Volunteer: Dr. Peter Geiss

2019 Health Care Heroes Award Winners

Dr. Peter Geiss

Medical director, Lake Area Free Clinic

Patients coming into the Lake Area Free Clinic in Oconomowoc are often navigating high-stress situations beyond just their medical condition, such as homelessness, job insecurity and language barriers.

Dr. Peter Geiss, medical director of the clinic, has built a reputation of advocating for his patients to improve not only their health, but also caring about their lives outside the clinic.

In 2007, Geiss – who at the time was chief medical officer of ProHealth Care – took on the volunteer medical director role at the clinic. He went on to be president of the clinic division of ProHealth Care Medical Associates from 2011 to 2013, before launching his own health care consulting firm.

He spends about eight hours weekly providing medical care to individuals and families who lack insurance. Many patients work full-time but either aren’t offered health insurance or can’t afford premiums. By the end of 2019, LAFC will have had 11,000 patient visits.

“At the Lake Area Free Clinic, we see thousands of uninsured low-income working people who need health care,” Geiss said. “I feel lucky that for the last 12 years I have been able to help provide the care these patients need. After all, this is why I became a physician over 40 years ago.”

LAFC case managers said Geiss is committed to delivering high-quality and attentive care.

“As an RN working alongside him, I have witnessed first-hand his amazing work with countless patients. I have heard patients who were desperate and scared say, ‘You saved my life,’ ‘I don’t know what I would have done without your help,’ ‘You are a godsend,’ along with other high praises,” said Crystal Cepican, a case manager. “Many patients present to the clinic feeling sick and not knowing what is going on. He researches the best treatment for patients. He provides culturally competent care to them by listening to their concerns and situations.”

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