The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians (OAFP) presented its 2020 Family Physician of the Year award to Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine graduate Heidi Gullett ’04, M.D.
The OAFP Family Physician of the Year award is presented annually to a family physician in Ohio who exhibits extraordinary, beyond-the-call-of-duty merit, and who is a current practicing family physician. This physician is a role model to peers, students and the community and is active within the community or other public affairs.
Gullett, a Youngstown native, has been a practicing family physician for 16 years. After receiving her Doctor of Medicine degree in 2004 from the Boonshoft School of Medicine, she went on to attend the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, where she completed a combined residency in family medicine, public health and general preventive medicine. Gullett then completed a Faculty Development Fellowship for improving behavioral health skills for family medicine faculty at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland.
“I realized while I was a medical student and I explored different specialties, family medicine was an amazing platform to develop relationships and to apply the best of generalist principles in offering the most evidence-based, context-grounded medicine,” said Gullett.
Gullett practices with the Neighborhood Family Practice Community Health Center and at the Cleveland Clinic Lutheran Hospital and is the population health liaison between Case and the Cuyahoga County Board of Health (CCBH). She is also the agency and Title X medical director for the CCBH. Title X is a federal grant program dedicated to providing individuals with comprehensive family planning and related preventive health services. Gullett also served as the board’s COVID-19 incident commander.
“The most rewarding part of my job is the privilege of being in long-term relationships with patients. I also feel that practicing family medicine provides a unique window into the personal toll that systemic conditions such as racism and poverty have on individuals,” Gullett said. “This perspective gained from continuity with patients over time allows family physicians to think about pragmatic ways to address the social determinants of health and fight for health equity on multiple levels.”
Along with her medical practice and public service roles Gullett is an associate professor at Case’s Center for Community Health Integration and the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. She has also served as program director for the University Hospitals Public Health/General Preventative Medicine Residency Program and core faculty in the Family Medicine Residency Program.
“Dr. Gullett is overbrimming with integrity and is equally committed to her work at the university, within her clinical practice and out in the community setting,” said Terry Allan, health commissioner of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. “I think the secret to her success lies in her unpretentiousness and clear vision of a community where everyone, no matter their race, income or social standing, has an equal shot at a healthy life.”
Gullett is a member of OAFP and is part of its Population Health and Social Determinants of Health Workgroup.
When asked about her time at Wright State Gullett said, “There were so many incredible mentors at Wright State who were tirelessly devoted to medical education and specifically to family medicine. At Wright State, primary care was always championed in a way that inspired me to pursue a career path that had the potential to make a difference for patients and the community. I will be forever grateful for the incredible undergraduate medical education and early professional identity formation I received at Wright State.”
Gullett lives in Northeast Ohio with her two children, Lynelle and Colin, and spouse, Travis Gullett, M.D.