Time out with T.O. - A special day in Auburn

by Tom O'Connor, UNMC public relations | October 05, 2018

Image with caption: The University of Nebraska Medical Center recognized Auburn Family Health Center on Monday with a plaque in recognition of the center being a key site for providing clinical experience for UNMC students. Dr. Monty Mathews (holding the plaque) made the presentation for UNMC. Others in the photo (left-right) included: Kim Kruger, Lindsey Howell, a UNMC physician assistant student, Jill Haveman, a physician assistant, Dr. Michael Zaruba, Dr. Jeffrey Meade and Dr. Gary Ensz.

The University of Nebraska Medical Center recognized Auburn Family Health Center on Monday with a plaque in recognition of the center being a key site for providing clinical experience for UNMC students. Dr. Monty Mathews (holding the plaque) made the presentation for UNMC. Others in the photo (left-right) included: Kim Kruger, Lindsey Howell, a UNMC physician assistant student, Jill Haveman, a physician assistant, Dr. Michael Zaruba, Dr. Jeffrey Meade and Dr. Gary Ensz.

It was a special day for Monty Mathews, M.D.

The family medicine physician at UNMC traveled to Auburn, Neb., on Sept. 24 to present a plaque to the Auburn Family Health Center to recognize the center for its longtime dedication to teaching UNMC medical students.

Each year, third-year medical students at UNMC complete an eight-week rural preceptorship at the Auburn Family Health Center. This has been the norm for more than 10 years.

"We can't thank Auburn Family Health Center enough for its commitment to our students," said Dr. Mathews, who is an assistant professor at UNMC. "Our medical students have always had a wonderful experience in Auburn, and we hope the health center continues to provide training opportunities to our students in the future.

"There is no substitute for the on-the-job experience our students receive. It shows them what it will be like when they are physicians in the real world. But, more than that, it exposes them to rural medicine, and for many of them, it will be the impetus for them deciding to practice in a rural community after they graduate."

Last week's visit to Auburn had an even deeper personal meaning to Dr. Mathews.

On Christmas Day last year, his younger brother, Mark, suffered a heart attack and died while shoveling snow. He was only 54. Mark Mathews was the head softball coach at Peru State College, which is only 15 miles northeast of Auburn.

Mark Mathews was the winningest softball coach in Peru State history with 584 victories and was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame last month.

His unexpected death was devastating to the entire Mathews family, as he left behind his wife, Renee, and their four children, Megan, Levi, Dan and Mark.

"Mark loved being a coach and helping to shape the lives of young adults," Dr. Mathews said. "We were stunned by his death, as I'm sure anybody who knew him was.

"It was an emotional day for me to come back to this area of the state for the first time since Mark died. It was a great way for me to recognize Auburn Family Health Center at the same time that I was remembering my brother. He will never be forgotten."

Comments
Shantaram Joshi
October 05, 2018 at 9:55 AM

Well Deserved Congratulations to Dr. Mathews and his team! Shantaram Joshi