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Award-winning physician shifts credit to family and associates

Sioux Center’s Jongewaard state’s best

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa - Northwest Iowan physicians are among the best in the state. Their peers say so! Family phy-sician Richard Jongewaard, 54, recently received the 2000 Iowa Family Physician of the Year award at a Des Moines event put on by the state’s physicians. Jongewaard who belongs to a ‘medical family’ says that he receives his rewards daily. The award point to Jongewaard as exemplifying ‘the tradition of a family doctor and epitomizing the finest standard of family health care’.

Jongewaard instead chose to shift the credit for his work to that of his father Robert and grandfather Albert who he tries to emulate. “I watched both of them and the way they cared for their patients.” The Sioux Center physician actually even has more models he could call on. He once counted over 50 doctors and nurses on his side of the family. Jongewaard’s elders tried to disuade him from following in their footsteps as they foresaw radical changes in medicine, changes they could not support.

The honouree also attributes credit to his associates at his medical clinic for supporting his efforts at medical care. Jongewaard started his practise at Iowa’s third oldest major Dutch-American community in 1976.

Dr. Scott Helmers of Sibley received the award in 1988 and Dr. Ronald Zoutendam of Sheldon followed in 1998. The state’s best automatically become a nominee for the following year’s national award.