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Powell Physician is UW Outstanding Health Sciences Alumna

November 9, 2015
woman talking into a microphone at a podium
Dr. Valerie Lengfelder

Dr. Valerie Lengfelder, of Powell, recently was honored as the University of Wyoming’s College of Health Sciences’ 2015 Outstanding Alumna.

She is a member of the inaugural WWAMI class. In 1997, Wyoming entered into a cooperative program with the University of Washington’s School of Medicine along with the states of Montana, Idaho and Alaska, resulting in “WWAMI,” the acronym for the partner states.

“We looked for a WWAMI physician who has a long history of teaching our WWAMI students and who has demonstrated continued excellence in teaching evaluations. Dr. Lengfelder obviously fits that mold,” says Timothy Robinson, director of the Wyoming WWAMI Medical Education Program. “Dr. Lengfelder is the type of physician the legislators envisioned when they began funding the WWAMI program in 1997.”

Lengfelder has been in family practice at Powell Valley Health Care (PVHC) in Powell since 2008. She is in her second term as chief of staff and is president of the PVHC Board of Directors.

“The WWAMI program allowed me, as a nontraditional college student, to pursue my educational path of becoming a physician,” Lengfelder says. “I am extremely grateful for the opportunity afforded to me and enjoy giving back to the program.”

WWAMI’s goal is to make medical education accessible to students in northwestern states that do not have independent medical schools, and to help meet physician workforce needs for each of the states. The Wyoming WWAMI program is designed to provide access to public medical education for Wyoming residents; encourage graduates to locate their practices in underserved or rural areas in Wyoming; and encourage and support talented students to enter the field of medicine.

Since 1997, 158 Wyoming residents have earned medical degrees through the WWAMI program, a 98.75 percent completion rate. Also, 75 percent of the graduates selected a primary care residency, and 67 percent returned to practice in Wyoming, Robinson says.

“Rural communities are in dire need of family practice physicians. The Wyoming WWAMI program is vital to the physical and economic health of our communities in Wyoming,” Lengfelder says.

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