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Madison, Wis. (April 24, 2012) — Haakon P. Carlson, MD, of Prairie du Sac was honored April 20 with the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Physician Citizen of the Year Award. He received the award during the Society’s Annual Meeting at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.
The Physician Citizen of the Year Award was created to recognize physicians who have volunteered their time and talents to improve their communities and the state of Wisconsin. The annual award recognizes physicians for civic, cultural, economic and charitable services they provide to their communities.
After 30 years as a family practice physician, Dr. Carlson – with encouragement from his wife – established the Good Neighbor Clinic of Sauk Prairie by coordinating local physicians, volunteers, pharmacies and dentists to treat those who do not have access to health care. The free primary care clinic has provided care to nearly 14,000 patients since it opened in 1999. Through a partnership with local pharmacies and fundraising efforts, the clinic also provides more than $100,000 in medications each year for only $1 per prescription.
A statement Dr. Carlson made to the woman who nominated him for the award illustrates how his volunteer efforts have fulfilled his childhood dream of becoming a doctor, without giving a thought to money: “In a way, these past 12 years have been closer to that dream than I ever thought us as a kid,” she recalled him saying. Doctor Carlson received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Eight others received Physician Citizen of the Year Awards: A. John Capelli, MD, of Kenosha; Richard T. Crane, MD, of Eau Claire; William J. Jarvis, MD, Kris Lahren, MD, and Mark J. Mirick, MD, all of Wausau; Bruce Rhoades, MD, of Chippewa Falls; Robert Rohloff, MD, of New Berlin; and Blaise Vitale, MD, of Grantsburg.
With nearly 12,500 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.