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Dr. Pamela Gray receives award for contributions to college health

October 25, 2012
PamelaGray
Dr. Pamela Gray

EAU CLAIRE — Dr. Pamela Gray, a senior physician in Student Health Service at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, has been awarded the 2012 North Central College Health Association's Dr. Gail A. McClure Proffitt Award.

The intent of the award is to recognize special people and to acknowledge the unique service or expertise they bring to the field of college health.

Gray said she was surprised to be selected for the award and is grateful to have been nominated.

"I think I was nominated because I happen to work with a very supportive staff, including my directors," she said. "They may have wanted to recognize that the work we do with students goes on well beyond the time we spend with them in the exam room during their appointments, in many cases."

Gray began serving students as a physician at UW-Eau Claire in 1998. In her 14 years at the university she has remained devoted to students by providing high quality and compassionate health care, according to Kate Wilson, a health educator in Student Health Service.

Wilson nominated Gray for the award. She said Gray influences many different individuals both on and off campus.

"She is a leader for continuous quality improvement for SHS, a mentor to many advance practice nursing students, a confidante to colleagues and a dependable source of assistance whenever and wherever needed, whether on campus, in the community or at sister institutions," she said.

According to Wilson, Gray is not only committed to the health and well-being of students, but also wants to see them succeed in their personal endeavors. This creates a lasting connection between Gray and her patients.

"Dr. Gray often goes above and beyond to ensure students receive thorough and effective health care to be successful in their academic pursuits," Wilson said. "Once students see Dr. Gray, they want to continue to see her for other problems and often will refer their friends to her."

Gray said that by working specifically in the area of college student health, she sees less variety in health care needs than she would in a traditional family practice. However, the one-on-one interaction with students of various temperaments and life experiences is what makes the career so special to her.

"This means the work is never boring; there is always something new to learn, and I enjoy the challenge of trying to give the best information and advice to each student who has come for help with whatever they need," Gray said.

The NCCHA established the Gail A. Proffitt Recognition Award to honor Dr. Gail Proffitt's work in the area of college health. Proffitt was elected twice to the office of president of the NCCHA and advocated for the adoption of a student-centered approach to health services. In the process, Proffitt helped to fashion the contemporary model for the delivery of student health services. In 1972 she was presented an outstanding service award. Since then the NCCHA has recognized outstanding individuals in college health each year.

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