margaret’s has announced Dr. Ben Shepherd, of the Center for Family Health in Princeton, was recently honored as a 2019 Illinois Rural Health Association Physician of Excellence.

An award presentation was held Sept. 17 at the Center for Family Health in Princeton.

In a tradition started more than 15 years ago by the National Rural Health Association, the Illinois Rural Health Association (IRHA) has been honoring physicians who exhibit a special commitment to rural health care.

“One of the biggest health care challenges across our nation is the shortage of physicians who practice in rural settings. IRHA feels it is important to recognize those who have accepted this calling and gone out of their way to make an impact,” Margaret Vaughn,áIRHA executive director, said.

Dr. Shepherd was nominated by Diane Potts, assistant director of curriculum outreach and development at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford.

In her nomination, Potts stated:

"He provides this care in a most compassionate way, allowing his patients the opportunity to remain near home, where they are able to avoid those wearing stresses related to traveling to larger city centers, with or without family, along with those financial burdens, which would necessarily be incurred.

"His successes in patient care result from his professional strengths in identifying patients’ needs in combination with his own personal demeanor. Patients develop trust and comfortability in speaking with him, as they feel that he offers thorough explanations describing their medical conditions and associated treatment plans.

"Dr. Benjamin Shepherd continues to serve and give back selflessly to the medical community by teaching the next generations of rural doctors. Although he is quite busy with a young family, he continues to precept third-year and fourth-year medical students … repeatedly over the course of an entire academic year.

"He fully understands the importance of absolutes in rural medical care and most certainly indoctrinates his personal philosophy and ultimate respect for his patients in dedicating his career in the service of others."

When asked about the award, Dr. Shepherd stated: “I am grateful to receive this award from the Illinois Rural Health Association. Being able to practice in Princeton with St. Margaret’s and work with the community is a true honor every day. I get to work with superior people at the Center for Family Health, and I share this award with them.”

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