Mark Larson, MD, was selected as the recipient of the Dr. John Anderson Memorial Award for Outstanding Rural Health Practitioner for 2015. The award was bestowed by the Washington Rural Health Association.
The award recognizes the late Dr. John Anderson, a dedicated physician and a leader in the development of a system to ensure that healthcare providers have an opportunity to work in the rural communities of Washington State. Dr. Anderson practiced medicine in Cle Elum for 33 years.
Dr. Larson joined KVH Family Medicine – Ellensburg in 1998. In addition to seeing patients at the clinic, he has contributed to the local medical community in a variety of ways.
“Dr. Larson has changed the healthcare culture and expectations of Kittitas County residents,” said Cathy Bambrick, Chief Operating Officer at Kittitas Valley Healthcare. “His work, his volunteer efforts, and his advocacy have had an impact on his individual patients, the students he mentors, and the community as a whole.”
In 1999, Dr. Larson successfully acquired a startup grant and, in partnership with local providers, opened a free clinic for low income individuals. The free clinic continues to operate today as the Open Door Health Clinic.
Since 2006, he has acted as the Public Health Officer for Kittitas County. For his work in this area, he was the recipient of the 2008 President’s Award from the Washington State Public Health Association.
Dr. Larson is also an advocate for education, sponsoring University of Washington medical students since 2002. He helps to provide a longitudinal experience for students during their three year residency to encourage them to participate in practice in rural settings.