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Commitment to area's health care brings next generation of doctors home

Guest Editorial
Nicole Woodley, Luverne native and current resident physician at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Preventing chronic illness and treatable diseases is necessary for supporting our long-term health and wellness.  Over 70 percent of Minnesotans have a dedicated health care and dental professional, and along with personal health goals and responsibility, this is one of the most important factors that has led to Minnesota becoming the fourth-healthiest state in the nation.
 The University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center is a collection of the colleges of nursing, dentistry, medicine, public health and veterinary medicine. It currently trains more than 6,000 students a year and has trained more than 70 percent of Minnesota’s health professionals. Its efforts focus on collaboration in order to educate, enhance, and discover new treatments, ways of learning, teaching and providing care to patients across the state of Minnesota. One of the most challenging parts of current science-based fields is the speed with which knowledge is being obtained and the training required to provide the most comprehensive care to all of our patients. 
The University needs to be able to continue to train and provide care for patients across Minnesota, including our rural areas. We need to continue to develop our teaching techniques, simulation labs and to recruit the best students and instructors — because as data shows, they will most likely be providing care to you.
Recently Rep. Joe Schomacker introduced two new health care bills in support of the University’s supplemental budget request that supports rural dentistry programs, primary care training, and teaching facilities. Rep. Schomacker understands health care needs in greater Minnesota and supports investments that will advance critical health care needs across Minnesota and the demands for improved teaching and interactive learning. I am grateful for his commitment to these initiatives, and I look to his colleagues, our state’s representatives and senators, to join him in supporting these investments.
I am one of you and them. I grew up in Luverne and trained at the University of Minnesota Duluth for undergraduate and started medical school there as well.  I graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 2013. I am currently a resident physician in the obstetrics, gynecology and women’s health program at the University of Minnesota, and in 2017 I will be coming home to Luverne to provide obstetric and gynecologic care to our community.
Thank you for supporting our state’s health sciences, my training and my goal to bring all that you have supported home to Luverne.
#UMNdriven #lovethelife
Editor’s note: Nicole, daughter of Mark and Karen Willers, graduated from Luverne High School in 2005. She is married to Kyle Woodley, and they have three children, Hannah, 7, Emmett, 4, and Felicity, 1.

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