Dr. Matt Hahn is national Family Physician of the Year finalist
Dr. Matthew Hahn of Tri-State Community Health Center was named a finalist for the 2008 American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Family Physician of the Year.
While Hahn was not chosen as national Family Physician of the Year a few weeks ago, he was excited to be considered in the same league as past honorees that he holds in high regard.
Hahn said he was stunned when he learned he was one of five finalists in the running for the national honor in May.
"It was nice to be recognized," said Hahn.
Hahn was recognized as Maryland Family Physician of the Year in 2006. He was also awarded the 2005 Spirit of the Panhandle award by the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation for his Health Olympics program.
For Hahn's application for both the state and national honors, colleagues and patients alike cited Hahn's caring, devotion, energy, leadership and passion for the health of his patients and the communities he serves.
Other health care professionals shared how Hahn has been a mentor and an inspiration with his enthusiasm and his prevention model for patient care.
"He walks the talk," said one professional colleague.
Patients told of how Hahn made home visits to check on them and family members when they were ailing and how he made them feel cared for and important.
Hahn has offered his Health Olympics for the past four years and his "Walk With the Doctor" patient education talks as well as other programs and community involvements such as his "Uncle Sam Needs You To Be Healthy" campaign and the "The Morgan County Diet."
Promotion & prevention
Hahn's emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention is key to his practice.
"What struck me years ago is that most of the health problems we deal with in America are preventable," said Hahn.
He felt the traditional model of waiting until patients became ill and then throwing medicines at them didn't seem to be enough.
"There needs to be a much larger effort in preventing preventable conditions," said Hahn.
Hahn said he has been on a quest to try to find the secret to getting people to motivated to take better care of themselves.
"I'm still looking," he said.
Hahn is also still looking for other physicians to join him in getting patients to set health and fitness goals for themselves.
"I just can't sit here and wait for sick people," he said.
Hahn said he truly feels that if we don't find an answer to this that the cost of an aging population and more and more chronic medical conditions may break the medical system and the economy.