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Dr. Julie Benson Named 2017 Minnesota Family Physician of the Year


April 13, 2017 — The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) has selected Dr. Julie Benson, FAAFP, as the 2017 Family Physician of the Year.

This award is presented annually to a family physician who represents the highest ideals of the specialty of family medicine, including caring, comprehensive medical service, community involvement and service as a role model. The award has been given annually since 1981.

Dr. Benson practices at Lakewood Health System in Staples, Minnesota, and is recognized state-wide as an expert in Palliative Care, an emerging specialty that focuses on improving life and providing comfort to people of all ages with serious, chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

“Julie is the most compassionate physician I have ever known,” commented colleague Christine Albrecht, MD. “She has started our palliative care/hospice program and made it one of the best in the country for a rural hospital system.”

Patients describe Dr. Benson’s care as top notch, heartfelt and “above and beyond.”

“She is always so genuine with her patients,” wrote colleague Molly Mertens. “I see her interact with her hospice patients on one side of the floor, and then celebrate new life with labor and delivery on the other side. She is truly passionate about her patients – from the very beginning of life to the very end.”

Dr. Benson and her husband Steve have two children, Katie and Jack. They enjoy raising chickens on their Staples farm, as well as spending time together in the great outdoors.

Thirty-one family physicians from across the state were nominated for the Family Physician of the Year award by patients, community members and colleagues. The MAFP Board of Directors chose Dr. Benson as the winner after reviewing nomination letters and credentials. The award will be formally presented to Dr. Benson at the MAFP “MVP Celebration” on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at The Depot Minneapolis.