Des Moines University 2021 Alumni of the Year

DMU announces 2021 Alumni of the Year and inaugural Rising Star Award recipient

One was a radiologist universally respected by colleagues and loved by patients for his caring bedside manner. Two are former DMU faculty members who have continued to benefit patients and communities, even globally. And one is the recipient of the University’s inaugural Rising Star Award, which honors graduates of the past 15 or fewer years who’ve already made noteworthy contributions to their industry or community.

“Honoring alumni every year is a wonderful reminder of the great community we DMU graduates are part of,” says Jami Haberl, M.P.H.’03, M.H.A.’03, president of the DMU Alumni Board. “The achievements and contributions of this year’s award recipients are diverse, but all are impressive and reflect the powerful impact our alumni have in their lives and careers.”

The University is proud to salute these alumni all-stars. Alumni of the Year and Rising Star Award honorees are selected by the DMU Alumni Association Board of Directors and University leadership. Award recipients must be members 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. Below are this year’s honorees with links to additional information about each.

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

R. Paul Groben, D.O.’75, the 2021 College of Osteopathic Medicine Alumnus of the Year, 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 Groben here.

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 Frerichs here.

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, the College of Health Sciences Alumnus of the Year, 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 Shah here.

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 Kendall here.

Want to nominate a deserving DMU graduate for an alumni award and learn about past recipients? Information and nomination forms are available here.

Are you a member of a Grand Family? Tell us! 

Earning one’s graduate medical/health sciences degree can be a bonding experience among classmates, but that’s also the case for the many DMU alumni whose parents, grandparents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles and/or cousins are also University graduates. Is having a DMU degree a family affair for you? 

The Office of Development and Alumni Relations has created a new program, the Grand Family, to recognize and honor generational alumni for their shared DMU bonds and contributions, to provide networking opportunities and to help “Grands” stay connected. Membership is free and includes recognition at University events and in DMU communications, opportunities to interact with other Grand Family members and admissions workshops for prospective students to bring more family members into the fold. 

To learn more about the program and register your clan as a Grand Family, visit

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