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MAFP Names Ryan Brower, MD, the 2019 Family Medicine Resident of the Year

Friday, March 1, 2019   (0 Comments)
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St. Louis Park, March 1, 2019 – The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) has selected Ryan Brower, MD, as the 2019 Family Medicine Resident of the Year. This award is presented annually to a third-year resident for outstanding contributions to family medicine through community involvement, leadership and educational activities.

Brower, chief resident at the University of Minnesota Mankato Family Medicine Residency, has been actively involved in nutrition education and food advocacy, teaching patients, colleagues and community members that food is medicine and proper nutrition can both treat and prevent disease.

“Since starting residency, [Brower] took on the task of improving food quality and access for his patients. He is the director of the Mayo Clinic Health System - Eastridge community clinic garden and responsible for maintaining it and coordinating the use of the garden. He’s often seen on weekends and after hours planting, weeding and harvesting. Because of his leadership, we are able to refer our patients to the garden on their way out of clinic—to pick some green beans, smell fresh spices or sit and reflect on the robust beauty of the bounty,” said Erin Westfall, DO, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota Mankato Family Medicine Residency.

Brower is currently an active member of Roots, Boots and Shoots, a community food network that seeks to identify and equitably solve issues within the Mankato/North Mankato food system. During his residency, he also developed a partnership with the Statewide Health Improvement Plan coordinator in Blue Earth County and University of Minnesota Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) team. Together, they’ve developed a Food Rx program where family medicine residents screen for food insecurity, prescribe food if patients have a chronic preventable disease and provide patients with fresh, whole foods and nutrition education. In addition, he helped create a listing of local food programs and evidence-based wellness programs for patients and community members to use as a resource.

Westfall said, “Brower has created a culture shift toward whole health, and the understanding that food is medicine. He has challenged us all to practice nutritional counseling [with] our patients and thereby improve [their] lifestyle choices…the impact in our residency and community will endure.” Brower will complete his family medicine residency in June 2019.


About the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians: The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) is the largest medical specialty organization in Minnesota, representing more than 3,100 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students. The MAFP promotes the specialty of family medicine in Minnesota and supports family physicians as they provide high quality, comprehensive and continuous medical care for patients of all ages.

About the MAFP Academy Awards: Each year, the MAFP recognizes its members for their hard work and dedication to family medicine via its own Academy Awards. Family physicians from across Minnesota are nominated—by patients, community members, educators, learners and colleagues—for a variety of awards. The MAFP Board of Directors selects awardees after reviewing nomination letters and credentials. Awards will be formally presented at the MAFP Spring Refresher, to be held March 28 & 29 at The Depot Minneapolis.

Media contact: Emie Buege, 651-338-1545,

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