CAFP is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2020 CAFP Awards. We had outstanding nominees this year, which made picking a winner difficult. Each doctor who was put forward represents the talent, dedication, and deep care that family physicians bring to their communities. We couldn’t be prouder of these winners and will honor them at our Annual Summit in April (don’t forget to register to attend).
Family Physician of the Year: Alan-Michael Vargas, MD
Dr. Alan-Michael Vargas is the Vice Chief of Staff at Grand River Health in Rifle, CO. He uses a Shared Decision-Making approach to build deep connections to his patients and to ensure they achieve good health outcomes. The Rifle area lacks many medical specialists, so Dr. Vargas has stepped up to provide comprehensive rheumatological care for his patients. He is active in his community as well, headlining health fairs and volunteering as an athletic physician for high schools in Grand Junction, Rifle, and Coal Ridge. Dr. Vargas was also instrumental in creating the IMPACT-certified center at Grand River Health for concussion management.
Dr. Vargas cares deeply about caring for rural communities. In addition to his practice, which serves a rural area of the state, he represents rural needs on the CAFP Board of Directors and encourages both residents and students to take rotations in rural communities to provide care. The exemplification of Strong Family Medicine, Dr. Vargas represents the best of family physicians and how vital they are to a thriving community.
Teacher of the Year: Keith Dickerson, MD
Dr. Keith Dickerson is faculty at St. Mary’s Family Medicine Residency in Grand Junction, CO, where he has taught new doctors for fifteen years. A passionate teacher and evangelist for the field of family medicine, Dr. Dickerson believes strongly in mentoring and supporting the next generation of family physicians. As a lifelong learner, Dr. Dickerson encourages a learning mentality among his students, whom he mentors even after they graduate and leave his school.
A recurring theme in Dr. Dickerson’s teaching is a deep belief in the power of family medicine to transform and improve lives. He wants students to understand the privilege and joy of practicing family medicine – the deep connections doctors get to make with their patients, and the privilege of being allowed into their lives to try to help them. Dr. Dickerson is renowned for his humanistic, empathic approach to seeing patients, and his effort to make family medicine more caring, more personal, and is a role model for every student he reaches.
Resident of the Year: Daniel Dyer, MD
Dr. Daniel Dyer is a resident at North Colorado Family Medicine (NCFM) in Greeley, CO. After arriving at NCFM, he volunteered for rigorous training tracks to develop competency in advanced maternity care and global health. He has a gift for building warm, caring relationships with his patients, which stems from a desire to serve underserved populations both within Colorado and globally. As a student, Dr. Dyer led the creation of a hepatitis-C screening, treatment, and prevention program in Omaha, Nebraska – and cured 30 homeless people of the disease through his efforts. He brought that same drive to help the marginalized to Greeley, where he has set up another hepatitis-C program and is implementing a comprehensive screening and treatment program to help doctors better treat infected patients.
Dr. Dyer has a deep commitment to serving the needy. In Greeley, he volunteers for homeless and refugee organizations, and has assisted with health screening for middle and high school students. He also has a heart for serving communities beyond Colorado. He pursued NCFM to further develop his training in rural health, low-resource areas, and global health – and during his residency has volunteered as a physician serving in Malawi and Papua New Guinea, where he will work with Samaritan’s Purse after he completes his residency. From his scholarly achievements to his commitment to serving his community, Dr. Dyer embodies the values and character of a family physician.