Gilchrist Award 2021 Winner: Dr. Mike Mercer
We are thrilled to present our 2021 Gerald Gilchrist Medical Champion award to Dr. Mike Mercer, a family physician and faculty member at United Family Medicine Residency Program at Allina Health in St. Paul. The Gilchrist award honors honors exceptional health care providers that go above and beyond to foster children's early development and promoting early literacy, especially in communities with higher levels of need.
Dr. Mercer has been a steadfast and dynamic supporter of promoting early literacy in his own practice and in training his residents to do the same. When Dr. Mercer's residency program moved to a new clinic in late 2020, he worked quickly to ensure the program would be implemented immediately at the new site.
Ellen Kluz, Program Coordinator at Reach Out and Read Minnesota said the following about Dr. Mercer: "Mike is a passionate Reach Out and Read provider and shares his passion with new generations of residents insuring that they incorporate Reach Out and Read into their practice early in their careers and long after they graduate."
In addition to his training and mentorship for his residents, Dr. Mercer also successfully sought funding for, and coordinated the renovation of two literacy rich clinic waiting areas. These areas contain books and other early literacy resources for families to engage with as they wait for their appointments. Additionally, Dr. Mercer has worked to coordinate our early math learning pilot program at his clinics, where providers use books to help teach young children foundational math skills like counting and making comparisons.
Dr. Mercer received the award at our 10th annual Spring Benefit this May, and for which he shared the above video.
Thank you, Dr. Mercer for your leadership in the clinic, mentorship for your residents, and compassionate care for your patients!