Communications: News

MAFP Announces 2015 Family Physician of the Year

Friday, April 17, 2015  
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The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) has selected Thomas Bracken, M.D., of Onamia, MN, as the 2015 Family Physician of the Year.  This award is presented annually to a family physician who represents the highest ideals of the specialty of family medicine, including caring, comprehensive medical service, community involvement and service as a role model.

Family physicians from across the state were nominated for the award by patients, community members, and colleagues.  Three finalists were selected from the field of nominees.  After reviewing nomination letters and determining which finalist best fits the award criteria, the MAFP Board of Directors chose Dr. Bracken as the winner.  

Dr. Bracken practices at Mille Lacs Health System.  He has been a family physician in the community for more than 30 years.  Those who nominated Dr. Bracken describe him as a caring and dedicated man. 

“Dr. Bracken is an outstanding family doctor,” wrote Shirley Stukey.  “He is compassionate, thoughtful and always goes the extra mile to care for his patients.”

Dr. Bracken is praised for his commitment and tireless attention to the people in the community.  In a letter to the MAFP V. Rev. Kermit Holl, OSC, wrote “Dr. Bracken pursues joy and sees that happiness must be a significant part of medical care.  He models a great focus and commitment to service.  His vocation is to provide care, and this he does at every turn.” 

Along with his work at the clinic, Dr. Bracken teaches one day per month at the Hennepin County Medical Center Family Medicine Residency in Minneapolis, as well as mentors and teaches pre-med and physician assistant students at the clinic. He also is a musician at his church, directs the Mille Lacs Community Christmas Choir and is a volunteer physician annually in Haiti.

“I can’t say I deserve this award as I do what hundreds of family physicians do every day in Minnesota,” said Dr. Bracken in a personal statement to the MAFP. “However, it has been wonderful to have my patients congratulate me on my nomination and to write letters supporting me.”

The Family Physician of the Year award has been given annually since 1981. The award was presented to Dr. Bracken at the All-Member Celebration during the MAFP Annual Meeting on Thursday, April 17, 2015.  The event took place at The Depot Minneapolis.  A video honoring Dr. Bracken’s work can be found on the  MAFP YouTube Channel at

The Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians is a professional association of approximately 3,000 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students established to assist family physicians in providing quality medical care in Minnesota.  The MAFP is the largest medical specialty organization in Minnesota and is a state chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians, one of the largest national medical organizations in the United States, with 115,900 members.

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