Denver Internist Wins 2010 Health Leadership Award
Dr. Bernard F. Gipson, Sr. Health Leadership Award
Dr. Byron Conner, a Denver native, has practiced internal medicine for more than 30 years, including dedicated volunteer work as the health ministry director at Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church and a missionary in Africa.
Dr. Conner graduated from East High School in 1965, served in the Army in Viet Nam, and attended college in California. He graduated from medical school at Loma Linda University in California in 1979 and did his residency in internal medicine at Denver's Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital.
He served with the U.S. Public Health Service for two years and then as a missionary in Ethiopia from 1984-1987, along with his wife, Alfredia Conner, R.N. Dr. Conner then joined Kaiser Permanente as an internist for 22 years, retiring in 2009.
Dr. Conner and his wife established the health ministry at Park Hill Seventh-day Adventist Church in Denver, providing health education, health screenings, and exercise and cooking classes. He also is a devoted volunteer for the Center for African-American Health, as well as the Alzheimer's Association, American Diabetes Association, Inner City Health Center, and numerous ofther organizations.
The Center for African-American Health established the Dr. Bernard F. Gipson, Sr. Health Leadership Award in 2006 to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the health and well-being of the African-American community. The award, which is presented annually, is named after Dr. Gipson, the first board-certified African-American surgeon in Colorado. Dr. Gipson retired from practice in 1995, after serving the community for 41 years, and for many years remained active as a volunteer in the Denver community.