During the Minnesota Department of Health Conference held this June in Duluth, CALS Instructor, Dr. Paul Van Gorp, received the Rural Health Lifetime Achievement award for his more than 40 years of service as a family practice provider at CentraCare Health in Long Prairie.
The 2016 Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award went to Paul Van Gorp, MD, a family practice provider at CentraCare Health–Long Prairie. Throughout his career, Dr. Van Gorp has worked to ensure that residents in rural areas receive the same high quality health care as residents in larger cities. Since 1976, Van Gorp has served as a preceptor for the Rural Medical Scholars and Rural Physician Associate programs and has worked with over 150 of today’s practicing providers. He received the Exemplary Teaching Award from the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2013. Beginning in 1993, Van Gorp was instrumental in developing the Comprehensive Advanced Life Support (CALS) program, which provides emergency medical training to rural health care teams and now U.S. Embassy medical personnel around the globe. Van Gorp also volunteers at Project H.E.A.L. (Health, Education, Access, Link) to provide free health screenings and basic care for those with little or no insurance. About 90 percent of his Project H.E.A.L. patients are members of Todd County’s large Amish community, for whom he has become a trusted advocate.
According to Minnesota Commissioner of Health Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Dr. Van Gorp embodies “the spirit of service and innovation that helped Minnesota build a robust rural health system that has served as a model for other states.”