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University of Iowa News Release

Nov. 17, 2005

Bedell Honored For Humanitarian Work

David Bedell, M.D., clinical associate professor of family medicine in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine, has received the Michael Doheny Humanitarian Award for his past work as a volunteer in the Central American country of El Salvador. The award was presented to Bedell Nov. 12 by Concern America, an international development and refugee aid organization.

Bedell first traveled to El Salvador in January 1986 to volunteer his medical services during the Salvadorian civil war (1980-1992) as the only physician at a refugee camp. He briefly left Central America to study tropical medicine in Liverpool, England for four months. In 1989, Bedell again left for Central America, and remained there until 1994.

During his stay in El Salvador, Bedell worked to train and supervise community-based health care workers and midwives from across the region. He also took on complicated medical cases, wrote grants for project funding and developed plans to improve sanitation and nutrition in El Salvador. By the time he left in 1994, Bedell had helped train nearly 300 health promoters from approximately 100 different communities.

As a UI faculty member, Bedell directs the Lone Tree Family Practice Center in Lone Tree, Iowa. The clinic serves Lone Tree residents and patients from the surrounding communities of Columbus Junction, West Liberty, Nichols and Conesville, as well as more distant locations like Muscatine, Burlington, Washington and Iowa City. More than half of the Lone Tree clinic's patients are Spanish-speaking.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Science Relations, 5139 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1178.

MEDIA CONTACT: David Pedersen, 319-335-8032,; Writer: Whitney Tripp