Whitesburg physician Van S. Breeding has been named the 2017 Country Doctor of the Year.
Breeding, a physician at Mountain Comprehensive Health Care’s Whitesburg Medical Clinic, was informed he had won the Staff Care-sponsored award by letter dated January 12, two days after two members of the Country Doctor of the Year selection committee interviewed Breeding during a visit to the Whitesburg Clinic and other MCHC sites where Breeding practices family medicine.
“On behalf of Staff Care and Drs. John Haynes and Robert Bosl of our Country Doctor of the Year Award Selection Committee, it is a great pleasure to confirm that you have been selected as the 2017 Country Doctor of the Year,” the letter says.
“The Selection Committee was greatly impressed by the many years of commitment and devotion you have shown to the people of Whitesburg and the surrounding area in the face of extraordinary professional and personal challenges.
“Our decision this year was a particularly difficult one, as many worthy physicians were nominated for the award. However, after visiting with you and witnessing the impact you have had on your community and your patients, we are confident we have made an excellent choice.
“As a mainstay of primary care in Whitesburg, you have provided an exemplary level of care and compassion to your patients. In addition, you have exhibited throughout your career an admirable commitment to treating patients regardless of their medical condition or ability to pay. You have positively influenced, bettered and indeed saved many lives and you are one of the pillars on which your community stands.”
Dr. Breeding is a native of Isom and a graduate of Whitesburg High School. After attending undergraduate school and medical school at the University of Kentucky, he returned to Letcher County to practice medicine.
Staff Care is a temporary physician-staffing firm based in California. The company established the Country Doctor of the Year award in 1992 to honor “exemplary” physicians practicing in communities of 30,000 or less.
As has been the case with past winners of the award, Dr. Breeding is expected to be given the opportunity to enjoy two weeks of time off, as Staff Care will provide a temporary physician to fill in for him at no charge, a service valued at approximately $10,000. He is also expected to receive the award’s signature plaque featuring a country doctor making his rounds on a horse and buggy, an engraved stethoscope, and a monogrammed lab coat.
Breeding becomes the third award recipient from Kentucky. Claire Louise Caudill of Morehead was chosen in 1997. Dr. Paul F. Maddox of Campton received the award in 1999.
“It was a great pleasure spending time with you at the community health centers you serve and observing the remarkable rapport you have with your patients,” the letter to Breeding concludes. “We look forward to visiting with you in the days ahead as we make preparations for the presentation of the award.”
Staff Care is a subsidiary of AMN Healthcare, a publicly held company and the largest healthcare workforce solutions company in the United States.