Six International Fellows stick together
From left: Jack Kline, John and Shea Epperly, Paul and April McQuillen, and Rick Moberly will practice together in Iowa.
Residents of New Hampton, Iowa, will get a unique package deal in healthcare next year.
Six doctors who recently completed their residency at Via Christi Regional Medical Center will join the town’s Mercy Medical Center — which serves 17,000 residents in and around Chickasaw County — and its new family clinic in August 2010, after completing missions in Zimbabwe.
John and Shea Epperly, Jack Kline, Rick Moberly, and Paul and April McQuillen met in 2006 during their residencies and became close friends through their interest in full-spectrum family practice, international medicine and a strong faith in God.
Last year, the group started a nationwide search for a rural, faith-based hospital where they could all practice together and do medical mission work overseas. New Hampton, a town of about 3,750 residents in northeastern Iowa, was one of six communities who recruited the group.
“After visiting the community of New Hampton, we were assured that this was the answer to our prayer in finding a place where we could serve people stateside, as well as abroad,” said April McQuillen.
Helping underserved areas is a driving force for this group. Todd Stephens, MD, Via Christi International Family Medicine Fellowship director, credits them with helping develop the IFMF concept.
“These physicians were unwavering in seeing it develop, get funded and become established as the nation’s first such formal program,” he said.
All six physicians will do mission work in Zimbabwe, with four of them doing so as part of the IFMF program. Kline and Moberly are at Karanda Mission Hospital until December. Fellows Paul McQuillen and John Epperly, along with their wives, will start there in January.
When not in Zimbabwe, the fellows will do rotations in trauma, orthopedics, burn, anesthesia, ultrasound and dental work, said John Epperly.
Their desire to serve appears to be infectious. According to Stephens, another husband-wife team of Via Christi residents, Jared and Melissa Cardwell, plans to join the group following Melissa’s graduation in 2011.
To find out more about Via Christi International Family Medicine Fellowship, visit www.vcfm.net/fellowships/international-medicine-fellowship.
To donate to Via Christi International Family Medicine Fellowship, contact Jim Barber, president of Via Christi Foundation, 946-5020.