ALUMNI NEWS | The Department Shines at its 50th Anniversary Celebration

On October 11, more than 270 guests celebrated the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health's 50th anniversary at the Minnesota History Center. In a beautiful space with views overlooking the Saint Paul capitol and the city skyline, friends and colleagues reconnected while enjoying refreshments.

John O'Leary, MD, delighted everyone with his presence at the celebration; 97-year-old Dr. O'Leary is the only surviving founder of the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Among those in attendance were former faculty member Vincent Hunt, MD, and two former heads of the department: Macaran Baird, MD, MS, and Bill Jacott, MD.

To kick off the night's festivities, James Pacala, MD, MS, welcomed all those who were able to attend and acknowledged how faculty, alumni, students, and clinical and administrative staff are all members of a family that's striving to advance the practice of family medicine. He noted that while the most important members of our family were not present—the patients we have cared for collectively over the last half century—they are the reason we celebrate.

Dean Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD, next spoke about how he is inspired by the trajectory of family medicine and the way the practice allows residents to learn from the patients and from one another. Renee Crichlow, MD, elicited cheers from the crowd by affirming that Minnesota is the best state in which to practice family medicine and that we do it better than anyone else.

After the remarks concluded, everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner and lively conversation. At the end of the evening, Dr. Pacala debuted a video that was created to honor the department and this milestone. Check out the photos from the celebration.

Our celebration of the department's 50th anniversary continues throughout the year. If you have a family medicine story you'd like to share for inclusion on our website and/or social media, and you haven't submitted it to us already, please do so here.

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