Communications: News

Dr. Jennie Orr Named Minnesota's 2009 Family Physician of the Year

Friday, April 17, 2009  
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The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) has named Jennie Orr, M.D., Hastings, as its 2009 Family Physician of the Year. This award is presented annually to a family physician who represents the highest ideals of the specialty of family medicine, including caring, comprehensive medical service, community involvement and service as a role model.

Dozens of doctors from across the state were nominated for the award by patients, community members and co-workers. Four finalists were selected from the field of nominees. Along with Dr. Orr, they included Dr. Carolyn Becker, Mapleton; Dr. John Fedje-Johnston, Grand Rapids; and Dr. Donald Kammerer, Albert Lea. After reviewing the nomination letters, the MAFP Board of Directors chose Dr. Orr as the winner. The award was presented to her during the MAFP All-Member Celebration on Thursday, April 16, 2009, at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Her name will be entered for consideration for the national award given by the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2010.

"I am very honored,” Dr. Orr said before accepting her award. "I just feel so privileged to be a part of my patients' lives." Dr. Orr practices at the Allina Medical Clinic in Hastings. She has been a family physician in the community for 28 years.

"She just has so many of those characteristics that you would want in a physician and just in a friend," said patient Dawn Haynes.

"She sat with my mom through chemotherapy. She held her hand. We are so grateful to have that woman in our life," said patient Trish Thompson.

Besides maintaining a busy practice, Dr. Orr works in the hospital, does c-section call and donates time to a free clinic in Apple Valley. Dr. Orr is on the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics National Advisory Faculty and has taught classes in Qatar and Nepal. She has volunteered for many medical mission trips to places like Bangladesh, Guatemala and India where she works with OB patients. In 2003, she received a 'Friend of Education' award from the Hasting School District and in 2007, she was selected as the 'Community Teacher of the Year' for her precepting work with the United Family Practice Residency Program.

"She really just extends herself in whatever ways she feels would be beneficial to others," said Tracy Pfiefer, clinic manager.

Dr. Orr grew up in Northern Idaho. She studied computer science at Michigan State University and went on to get her medical degree there also. She did her residency in Cedar Rapids after choosing family medicine as her specialty. Dr. Orr and her husband have been married for nearly 30 years and have two adult children. When describing her role as a family physician, Dr. Orr said, "I’m very gratified that my patients trust me enough to keep coming to see me. My biggest job is to be their coach and to encourage them to take care of themselves."

The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians is a professional association of approximately 3,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students organized to assist family physicians in providing quality medical care in Minnesota. The MAFP is the largest medical specialty organization in Minnesota and is a state chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, one of the largest national medical organizations in the United States with more than 103,000 members.

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