WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has named Oscar F. Lovelace, Jr., MD, the national 2015 Family Physician of the Year at its annual Assembly. The award honors one outstanding American family physician who provides patients with compassionate, comprehensive care, and serves as a role model in his or her community, to other health professionals, and to residents and medical students.
Born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina, Lovelace has been a practicing family physician for more than 26 years. In 1988, he founded Lovelace Family Medicine in his grandparents' hometown of Prosperity, South Carolina, a small, rural farming community in Newberry County.
Currently the practice employs 38 staff, including three board certified family physicians, 11 nurses and three nurse practitioners. Lovelace Family Medicine provides 8,000 patients with the full scope of family medicine services for patients of all ages, from obstetrics to geriatrics, as well as office-based and hospital care. Practice services include comprehensive wellness and preventive care, prenatal care, acute care, chronic disease management, weight management counseling, a full service laboratory and corporate wellness programs.
Lovelace and his colleagues have hosted more than 200 students and residents from all areas of the country for a four-week elective during which they encounter the challenges and rewards of practicing rural family medicine. The goal of this program is to increase interest in practicing in an underserved area. Many of Lovelace's former students and physician colleagues have served on medical missions, both at home and abroad.
Lovelace is committed to ensuring that all people, especially the underserved, have access to high quality primary care in a patient-centered medical home. During Lovelace's second year of solo practice, Newberry County's only OB-GYN died. This left Lovelace as the only physician in three contiguous rural counties practicing obstetrics, and he delivered more than 220 babies.
Dr. Lovelace has been a preceptor with South Carolina AHEC for many years. Because of his outstanding involvement, Dr. Lovelace was an inaugural member of the South Carolina AHEC Institute for Primary Care (IPC), which began in 2012. He remains active in the program and Lovelace Family Medicine is one of the most sought after sites for rotation. As an IPC Preceptor, Dr. Lovelace shared his model for an interprofessional community-based weight management program that has become the basis for an MUSC/SC AHEC telemedicine weight management project, Wellness Connect, which began in April 2014. In addition, he and his wife also have hosted IPC social events for medical, advanced practice nursing, and PA students interested in joining the Institute. Over the years, many practitioners have been attracted to the practice established by Dr. Lovelace in Prosperity. Six physicians and one nurse practitioner have received funding from the SC AHEC Rural Physician Program to practice at Lovelace Family Medicine.
South Carolina AHEC congratulates Dr. Lovelace on this prestigious recognition of he many years of outstanding work!
To find out more about Dr. Lovelace, watch his speech from the assembly, and view his introduction video, visit http://www.aafp.org/events/assembly/about/2014-assembly-highlights.html.