WICHITA, KANSAS –The Kansas Academy of Family Physicians (KAFP) has selected KEVIN HOPPOCK, MD, FAAFP as the 2014 Kansas Family Physician of the Year. He will be honored at the 2014 KAFP Annual Meeting in Overland Park on June 6, 2014.
Hoppock is a family physician at Via Christi Clinic in Wichita, Kan. He has been in practice for 22 years. Kevin Hoppock, MD was an undergraduate at Wichita State University; attended University of Kansas School of Medicine for his medical degree; and completed his residency at Wesley Family Medicine Residency Program. In addition to KAFP and AAFP membership, he is a member of the Medical Society of Sedgwick County and a past president of that county society. He is also a past president of the Kansas Medical Society (KMS). He currently serves as Legislative Committee Chair for KMS and MSSC. In addition he serves on the Board of Trustees at Friends University and the Via Christi International Fellowship committee, and is active at Northridge Friends Church.
Hoppock is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the KAFP Exemplary Teaching Award, Wichita Business Journal’s Best Doctors in Wichita award; 40 under 40 Award (recognizing outstanding professionals under 40 years old); Health Care Hero award, and the UKSM Preceptor in Excellence Award. Letters from patients, colleagues, mentees, friends and community leaders testify to the constant striving for excellence in work, family, and life in general of our 2014 Kansas Family Physician of the Year recipient: Kevin Hoppock, MD of Wichita, Kan.
WICHITA IS HOME
Wichita, Kansas has always been home to Hoppock. Both his parents were from farming families – his father came from southeast Kansas and mother from Arkansas, they settled in Wichita to gain employment at the end of WWII in the aircraft industry. “My wife and I really wanted our children to grow up close to their grandparents, so that was very important. We’ve visited many wonderful places in the world, but this is the only home we ever wanted,” said Hoppock about living in Wichita.
Hoppock and his wife Lori have been married for 26 years. “Lori says there has never been a time that I have not declared I wanted to be a doctor. So as far as we can look back, there was that desire. Now I remember back in high school that I loved being around people, I thrived in the midst of people, I really do want to make a difference. The combination of the absolute love for science, passion for people and found energy being around them….coupled with some of the poorest handwriting around – I was destined for medicine!”
“Caring for patients while protecting and respecting their dignity is a high priority. His patients are fiercely loyal to him because of the investment he makes in their lives both medical and personally,” says Chad Schroeder, MD. Dr. Hoppock exceeds expectations by attending funerals, coordinating care and even cutting into his own personal vacation time. Medical mission trips to Haiti where he helped fund an orphanage building that is being named for his mother. Rwanda, Africa and Congo have received his help. He currently serves on his denomination's national mission board.
It is no secret that being a great family doctor requires excellent relationships with patients. “The depth and quality of the relationships he forms over a lifetime of serving his patients are important to him,” said Angie Prather. Dr. Hoppock has mentored many along the way of his 20 years of practice. One young man particularly stands out in Dr. Hoppock’s mind — Deandre Brown. Brown was a teenager at Heights High School (where Hoppock also attended highschool). At a sports physical, Dr. Hoppock asks what his plans are for the next year. Brown revealed to him his desire to help people. Hoppock helped Brown by mentoring him in his office, locating his first job at Wesley as a janitor to help him with college funds. Hoppock shares the amusing story of Brown waxing the floors wearing a shirt and tie. Brown is reprimanded for being dressed inappropriately and Brown’s response is, “I may be stripping wax off these floors today, but I’m going to be walking these halls in ten years.” Fast forwarding, Brown goes to medical school, becomes an internist, and now works in the Dallas area. “Deandre is a dear, dear friend and very much like a son in many ways. I had the privilege of having the role of his medical guide,” said Hoppock.
A quote Dr. Hoppock lives by is “Excellence glorifies God and inspires people. “ He talks about what has inspired him. “At different times in our lives, different things motivate us,” he explains. From the early upbringing of a strict German father whom he strived to make proud; to working toward the goal of improving his practice and care of patients; to the positive motivation of those around him...friends, colleagues, church members...all of which have inspired excellence. “Bottom line is to do anything less than our very best is shameful. Regardless of what we have chosen to do and pursue, to do it halfheartedly is to miss out completely. For me, it has always been my goal to seek excellence in everything I do, because it does inspire others.”
One individual who has substantially affected Dr. Hoppock’s life was family physician Ray Cook, MD. Dr. Cook passed away last year. Family medicine lost a great doctor, and Dr. Hoppock lost a great mentor. “His passion was primarily his patients, his family, and business associates. He was a great business man, he had a really incredible passion for making a difference in different parts of the world,” Hoppock says about Cook. Ray Cook helped to found Harvest Partners an organization affiliated with the Nazarene church and the Jesus film. 66 million contacts and 42,000 churches or community groups formed. Dr. Hoppock was amazed by Dr. Cook’s ability to grow the organization. That’s an impact. “I looked for the person I most wanted to be like in 15 years, and the answer was Ray Cook,” said Hoppock.
WORDS OF WISDOM
Dr. Hoppock gives advice to medical students, “There are many challenges we are going to face: regulatory, financial, economic, social, political, all of those things will involve changes; we won’t know what it’ll look like, but it will be different, and it will be more challenging. We know there will be more emphasis on electronic communications, differences in the way that we are paid and the way that we practice medicine. The thing that is not going to change… if we don’t allow it to change, and I think we do have some power here… is when you step into a room with a patient, close the door, and say we are not just health care practitioners but have the privilege of becoming physician healers and ask the patient, ‘How can I be of value to you?’ In that moment you cease to be just another practitioner in the health care system, you really have the ability, and assume that role as physician. You can go ahead and make the pain a little less, the hope a little greater. In some words that are not mine: you can give someone the capacity to have a wonderful, wonderful day. Most days you have the opportunity to comfort, and ease the pain. And for every patient, you have the opportunity to care. That’s what allows me to come back with enthusiasm to my office every Monday morning.”
Kansas Family Physician of the Year previous recipients (last 10 years):
2013 Debra Doubek, MD, Manhattan
2012 Deborah G. Haynes, MD, FAAFP, Wichita
2011 Robert E. Jacoby II, MD, FAAFP, Topeka
2010 Victor Nemechek, MD, Quinter
2009 Duane Fredrickson, MD, Lindsborg
2008 John Atkin, III, MD, Yates Center
2007 Paul Davis, MD, Wichita
2006 Robert Moser, MD, Tribune
2005 Earl Merkel, MD, Russell
2004 Jed Holmes, MD, Wichita
For a complete list of past recipients and more information about the selection process, go to http://www.kafponline.org/Members/Awards/FamilyPhysicianoftheYear/
About the KAFP
The Kansas Academy of Family Physicians is the largest medical specialty society in the state, with a total of 1,580 members. The mission of the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians is to promote access to, and excellence in, health care for all Kansans through education and advocacy for family physicians and their patients. The KAFP is affiliated with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the national association for family physicians. For more information about the KAFP visit the KAFP Web site at www.kafponline.org.