Dr. Menendez honored for 3 decades of service


GREENVILLE — After three decades on the job, a local physician has been awarded a prestigious honor from his colleagues across the Buckeye State.

On August 12, Family Health’s Dr. Carlos Menendez, MD, received the 2017 “Family Physician of the Year” award at an awards banquet conducted in Columbus, Ohio, by the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP).

The OAFP annually presents the Family Physician of the Year Award to an individual who meets and exceeds the criteria of being an outstanding family physician role model; maintaining high professional standards and service orientations; providing high quality and family-centered, continuing health care; and being active in community, education, or other public affairs. Also, candidates must have 10 years post-residency (or equivalent) experience, currently be in practice, and be a member of the OAFP.

Dr. Menendez is the medical director for Family Health Services of Darke County Inc. in Greenville, where he has practiced family medicine since 1986. Family Health is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) with four locations including Greenville, Arcanum, New Madison, and Versailles.

He graduated with his bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Dayton and earned his doctor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, New York. He completed his residency training at Akron General Medical Center Family Practice Residency, where he served as chief resident. Dr. Menendez is board-certified in family medicine. He grew up outside of Buffalo, New York, and attended St. Francis of Athol Springs High School.

He and his wife, Patti, have resided in Greenville for 31 years, and have two grown sons, Matt (Jenny) and Joe (Allie).

Menendez first came to Greenville in 1986 due to a commitment in exchange for his National Health Corps Scholarship.

“In return, you promised to serve 2 to 4 years in a shortage area,” he said. “As a result of that, Greenville at the time was a shortage area and one of the places I interviewed and it worked out.”

“I still think we’re a medically underserved area. We could use more [doctors],” he explained. “The other challenge we’re facing is that a few of us are nearing retirement age, and we need to replace those docs as they go on with the next phase of their lives.”

Dr. Menendez oversaw Family Health’s growth from a small medical practice with five providers to a multi-specialty practice with 41 providers and 200 employees. He directed the practice’s accreditation through the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care as both a community health center and a patient-centered medical home.

“He is always willing to go above and beyond what it expected for his patients, for Family Health, and for his community. Dr. Menendez has spent his entire career serving the underprivileged as a physician for our FQHC — delivering babies, providing nursing home care, and even home visits,” said Jean Young, executive director for Family Health.

He said he initially became interested in medicine not only because of a desire to help people, but also for the “intellectual challenge” medicine offered.

“It was something that I thought would be a challenge throughout my life, and it’s turned out to be that way,” he said.

In his acceptance speech, Menendez told the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, “There is nothing like being a family physician.”

“Our training gives us a unique insight to the diagnosis and management of our patients,” he said. “We can recognize a person’s stress from their husband’s alcoholism, their child’s heroin addiction, or their mother’s new cancer diagnosis because we know and care for their families. We follow our patients from the prenatal period until the end of their lives. We are there to help answer their questions, guide them through a treatment plan, and offer encouragement.”

“We, as family physicians, have the tools to help them no matter what the problem. If it isn’t something we do that day, it’s a referral to the appropriate specialist or community organization who can,” he added.

He also admitted the job can be difficult.

“Relaying bad news is challenging,” he said, “But we don’t do this job alone. It has been my great fortune to have an incredibly supporting staff, in our administration, front office, nursing staff, billers, medical records, pharmacy and my clinical partners. They have allowed me to vent. They have helped to come up with innovative ways to get patients help. They have recognized problems that I have missed. I am a better physician and a better person for having known them.”

When asked in what ways his career in medicine has been rewarding, Menendez said, “Being able to spend time with people, help them identify what their problems are, and hopefully help them feel better.”

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Dr. Carlos Menendez, MD, stands outside Family Health’s Greenville facility. Menendez has served patients in Greenville and surrounding areas for more than 30 years.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_Menendez-0008-PRINT-1.jpgDr. Carlos Menendez, MD, stands outside Family Health’s Greenville facility. Menendez has served patients in Greenville and surrounding areas for more than 30 years. Erik Martin | The Daily Advocate

Dr. Menendez accepts his “Family Physician of the Year” award from Dr. Mike Sevilla, MD in Columbus, August 12.
http://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2017/08/web1_Menendez-4523-PRINT-1.jpgDr. Menendez accepts his “Family Physician of the Year” award from Dr. Mike Sevilla, MD in Columbus, August 12. Courtesy photo
Began practicing medicine in Greenville in 1986

By Erik Martin

emartin@dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com

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