2021 Alumni of the Year

As they educate and mentor students, touch the lives of patients and work tirelessly in their professions and communities, the Des Moines University Alumni of the Year inspire others to aspire. Alumni of the Year honorees are selected by the DMU Alumni Association Board of Directors and past recipients of this prestigious award.

Recipients of the awards must be a member in good standing of their respective professional state or national organization and the DMU Alumni Association; demonstrate excellent service to DMU, its students and his/her profession; and demonstrate a record of service to his/her community on a local, state and/or national level.

View past Alumni of the Year recipients


College of Health Sciences: Yogesh “Yogi” Shah, M.D., M.P.H.’13, FAAFM

Yogesh “Yogi” Shah, M.D., M.P.H.’13, FAAFM
Yogesh “Yogi” Shah, M.D., M.P.H.’13, FAAFM

Yogesh “Yogi” Shah, M.D., M.P.H.’13, FAAFM, earned his medical degree in Mumbai, India, and made his way to family practice in rural Ringgold County, IA. He later completed a one-year geriatric fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, and began teaching geriatrics at Des Moines’ Mercy Hospital and DMU. That led to his appointment as founding chair of the geriatrics department at the University while he continued to practice at Mercy.

After Shah responded to a call for physicians to join a group of DMU students on a medical service trip to Belize, he was asked by the College of Osteopathic Medicine to become the founding associate dean of global health, a role in which he created opportunities for hundreds of DMU students to participate in service trips and internships with prestigious global health organizations. He left the University in 2016 to join Des Moines’ Broadlawns Medical Center as a geriatrician and founding director of palliative care services. He was promoted to Broadlawns’ chief medical officer and vice president of medical affairs in 2020.

Read more about Dr. Shah


College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery: Jill Frerichs, D.P.M.’01, FACFAS

Jill Frerichs, D.P.M.’01, FACFAS
Jill Frerichs, D.P.M.’01, FACFAS

Jill Frerichs, D.P.M.’01, FACFAS, the 2021 College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Alumna of the Year, is a foot and ankle surgeon with Capital Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine PC in Clive. She also treats patients at the practice’s outreach clinics in Ankeny and Pella and performs surgeries at Mercy Medical Center and Methodist Medical Center in central Iowa.

After she completed her three-year podiatric surgery residency at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, OH, Frerichs joined the program’s faculty while also working in private practice. She went on to serve on DMU’s College of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery faculty for five years, supervising students in the on-campus Foot and Ankle Clinic, teaching in lectures and laboratories and performing research.

Read more about Dr. Frerichs


College of Osteopathic Medicine: R. Paul Groben, D.O.’75

R. Paul Groben, D.O.'75
R. Paul Groben, D.O.'75

Paul Groben, D.O.’75,  practiced for five years as a family physician in Charles City, IA, before completing a fellowship in the then-relatively new specialty of radiology. He took his expertise to Skiff Medical Center in Newton, IA, where he created a new radiology department and worked for nearly three decades. He also applied his family practice background, providing his medical colleagues with the analyses they needed as well as patients with information about his findings. He also served as a preceptor for many students, including from DMU, during his career.

Groben and his wife, Jean, founded Jasper Winery in Newton in 2003, which they relocated to Des Moines five years later. While they joke that it is a “hobby gone astray,” Jasper wines have received awards, and the winery has become a popular venue for DMU alumni events as well as weddings, reunions and weekly outdoor summer concerts.

Read more about Dr. Groben


Rising Star Award: Jennifer Kendall, D.O.’07

Jennifer Kendall, D.O.’07
Jennifer Kendall, D.O.’07

Jennifer Kendall, D.O.’07, is the recipient of the DMU Alumni Association’s inaugural Rising Star Award, which honors graduates of the past 15 years or fewer who have made noteworthy contributions to their industry or community. A physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) physician at the Spine and Rehabilitation Clinic of M Health Fairview, the largest medical provider in Minnesota, she was an osteopathic manual medicine (OMM) fellow as a DMU student and served on the American Osteopathic Association Board when she was a PM&R resident at the University of Michigan.

Kendall now is president-elect of the American Osteopathic College of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is the governor-appointed D.O. representative on the state’s Board of Medical Practice. Past president of the Minnesota Osteopathic Medical Society, she frequently serves as a preceptor for medical students, including from DMU.

Read more about Dr. Kendall

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