"Dr. Pinson goes above and beyond the call of duty, day or night, to take care of the needs of her patients, always with a smile and warm hug. She travels about 400 miles per week . . . she works until the job is complete."
Hannahs said she was surprised when Pinson was selected for the award because private practices aren't usually the recipients.
"It's usually someone from a university who has done a good bit of research," Hannahs said. "They don't look at people who are dedicated and go out into the field often."
Pinson's travels have put just under 4,000 active patients on her list. Most of her patients suffer from diagnoses like hypertension, heart disease, arthritis, dementia, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity — the same issues that plague the rest of the local population.
But treating such illnesses in the patients' home yields benefits.
"We can look at them in their environment," she said. "I can look in their refrigerator to see what their diet is like; if they've tripped, I might be able to see what caused it.
"They can do their laundry and continue chores at home rather than wait around all day in an office when the actual time with the doctor is only about 15 minutes."
Pinson credits her time with the Marshall University family medicine program, where she completed her residency and made her first house calls.
The Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine recently received a "top ten" award from the American Academy of Family Physicians for being one of the nation's top schools in the percentage of graduates entering family medicine residencies — 18.5 percent of Marshall medical school graduates chose family medicine residencies.
"I had three people I had to see as a resident," she said. "That was my first exposure to house calls and seeing people in home in their environment. It was memorable. I was very surprised — I wasn't sure what to ask. But I learned a lot from those visits."
Those visits helped pave the way — that much-traveled highway — for her future in the medical field.
No office, no patient chair and no parking lot. No problem.
All Pinson needs to treat her patients is in her bag — thermometers, blood pressure monitors, gloves and other basic supplies.
"You don't need a lot of equipment for good care," she said. "You need to be able to relate, to care, to help them in any way possible."
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