Suzanne Wanlass VanDerwerken, MD, FAAFP  Named Family Physician of the Year

Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians (NJAFP) recently recognized Suzanne Wanlass VanDerwerken, MD, FAAFP, chair of the Department of Family Medicine and assistant director of the Family Medicine Residency Program at Inspira Medical Center in Woodbury, N.J., as the 2019 New Jersey Family Physician of the Year at the NJAFP’s Family Medicine Forum in Atlantic City.

As the 2019 New Jersey Family Physician of the Year, Dr. VanDerwerken will become the NJAFP’s nominee for the 2020 National Family Physician of the Year, presented by the American Academy of Family Physicians.

Each year, this award is presented to one outstanding physician in the state who best exemplifies the tradition of the family physician by providing the community with compassionate, comprehensive and caring medical service on a continuing basis. The recipient is directly and effectively involved in community affairs and activities that enhance the quality of life within their community, emulating the family physician as a healer and human being. In addition, the Family Physician of the Year is a role model for professionalism in the service and art of medicine to colleagues, other health professionals, the community and especially to young physicians in training and to medical students. Dr. VanDerwerken meets the criteria and more. 

“Dr. VanDerwerken is known and respected by her colleagues for her unbelievably extensive medical knowledge, careful attention to details and ability to retrieve applicable, evidence-based resources almost instantaneously,” said Gina Glass, MD, FAAFP, program director of the Inspira Woodbury Family Medicine Residency Program. “I have witnessed first-hand the positive impact that she has had. She inspires me to be the best physician, teacher and person I can be.”

Board-certified in family medicine, adolescent medicine and obesity medicine and a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Dr. VanDerwerken has received numerous accolades, including the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Underwood-Memorial Family Medicine Residency Program. Additionally, she was named a Presidential Scholar and National Merit Scholar by her alma mater, Brigham Young University.

Professionally, Dr. VanDerwerken has served on Inspira Medical Center’s Diabetes Self-Management Education Advisory Board since 2013. She previously served as program director of the Family Medicine Residency at Inspira Medical Center, chairman of the Department of Family Medicine at Underwood-Memorial Hospital and as Interim Director of the Student Health Center at Rowan University. She is a highly sought-after speaker on women’s health issues, diabetes and obesity and has given talks to numerous groups, including the South Jersey School Nurses Association, the Gloucester County Women’s Health Summit, Williamstown Health Careers Academy and the New Jersey Area Health Education Center (NJ AHEC) program. At Inspira Woodbury, Dr. VanDerwerken has coordinated many community volunteer opportunities for the residency program, such as health fairs and school career days.

An active community member, Dr. VanDerwerken has served as Sunday school teacher, Bible class instructor and camp counselor. She also received the Family Medicine Education Consortium’s Creative Writing Award for her poetry and prose work.

Dr. VanDerwerken earned her medical degree from Jefferson Medical College and completed a residency in family medicine at Underwood-Memorial Hospital. She resides in Pittsgrove.