October 29, 2012

Tippy to be honored for her rural health care work

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A longtime physician and Southern Illinois University Carbondale faculty member will receive a statewide award for her work in rural health care.

Dr. Penny K. Tippy, the Carbondale division chair in Family and Community Medicine with Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, will receive the 2012 Rural Physician of Excellence Award from the Illinois Rural Health Association. The presentation is at 12:15 p.m., Nov. 15, at Southern Illinois Family Medicine, Professional Building Suite 200, 305 W. Jackson St., Carbondale. A reception is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.

The award recognizes Tippy for her impact on improving the quality of and access to health care in rural, medically underserved parts of the state. SIU Carbondale's Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development (CRHSSD) nominated Tippy for the award. She has served on the CRHSSD Advisory Board since 2004, providing her expertise and assistance with critical rural medical projects that continue today, according to Kim Sanders, CRHSSD director.

Tippy joined the SIU School of Medicine faculty in 1982, became director of the Carbondale Family Practice Residency Program in 1984, and a full professor two years later.  Tippy "has made a lasting impact on rural Southern Illinois health care and the quality of graduating physicians," and also "worked diligently to increase access to care for those in her rural community. Her dedication to patient care is unmatched and the region is better as a result of her commitment," Sanders said.

Tippy earned her medical degree at the University of Illinois School of Medicine in 1974. She completed her bachelor's degree at Knox College in Galesburg in 1970. Prior to her work at SIU, she was a family physician in private practice in West Frankfort. Her numerous other awards include the 2007 Rosemary Berkel Crisp Award, the 2003 Nikitas J. Zervanos Outstanding Program Director Award and "Unsung Hero" recognition from WSIL-TV Channel 3 earlier this year.

The Rural Physician of Excellence Award presentation takes place on National Rural Health Day as CRHSSD celebrates rural health care and focuses on significant multi-year, capacity building projects that will impact the region and serve as a model for other rural areas. Collaborative outreach projects include identifying and addressing gaps in rural medical transportation, creating a sustainable community effort to address childhood obesity through school settings, and assisting area physicians in implementing a model of care based upon a partnership between patients, physicians and health care teams to improve access and quality of local health care.