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Dr. Portier recognized for tireless service

Teresa Grable

(12/7) At its 9th annual banquet, the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association named Dr. Bonita Portier the recipient of the Extraordinary Community Service Award for her tireless service to the community.

Dr. Portierís life began in Massillon, Ohio. Over the years she traveled many different roads to many different places, earning multiple degrees and having several occupations. In 1979, Dr. William Portier, Dr. Bonita Portierís husband, took a job with Mount St. Maryís University in the Department of Theology. This brought the Portierís to Emmitsburg, and it is where they have stayed. Dr. Portier says she loves the community, and this is where she raised her family and where she wants to live.

In 1987, Dr. Portier was admitted to West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. She graduated in 1991. In 1995 she completed a three-year residency program in Internal Medicine, upon which she returned to Emmitsburg and joined Dr. Carrollís Emmitsburg Family Practice.

With the help of a few friends and supporters, Dr. Portier opened the Emmitsburg Osteopathic Primary Care Center (EOPCC) as a non-profit organization in 1999 dedicated to providing medical education and patient-centered osteopathic healthcare. Itís not-for-profit status is based on the extensive medical education that takes place there and pro bono services to non-insured and underinsured patients.

Initially she began seeing patients at the Wellspan facility in Thurmont. The corporation then acquired property in Emmitsburg in 2001. With the help of volunteer workers, donated services, and a volunteer architect, the first part of the building opened in 2005. The East Wing of the building opened in 2008, and a grant in 2012 made the completion of the entire building possible.

Dr. Portier said she wanted the EOPCC to be a healthcare center where "patients feel like the most important person in the world."

Linda Junker Sites, one of the friends and a current board member said, "Often we question if one person can make a difference. Dr. Portier is an example that one person can! In her quiet determined way, she has given many the confidence that they can achieve their dreams. We are very fortunate to have her as a member of the Emmitsburg community. "

Over the years, Dr. Portier has received recognition in various ways for her continuous work in osteopathic medicine. She has been named to the Osteopathic Teachers Hall of Fame. She won WVSOMís "Family Medicine Outstanding Preceptor Award" and currently serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine for WVSOM. In 2006-2007, the Maryland Association of Osteopathic Physicians named her Physician of the Year. This was "in recognition of her outstanding dedication and service towards the betterment of the osteopathic profession." These awards are just to name a few.

Along with her work at EOPCC, Dr. Portier is also the Director of the Wellness Center at Mount St. Maryís University and is one of the staff physicians at St. Catherineís Nursing Home.

Mayor Don Briggs said, "Good Doctor Bonnie is a very special person. She works tirelessly to serve the sick and poor in our community at her office, the hospitals, nursing homes, the Mount, or wherever. Thank you to the EBPA for recognizing her with this award. Congratulations and Godís Blessings to Doctor Bonnie!"

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