HERRIN, Ill. (KFVS) - A board-certified family practice physician at SIH Logan Primary Care Herrin, Dr. Jeffrey Parks, will receive the Physician of Excellence Award from the Illinois Rural Health Association.
There will be a ceremony at his practice on Oct. 30.
According to longtime colleague and friend, Kevin Oestmann, MD, the name of the award speaks for itself.
“Excellent” is just one word Dr. Oestmann used to describe the man he has known for well over 30 years.
“As a colleague, he’s top notch,” said Dr. Oestmann. “He is an excellent physician. He’s concerned about his patients; they are his number one priority.”
Dr. Oestmann stated Dr. Parks has always wanted to be a part of anything that drives patient quality and care.
Dr. Parks grew up in Johnston City. He attended Southern Illinois University. He had an interest in science and math.
Dr. Parks said his admiration for his family doctor, the late Dr. John Tidwell of Herrin, influenced him to become a doctor.
Executive Director of the Illinois Rural Health Association Margaret Vaughn said one of the biggest healthcare challenges across the nation is the shortage of physicians who practice in rural settings.
“IRHA feels it is important to recognize those who have accepted this calling and gone out of their way to make an impact," Vaughn said. "Dr. Parks’ dedication to the community over the past 36 years, as well as his strong compassion and advocacy for his geriatric patients, made him an excellent choice for our Physician of Excellence Award,”
SIH Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Marci Moore-Connelley, MD, agreed.
Dr. Parks and Sherrie, his wife, have two children, Elizabeth and Scott.
Elizabeth followed in her father’s footsteps. She works as a physician’s assistant alongside him at SIH Logan Primary Care.
As a young child, Elizabeth said her father’s compassion for others fueled her desire to work in healthcare.
Dr. Parks shows the same ethic in his mission endeavors.
“My first trip to West Africa was mostly out of curiosity,” he said. “I had friends who had gone and I thought that might be something I’d like to do. I got there and I was confronted with hopelessness.”
Dr. Parks compared what he saw to the hardships from the novel, The Grapes of Wrath.
“This was something even a person like me could help with.”
Dr. Parks said he is very appreciative of the award and said providing help to his patients is the thing he has enjoyed the most over the last three decades – some of them he has been seeing during his entire medical career.