Barbara J Boyer, M.D., FACS, general surgeon at Marshfield Medical Center-Minocqua, was recently awarded the 2022 C. Todd Stewart Clinical Excellence Award.
The award honors the legacy of Dr. Charles Todd Stewart, who served his patients and his community as a dedicated pediatric intensivist, passionate child advocate and visionary leader. Dr. Stewart died suddenly at age 48 while serving as Marshfield Clinic vice president. The Stewart family’s Janet Stewart and Suzanne Wright, M.D., co-chair of the Stewart Award Committee, presented the award this year.
Caring for her hometown
Dr. Boyer was born and raised in Minocqua. After medical school in Milwaukee and residency in Salt Lake City, she returned to her hometown where she has practiced for over 20 years.
Dr. Boyer received multiple nomination letters from her partners and local leaders. One of her partners said: “I have been in practice for more than 30 years. I have never met someone who is more of an advocate for patients than Dr. Boyer. She is both a highly skilled clinician and one of the most compassionate caregivers I have ever seen. She possesses a rare mixture of clinical skill and interpersonal skills that have to be witnessed to be fully understood.
“She is hardwired to be a patient advocate. She is always looking out for the best interest of her patient. She is extremely conscientious and her integrity is above reproach. She is well respected by surgeons and non-surgeon alike. She is a great physician and a great surgeon.”
Dr. Boyer has served as department chair, interim division medical director, and president of the medical staff at Howard Young Medical Center. She currently serves as a representative to the System board for the northern region. Dr. Boyer is president of the Wisconsin Surgical Society and serves on the Executive Committee for the Wisconsin Surgical Collaborative.
Of note, she is the third woman president in the 75-year history of the Wisconsin Surgical Society. She and her father, Dr. Barry Seidel, are the first “father-daughter” pair to have served as presidents of the Society. Her father Dr. Barry Seidel celebrated his 50th year with Marshfield Clinic this summer.
“Dr. Boyer’s impact and leadership as a representative for Marshfield Clinic Health System is exceptional,” Dr. Wright said during her presentation speech. “She is a leader both within and beyond the organization.”
Thanks shared via video
Dr. Boyer was surprised with the award at a System Board meeting. Thereafter, she shared her thanks to the Stewart family, her colleagues and the Health System in a recorded video. She reflected on her time in 2008 when she met Dr. Stewart while her oldest son (then 10 years old) was in the hospital in Marshfield. Dr. Boyer attested to Dr. Stewart’s skill, dedication and compassion. She said she is humbled to accept this year’s Stewart Award.
“I recognize that when I accept the care of a patient, I commit the whole organization to the care of that patient,” Dr. Boyer said. “I thank all of you for having my back on behalf of patients.”
After the presentation, several of Dr. Stewart’s family members remarked about how impressed they were by Dr. Boyer’s accomplishments and how touched they were by the spirit she displayed in her remarks, including sharing the story of when Dr. Stewart cared for one of her loved ones.
“Todd cared deeply about excellence in patient care and about Marshfield Clinic, and he would be rightly proud to be in company with the colleagues we recognize tonight,” said Janet Stewart in her presentation speech. “Peds critical care was his chosen field, but he recognized that the entire organization must excel in order to sustain rural medicine. He devoted his clinical service to the idea that Marshfield is the standard bearer for care in our region, and your work exemplifies this idea. On behalf of Todd’s entire family, we honor Dr. Boyer and the nominees, and send our love and respect to all the physicians who make this a unique center of care.”