News » Alum, Dr. Richard Kovar, Named 2012 Family Physician of the Year

Alum, Dr. Richard Kovar, Named 2012 Family Physician of the Year

by the American Academy of Family Physicians

WASHINGTON (Sept. 19, 2011)— Richard Kovar, MD ‘80, was named 2012 Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians. The prestigious award honors an outstanding family physician who provides patients with compassionate and comprehensive care, and serves as a role model professionally and personally in his or her community, to other health professionals, and to residents and medical students.

Dr. Kovar has been a family physician and the medical director at Country Doctor Community Health Centers in Seattle, Wa., for nearly 25 years, where his patients are mostly low-income, uninsured and sometimes homeless. Before joining Country Doctor, Dr. Kovar served other marginalized populations—the Haulapai and Havasupai American Indian tribes in the Grand Canyon, refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border, Sudan, and orphanages in Romania following the rule of Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. He also helped establish an opium detoxification program for Highland Laotian refugees in the Golden Triangle.

“Dr. Kovar’s dedication and service to medically underserved communities embodies the GW School of Medicine and Health Science’s mission to educate physician citizens. His commitment to understanding the culture of his patients in order to deliver the highest-quality of care to all, regardless of their ability to pay, is remarkable. He is a great example for our students, as they train to become passionate care-givers in their own careers,” said Dr. Jeffrey S. Akman, Interim Vice Provost for Health Affairs and Dean, School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “We are proud that he was chosen as 2012 Family Physician of the Year, honoring his dedication to serving the underserved.”

In addition to working as a family physician in Seattle, Dr. Kovar also helps people seeking political asylum in the United States by offering pro-bono medical evaluations. He has evaluated survivors of torture, war trauma, and even enslavement. Wanting to instill the next generation of doctors with a compassionate and quality medical education, Dr. Kovar also mentors high school, pre-medical and medical students in all years of their education as well as residents.

Dr. Kovar’s brother, Dr. Michael Kovar ‘83, is also a graduate of the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and is a practicing family physician in Seattle, WA.

About the GW School of Medicine and Health Services:

Founded in 1825, the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) was the first medical school in the nation’s capital and is the 11th oldest in the country. Working together in our nation’s capital, with integrity and resolve, the GW SMHS is committed to improving the health and well-being of our local, national and global communities.