According to Dr. Patrick Hawkins of Flint, Michigan, the “NP” in his long list of credentials stands for “No Problems.” As a nurse practitioner who holds a doctorate in nursing, he helps with transportation problems, fighting to get lower copays, transplant workups, medication samples for low-income patients and more.
Dr. Hawkins has been working in nephrology for 23 years since his days in the U.S. Army at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. His philosophy about patient care is simple and powerful: “Everybody is somebody’s someone.” He believes in treating patients as if they were members of his own family, and trains his staff to do the same.
His focus is on helping patients maximize their quality of life—by educating them on the importance of managing their disease and empowering them to engage fully in their care. “When you empower patients through education, they have better outcomes and less depression,” Dr. Hawkins says. “I tell them you don’t have to stop dancing, you just dance to a different song.”
Dr. Hawkins has a grueling schedule, traveling to three hospitals and as many as 28 dialysis centers.
“He is beyond selfless and caring when it comes to the health of our patients, working from before the sun comes up to after the sun goes down making sure everyone is taken care of,” wrote one of five people who nominated Dr. Hawkins for this award. “He has a level of caring for patients like I have never seen,” wrote another.