Loretta Leja, MD of Cheboygan was honored with the 2019 'Archie' Award of Excellence on August 3 during the Michigan Family Medicine Conference & Expo at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire.
Michigan Academy of Family Physicians—the largest medical specialty organization in the state—periodically presents this award in honor of the late Archie Bedell, MD, PhD. A long-time Academy member and 1996-1997 president of MAFP, Dr. Bedell was a pioneer in family medicine education and a champion of the medically underserved and underrepresented.
“Dr. Leja is most deserving of Michigan Academy of Family Physicians’ pinnacle award, having distinguished herself as an exemplary family physician, patient advocate, and volunteer leader,” said MAFP Chair Mary Marshall, MD, RN.
After earning her medical degree from Medical College of Wisconsin in 1979 and completing residency at Saginaw Family Medicine Residency Program in 1982, Dr. Leja relocated to Cheboygan with a desire to make a difference in an underserved area, care for generations of families, and get to know her patients like family. Today she provides primary and preventive care for the entire family, from pediatrics to geriatrics, at Rivertown Medical, a Mackinac Straits Health System clinic in Cheboygan.
Among Dr. Leja’s many accomplishments are helping to establish Cheboygan’s hospice program, training paramedics, volunteering at a local free clinic, and serving as chief of staff of Cheboygan Memorial Hospital. She also served as MAFP chair in 2018-2019 and president in 2017-2018.