Is your family doctor a life-saver? Iowans are being prompted to nominate candidates for the Iowa Family Physician of the Year Award. Last year’s winner is Dr. Dale Nystrom, whose practice is in the northwest Iowa town of Hawarden.

Nystrom says winning the award can have a dramatic impact and it’s a wonderful way for a patient to say "thanks" to their doctor. Nystrom says, "There are so many physicians in Iowa who are caring and excellent physicians and oftentimes their work goes unnoticed and I think if a patient believes their physician is deserving of this award, I would highly encourage them to do so." The deadline for nominations is May 16th. Nystrom says he was stunned to learn he’d been picked for the 2007 version of the award.

"This was a very high honor and it was very humbling," Nystrom says. "I continue to try my very best to serve my patients in the best way that I can." He says it’s easy to nominate someone for the award through the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians.

Patients need to write a letter describing why their doctor qualifies for the award and can add letters from others, like other patients, office staff, colleagues, hospital employees and community members. For information, contact the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians at 515) 283-9377 or send nominations to 100 East Grand Ave, Suite 170, Des Moines, IA 50309.