A special reception was held recently at Railside Golf Club in Gibson City in recognition of Gibson Area Hospital orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Chris Dangles and the late Dr. George Bark, a family practitioner at Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services’ Paxton Clinic, for receiving the 2017 Physician of Excellence Award from the Illinois Rural Health Association (IRHA).
“One of the biggest healthcare challenges across our nation is the shortage of physicians who practice in rural settings. The IRHA feels it is important to recognize those who have accepted this calling and gone out of their way to make a difference,” said IRHA Executive Director Margaret Vaughn.
After working many years as a family practice physician at the Paxton Clinic and also teaching medical students at his alma mater, the University of Illinois, Dr. Bark died suddenly in July.
“Dr. Bark made a huge impact on improving the rural healthcare environment through the many patients whose lives he touched as well as the medical students he inspired by his vast knowledge,” said state Rep. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, who introduced House Resolution 657 in Springfield, mourning the death of the doctor.
Dangles is a renowned orthopaedic surgeon who has done a phenomenal job since 2010 growing the orthopaedic department at Gibson Area Hospital, attracting not only patients from other states but doctors from across the country to become part of its medical team. Over the past seven years, Dangles has enhanced the practice environment in East Central Illinois for rural residents. Dangles was honored with a House Congratulatory Resolution 677, introduced by state Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana.