UNMC Family Medicine Connect

Dr. Zach Meyer honored at annual Koefoot Awards

DFM Rural Residency Director, Dr. Jeff Harrison, DFM Medical Student Education Director, Dr. Mindy Lacey, Koefoot Award recipient, Dr. Zach Meyer, and DFM Chairman Dr. Michael Sitorius.

Students describe Family Practice of Grand Island clinic physician, Dr. Zachary Meyer, as caring, genuine, and approachable. Their experience with the UNMC graduate during a third-year family medicine clerkship earned him recognition as the 2019 recipient of the Marion D. and Theodore H. Koefoot, Jr., M.D. Outstanding Preceptor in Rural Family Medicine Award.

“He took the time to get to know me and my interests, and made sure I was intimately involved in any case that could help me learn and achieve my personal goals,” one student said in his nomination form.

It is the examples set through teaching, mentorship, and as a community role model that led to honoring Dr. Meyer with the Koefoot Award at the 14th annual banquet on April 24. The evening including recognition of Dr. Meyer from UNMC Department of Family Medicine Medical Education Director, Dr. Mindy Lacey, department chairman, Dr. Michael Sitorius, and Gretchen Vondrak, daughter of Marion and Dr. Theodore Koefoot.

The Koefoot Award was created in 2005 in memory of Dr. Theodore Koefoot. He was a charter preceptor for University of Nebraska Medical Center’s rural family medicine preceptorship. The award is granted to a rural Nebraska family physician who provides outstanding teaching and mentoring of medical students during their Family Medicine rural preceptorship and serves as an outstanding community physician. The award was established through a gift made to the University of Nebraska Foundation by the Koefoot family.

Gretchen and husband Nick Vondrak, and Dr. Koefoot’s grandchildren, Sarah Gernhart, M.D., Nicholas Vondrak, and Suzanne Hansen attended the banquet, along with their families, to honor this year’s recipient and acknowledge the influence of a preceptor’s family to the medical student experience.

The highlight of the evening included an acceptance speech from Dr. Meyer where he shared his experience as a family medicine preceptor and expressed his gratitude.

“Thanks to the students who nominated me and to all the students who come out to Grand Island for being willing to learn and engage with the practice of medicine outside the Omaha area,” Meyer said.

“Thank you for challenging me and keeping me on my toes. There are some neat people in this world and a lot of them happen to be medical students. It’s a great honor to get to work with them.”

Several medical student were also honored at the annual banquet.

  • Zachary Wordekemper received the James L. Leahy Award, given to an outstanding senior medical student who will enter the Family Medicine House Officer program at this medical center.
  • Ryan Muehling received the Fay Smith award given to a graduating UNMC medical student who has completed a family medicine clerkship and who will be entering a family medicine residency program.
  • John Bader received the Rodney A. Sitorius, M.D., and Virginia H. Sitorius Scholarship.
  • Katelyn Jelden was the recipient of the Audrey and Paul Paulman Scholarship

Bronner advising leads to award for Primary Care Progress chapter

Dr. Heidi Keeler, Director UNMC Office of Community Engagement, Madeline Volk (COP 2020), Carli Zegers (CON PhD 2019), Liliana Bronner, Faculty Advisor Family Medicine, Primary Care Center, Balkissa Ouattara (COPH 2019), Katie Salinas (CON MSN 2020), Jed Hansen (CON PhD 2021)

Department of Family Medicine Assistant Professor, Liliana Bronner, MHSA, MBA, serves as the faculty advisor for the UNMC chapter of the Primary Care Progress and the group was recently recognized for their community contributions.

On April 19, 2019, the UNMC Chapter of the Primary Care Progress received the Health Education Award from the UNMC Office of Community Engagement in recognition for exemplary contributions to the development of educational health care services to the community in the 2018-2019 school year.

The award recognizes student organizations that extend UNMC core values through demonstration of exemplary contribution to the development of educational health care services or programming to community agencies, schools, or organizations.

Determination of the award winner considers the extent to which the nominee consistently demonstrates iTEACH values and reciprocally beneficial services to one or a variety of organizations over the course of the semester.

The Primary Care Progress UNMC Chapter demonstrated the highest marks in all four award criteria: identification of community need, creation of the learning project to match the need, impact of the project, and long-term commitment to meeting the community need.



Koran, Khandalavala present in E-Learning showcase

The UNMC Office of Academic Affairs hosted the annual E-Learning showcase on Tuesday, April 16. The 2019 E-Learning Showcase, “Innovators in Education”, spotlighted faculty and student collaborators making transformations in UNMC curricula.

Family Medicine faculty, Dr. Birgit Khandalavala and Dr. Jessica Koran presented their e-module “Obesity Bias”.

“We worked with students from several UNMC colleges to create this e-module which will be housed and open for anyone to complete in the UNMC E-Gallery.  It was a fun morning and we were excited to share our work with the other groups and the campus faculty,” Dr. Koran said.

Visit the E-Gallery to learn more.

Obesity Bias

Residents, subinterns announced for 2019-20

The Department of Family Medicine will welcome new house officers for the traditional, military, and rural training track programs for the 2019-2020 year. Four UNMC medical students will also be joining through the Advanced Rural Training Program as subinterns.

UNMC Match Day was held on March 15.

Traditional Program

  • Benjamin Noble – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Oluwatobi “Tobi” Ogun – Poznan University of Medical Sciences
  • Lauren Wight – St. George’s University

Urban Underserved

  • Peter Schindler – Medical College of Wisconsin

Current Advanced Rural Training Program

  • Hannah Malcolm
  • Carissa Mangus
  • Grant Saltzgaber
  • Zachary Wordekemper

Rural Training Track

Grand Island

  • Hannah Luksa – UNMC
  • Thomas Vonderfecht – UNMC


  • Abby Richardson – University of Science, Arts & Technology


  • MacKenzie Thomson – Trinity School of Medicine

North Platte  

  • Praveena Vantipalli – Alluri Sitaram Raju Academy of Medical Sciences


  • Anastasia Burke – UNMC
  • Kathleen Jourdan – St. George’s University

Air Force

  • Alison Bauer – Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Hannah Dickinson – Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • James Dreher – University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Andrew Engle – Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Madalyn Plessinger – Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
  • Garrett Rissler – Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Jade Stobbe – West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine


  • Matthew Dorwart
  • Denai Fraction
  • Daniel Lomelin
  • Allie Swanson