2023 Awards thumbnail congratsEach year the LAFP Foundation recognizes outstanding an outstanding medical student and one resident who exemplify outstanding leadership and scholarly accomplishments in the field of family medicine. Each winner is presented a plaque and stipend check.

Mehdizadeh Rana 01E. Edward Martin, Jr., MD Family Medicine Award

The E. Edward Martin, Jr., MD Family Medicine Award was presented to Rana Mehdizadeh. Ms. Mehdizadeh is a fourth-year medical student at The University of Queensland – Ochsner Clinical School, dedicated to pursuing a career in Family Medicine. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Rana graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with degrees in Public Health and Human Biology. She has since demonstrated a longstanding commitment to her community, prioritizing health education and advocacy in underserved communities. Ms. Mehdizadeh currently serves as the President of the Family Medicine Interest Group, as well as a board member of the New Orleans Adolescent Reproductive Health Project (NOARHP) that provides sexual health education in New Orleans public schools. Rana is also working on longitudinal research projects seeking to expand access to telehealth visits, as well as decreasing emergency department utilization.  Upon graduation, Ms. Mehdizadeh will enter the University of Massachusetts Family Medicine Residency Program. 

Taylor Samuel 01LSU-Shreveport Michael O. Fleming, MD Award

The Michael O. Fleming MD Family Medicine Award was presented to Samuel Taylor.  Voted “Most Likely to Star in Swamp People” by his medical school classmates, Sam is a native Louisianian. He grew up in the small community of Colyell, LA, and graduated college from Southeastern Louisiana University before heading to Shreveport for medical school. His first real exposure to medicine was shadowing a family doctor in central Louisiana. That experience stuck with him and formed the foundation in his mind of what a doctor is: someone who can handle 90% of the things that come through the door. Mr. Taylor’s interest in this kind of broad-scope medicine only grew throughout his medical school journey and led him to pursue a career as a family physician. Outside of medicine, he is highly involved in his local church, where he attends regularly and can be found serving as a junior & senior boys Bible study leader and adult small group leader. He enjoys spending time back home with his family, playing with his niece and nephews. Mr. Taylor is an avid outdoorsman, hunting deer, squirrel, and whatever else might go good in a gumbo in the cooler months, and taking the boat out on the water as the temps turn warmer. After graduation, Mr. Taylor will enter the Self Regional Family Medicine Residency Program in Greenville, SC.

LaGrone Headshot 01LSU-New Orleans Gerald R. Gehringer Family Medicine Award

The LSU-New Orleans Gerald R. Gehringer Family Medicine Award was presented to Arden LaGrone.  Ms. LaGrone was born and raised in Lafayette. She completed her undergraduate degree at Loyola University New Orleans in Biological Science with minors in Chemistry and Instrumental Music. She is a Rural Scholar participating in the Rural Scholars Track at LSU Health, New Orleans.  During her career at LSU Heath New Orleans, she has served as secretary of the Family Medicine Interest Group and treasurer of the Rural Medicine Interest Group. She was a part of the inaugural cohort of Southeast Louisiana AHEC scholars, a program dedicated to teaching about the social determinants of health and interprofessional education. She was a 2022 scholar in the AAFP Family Medicine Emerging Leaders Institute. Upon graduation, Ms. LaGrone will enter the Lafayette Family Medicine Residency Program.

Moira Wood 01Tulane Family Medicine Excellence Award

The Tulane Family Medicine Excellence Award was presented to Moira Wood.  Ms. Wood is a soon-to-be graduate of Tulane University School of Medicine, in New Orleans, LA. Growing up in the country outside of Davis, CA, she has long had a penchant for exploring the world around her. After having the formative opportunity of spending a high school summer living with a host family in rural Nicaragua, she perused every opportunity to travel abroad and bolster her Spanish-language skills. As luck would have it, when she applied to become a Peace Corps Volunteer after obtaining her BA in Biomedical Anthropology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, she was not sent to Latin America, but instead to Southern Africa. The two years she spent as a Community Health Volunteer in Eswatini inspired her to study global health and complex humanitarian emergencies at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. After graduating with her MPH, she returned to her hometown and worked at an FQHC which modeled the type of compassionate and comprehensive healthcare she now hopes to provide. 

She is elated to be starting her residency training in Family Medicine at Ventura County Medical Center in July. She hopes to practice full-spectrum family medicine, with a focus on maternal and child health, working with marginalized and underserved communities, both domestically and abroad. She identifies as forever learner and is constantly trying to discover how to be a better human.

Johnson 01Resident Award of Excellence Award

The Resident Award of Excellence was presented to Alexi Johnson, DO.  Alexi Johnson, DO is a current third-year resident at Louisiana State University Family Medicine Residency in Kenner, LA. She grew up in Medford, OR; earned a degree in chemistry from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR; and went to medical school at Western University of Health Sciences- College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest in Lebanon, OR. She couples matched with her husband, Matthew Johnson, DO, who is an Internal Medicine/Emergency Medicine third-year resident at LSU. Since being with LSU Dr. Johnson has been awarded Intern of the Year, the Neonates, Infants and Children Award and Women’s Health Award by her program. Dr. Johnson also served as the alternate LAFP board member and alternate resident delegate to the national conference for 2021-2022. She was awarded 1st place in the 2022 LAFP Virtual Poster Contest for her project entitled A survey-based analysis of the language of the prescription bottles and instructions for the medications of limited English proficiency patients, which was subsequently published in The American Journal of Medical Quality in 2023. She is currently volunteering with Special Olympics- Louisiana assisting with their health screenings and after graduation plans to work in outpatient primary care with the hopes of continuing her volunteer work with Special Olympics as one of their medical directors.

Help the Foundation continue the tradition of presenting these awards by making a donation via our secure online form.  All donations are tax free and 100% go to support our student and resident activities.  If you have questions or need further assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact Lee Ann Albert at 225.923.3313.  

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