Annual report highlight: Choosing to stayJune 29, 2023
Gerald and Suzanne VanWieren
As part of Dr. Gerald VanWieren’s commitment to the National Health Service Corps, he had to work in a high-need community after medical school. He and his wife Suzanne, a family nurse practitioner, chose Grant. Used to high doctor turnover, patients often asked how long they planned to stay.
“I was obligated to two years, but we’ve stayed 40,” said Gerald.
“We like small town life,” said Suzanne. “We like having those connections with people, and we’re rural but not very far from the city.”
The VanWierens raised their children here, love local trails and rivers, and are active volunteers. Suzanne served on Grant’s school board for 10 years and Gerald is a trustee of the Bridging Generations Fund at the Community Foundation.
As members of Our Next 75, the VanWierens have also given to the Maynard and Lavina DeKryger Scholarship. Their support honors the DeKrygers, who were mentors to them, and helps local graduates attending medical school.
“We’re not just here to amass material goods,” said Gerald. “We would like to leave the world a better place. We’re grateful for what we’ve received and want to return it.”