GOUVERNEUR – Dr. Edward Reason was among the finalists for The 2012 Country Doctor of the Year Award.
The award, sponsored by Staff Care, a Texas-based subsidiary of AMN Healthcare, is presented each December to a physician who best exemplifies the spirit, skill, and dedication of America’s rural medical practitioners.
Although he did not receive the award – Dr. Neil Nelson, M. D., of Gibson City, Ill., was the 2012 award recipient – Dr. Reason was honored to have been named a finalist among a nationally competitive field of rural doctors, according to a release from the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization.
To qualify for the award, the nominee must be a primary care physician providing quality care to patients of all in a community of 20,000 or fewer people.
“It really came as a surprise to me when I found out that was a finalist for The Country Doctor of the Year Award,” said Dr. Reason, “I didn’t even know I was in the running. Although, I’m not sure what I’d do with the winnings,” he joked.
Reason shows his dedication to the community often working well into the evening to see patients, whether scheduled or walk-ins. His “day off” is Wednesday – those days he only sees 15 patients and spends the rest of the day meeting with professionals to help him make sure his office meets the highest standards, according to the FDRHPO.
Reason is just the sort of “Country Doctor” the award organizers have in mind: he makes house calls, sees patients who have been rejected elsewhere, and sometimes sees patients without payment when the patient cannot afford to pay. His practice has an estimated 5,000 patient visits annually.
“I believe that everyone deserves access to treatment, no matter what their condition, no matter where they live or how much money they have,” said Reason. “It’s just so great to be a part of so many people’s lives. You realize when you start seeing your patient’s children, and their grandchildren, that your practice is a cornerstone of the community.”
Reason is very involved in Gouverneur’s E.J. Noble Hospital, serving as Department of Internal Medicine Attending Physician. He has sat on numerous hospital committees over the years. According to hospital Medical Director Dr. Donald Schuessler, Dr. Reason’s skill and dedication make him a “pillar of medical the community.”
“For 26-plus years Dr. Reason has been providing exemplary care for the patients of this community,” Schuessler said. “If anybody needs care, he’s there; people from all walks of life, without regard to anything except whether they need care, he’s there for them. He’s bright, competent, caring – it’s a privilege for me to call him a colleague.”
“Dr. Reason truly exemplifies the spirit of the Country Doctor,” said Denise Young, Executive Director for the FDRHPO. “Primary care physicians like Dr. Reason working throughout rural northern New York are the glue that keeps their communities together, making sure their patients can receive the highest quality care without having to travel long distances to do so.”
Dr. Reason was born in Washington, D. C. He received his undergraduate degree in 1976 from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He attended medical school at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, graduating in 1982, and completed his residency at Flint Osteopathic Hospital in 1986. He has been serving the Gouverneur community and the surrounding area of southern St. Lawrence County for 26 years.