Dr. Tricia Derges named 2018 Humanitarian

Dr. Tricia Derges has been named the 2018 Humanitarian Award recipient for her work with Lift Up Someone Today, a medical mission for individuals and families in need.

She will be honored at a luncheon at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 18, at the Bond Learning Center at the Darr Agricultural Center in Springfield. Tickets are $22 each and can be purchased online.

A mother of eight children, Derges began medical school when she was 52 years old. During her clinical training in Springfield, she observed patients who were unable to afford medical services despite access to clinics with sliding-scale fees. After participating in a medical mission trip to Nicaragua, she began a plan to create a similar service for residents of the Ozarks.

Derges established Lift Up Someone Today, a 501(c)3 medical mission, in 2014 with the goal of providing medical, dental and mental health care to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. The Lift Up Springfield clinic opened its doors in January 2016, expanding into a larger facility at 2005 E. Kearney St., earlier this year. The mission also operates low-fee clinics in Ozark and Branson, and has provided services to more than 18,000 individuals.

The Humanitarian Award was founded in 1990 by the late Springfield donor Jewell Thompson Schweitzer to honor individuals in our region who excel at serving others in a humanitarian capacity. Schweitzer passed away in April. The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce organizes a committee to review nominations and select the annual recipient.

This year’s selection committee was comprised of Chamber Chair-elect Jeff Childs, Brad Lotz, Nick Menke, Dr. Robert Spence, Rev. Mark Struckhoff and Dr. Carol Taylor.

Derges will receive a $5,000 cash award, which has traditionally been donated to one or more charities of the winner’s choice.

For additional ticket information, contact Carol Oliver, Community Foundation of the Ozarks, (417) 864-6199; or coliver@cfozarks.org.

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