Via Christi doctor is Kansas Family Physician of the Year

Jerry Niernberger was named the 2017 Kansas Family Physician of the Year.
Jerry Niernberger was named the 2017 Kansas Family Physician of the Year. Courtesy photo

The Kansas Family Physician of the Year will be familiar to some Wichitans: He’s a family doctor at Via Christi Health.

Jerry Niernberger, a doctor of osteopathy, will be honored at the Kansas Academy of Family Physicians’ annual meeting in Wichita on June 9.

Niernberger is chief of the Family Medicine Department at Via Christi and is a member of the Accountable Care Organizations Development Committee, Via Christi Strategic Planning Committee and Via Christi Clinic Board of Directors.

“What it means to be a family doc is that I get to support, nurture, and care for my ‘family members’ around the clock,” Niernberger wrote in a news release. “I have had this privilege for 31 years. And in that time I have shared laughter, grief, sadness and many tears.”

Niernberger was born in Guymon, Okla., and grew up in Liberal. He attended St. Joseph Military Academy in Hays and joined the U.S. Army in 1972, beginning his medical career. He was the clinical specialist at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas.

Afterward, he attended Wichita State University, then the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, Mo. He completed an internship at Riverside Hospital in Wichita before beginning his osteopathic residency program at Rocky Mountain Hospital/St Luke’s Medical Center in Denver.

He also completed the allopathic residency program at St. Francis Medical Center in Wichita. During his residency at St. Francis, he became an active volunteer at Guadalupe Clinic, which provides health care for a suggested $5 donation.

From 2000 to 2007, he was team physician for the World Wrestling Federation, now known as World Wrestling Entertainment.

“I see the love and respect his patients and co-workers have for him,” Ronda Hanneman, physician assistant at Via Christi Clinic, said in the release. “He is truly a good example of a compassionate physician who strives to live his life by serving others.”

Katherine Burgess: 316-268-6400, @KathsBurgess