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2009 Scholarship Recipients: Late Physician’s Legacy Scholarship – Touching More Lives

June 03, 2009
The St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of the Dr. Thomas R. Johnson Medical Scholarship. Thanks to the generosity of the Tom Johnson family and donors who wish to keep the late Dr. Johnson’s passion and commitment to rural medicine alive, two recipients were chosen ths year. Annie E. Knierim, MD is an orthopaedic surgery resident at the Nebraska-Creighton Health Foundation Orthopaedic Surgery program. Annie is from Glasgow Montana and has a passion for rural medicine, specifically orthopaedics. Dr. Knierim has been a past recipient of the Dr. Thomas R. Johnson scholarship. Described by a Creighton medical school faculty member as “an accomplished young woman who has made a positive impact on every segment of society early in her medical career,” Annie represents the passion for a unique practice of medicine in orthopaedics while staying true to her rural Montana roots. This commitment to small communities exemplifies the practice of Dr. Tom Johnson and his father Dr. Raymond Johnson, a long-time Harlowton family physician. Heather Imsande has also been chosen for the Dr. Thomas R. Johnson scholarship. A Billings Senior High graduate and honors student, Heather attended Duke University with a focus on biology and on the performing arts. She has been in medical school at Boston University since 2007. One of her professors described Heather as “displaying maturity and amazing responsibility in caring for her most fragile patients.” Heather has an interest in returning to Montana after her medical training and has a special interest in women’s health medicine and in radiology. Living the spirit behind the Dr. Thomas R. Johnson Medical Scholarship- These scholarships are named after the late Dr. Johnson who practiced medicine across the Billings region for many years. Committed to orthopedics as well as to rural medicine, Dr. Johnson is a medical legend. Dr. Johnson faced an untimely death in 2007. His parents, Dr. Ray and Nell Johnson were the center of medical care in the Harlowton area for decades, and Tom honored their work by holding clinics throughout the region in order to focus on rural health care. Judy Johnson, Dr. Johnson’s widow, says, “This year’s recipients are very deserving. Tom would be proud. Both Annie and Heather share Tom’s, Ray’s and Nell’s values about healthcare and community connections. They will undoubtedly better the lives of those they serve well into the future.” Both of this year’s recipients will receive $5,000 to further their education. The scholarship endowment is geared toward assisting a medical student or medical resident from Montana who is pursuing Family Practice Medicine and/or Orthopaedic Medicine and who has a strong commitment to serving rural communities. Further contributions to the scholarship fund can be sent to the St. Vincent Healthcare Foundation at 1106 N. 30th in Billings. About St. Vincent Healthcare: St. Vincent Healthcare is a comprehensive system of award-winning healthcare services located in Billings, Montana. St. Vincent is a regional destination hospital which serves a four-state area and more than 900,000 people each year. A comprehensive range of services include a Level II trauma Center, cardiothoracic and vascular medicine, comprehensive cancer services, family-centered maternal and child health – a Level III B NICU & Pediatric Intensive Care Unit – neurosurgery, orthopedics and the region’s most advanced diagnostic services. St. Vincent Healthcare is part of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System. St. Vincent Healthcare’s quality, mission-driven, charitable healthcare has been in existence for more than 110 years. To learn more about St. Vincent Healthcare, visit www.svh-mt.org.