The DO Magazine, a publication of the American Osteopathic Association, features a series titled “The Hero Next Door” on osteopathic physicians “who are quietly transforming health care in their communities and beyond.” The series’ latest “hero,” DMU Associate Professor Gary Hoff, D.O., epitomizes that description.
In addition to his faculty responsibilities, Dr. Hoff is a talented longtime artist and active community volunteer. He and a DMU colleague, Norma Hirsch, M.D., brought to campus the Healer’s Art, an in-depth discussion-based course for medical students on the humane, personal and compassionate aspects of health care. He’s the adviser for Abaton, the University’s student-produced literary journal.
His volunteer activities include using both his artistic and scientific expertise with elementary students at Des Moines’ Downtown School. That earned him the title of the 2013 Roger T. Stetson Rotarian of the Year from the Rotary Club of Des Moines, the oldest club west of the Mississippi River.
I can also say from my experience at DMU that Dr. Hoff is a fascinating and fun person to talk with. Just one example was his gift to me of Mary Roach’s book Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, which was educational, sometimes gruesome and gross, and frequently laugh-out-loud funny.
Typical of a “quiet” hero, Dr. Hoff is embarrassed by the attention but highly deserving of it. Who are your heroes in osteopathic medicine and in life in general?