Jeffrey Colyer, MD, plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, and Kansas Lt. Governor, has been announced as the physician recipient of the hospital’s prestigious Frist Humanitarian Award.
Overland Park Regional Medical Center (OPRMC) is part of HCA Midwest Health System, Kansas City’s largest healthcare provider. The Frist Humanitarian Awards, the highest honor a physician, employee or volunteer may earn, were created in 1971 by HCA, the parent company of OPRMC. The award is in recognition of the humanitarian spirit and philanthropic work of the late Dr. Thomas F. Frist, Sr., a founder of HCA. Dr. Colyer is now eligible for the national Frist Humanitarian Award.
“It is my great privilege to present Dr. Colyer with the Frist Humanitarian Award as selected by our medical staff,” says Overland Park Regional Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Diamond Boatwright. “He epitomizes the spirit of this award through his dedication to patients at the hospital and in the community and his selfless work in war zone hot spots around the world. We are honored to have such a compassionate and devoted professional working at Overland Park Regional Medical Center. And certainly the world is a better place, benefiting from Dr. Colyer’s extraordinary skills and humanitarian missions."
“Dr. Colyer is an incredibly talented and dedicated physician, humanitarian and public servant. Jeff is devoted to philanthropic efforts across the globe; as recently as last summer he went to Syria to bring medical services to those in need,” said Governor Sam Brownback. “He has continued his humanitarian work while being Lieutenant Governor of Kansas and changing public policy, reshaping the Medicaid system and continuing to operate his medical practice. Dr. Colyer is very deserving of this recognition.“
For 17 years Dr. Colyer has been a loyal and dedicated member of the medical staff at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, serving patients and the community with compassion and the highest standard of quality care. He also serves on the hospital’s board of trustees.
In addition to his work at OPRMC, Dr. Colyer has devoted more than 20 years to serving overseas through the International Medical Corps (IMC), a nonprofit organization that goes into war zones around the world to help the injured. Dr. Colyer was the first physician to volunteer for the IMC.
Dr. Colyer has provided essential medical care in areas of the world such as Iraq, Rwanda, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Syria. His work with the IMC earned him recognition in a multitude of national media outlets, such as 60 Minutes, PBS, and People magazine.
When Dr. Colyer began his work with the IMC, he designed surgical medic training programs and set up surgical clinics for the Afghan freedom fighters during their war with the Soviet Union. While serving in Rwanda, Dr. Colyer was the only surgeon in the area and established the first clinic and hospital in the southern part of the country.
Dr. Colyer first encountered politics during his residency at the Washington Hospital center where he was named a White House Fellow and served in the Executive Office of the President and Agency for International Development under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. It was here Dr. Colyer learned about international aid and development. Dr. Colyer is one of only three Kansans to be named a Fellow since the program’s inception by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Dr. Colyer was elected to a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives in 2006. During his time serving in the House, Dr. Colyer introduced a bill to require Medicaid beneficiaries who smoked, were obese or abused drugs to enroll in wellness programs.
Following his term in the Kansas House, Dr. Colyer was elected to the Kansas Senate where he was selected to serve as the Chairman over the Legislative Health Reform Task Force. Other major health reform tasks Dr. Colyer took on include the expansion of S-CHIP premium assistance, extending COBRA insurance for the unemployed and a plan to control health insurance costs.
Dr. Colyer was selected to run with Kansas Senator Sam Brownback during the 2010 election. Now Dr. Colyer serves in Governor Sam Brownback’s office as the 49th Lt. Governor of Kansas. He created and co-chairs a Humanitarian Commission and is active in the Joint Committee on Health Policy Oversight and Public Health and Welfare of Kansas.
In 2010 Dr. Colyer climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as part of a fundraising effort to support humanitarian activities of the International Medical Corps. He climbed the mountain following completion of a medical assignment in Africa.
Dr. Colyer resides in Overland Park with his wife, Ruth, and children Alexandra, Serena and Dominique.