BERNADINE PETER is the embodiment of the Margaret Gloninger Service Award; in fact, Gloninger was her professor at Pitt Public Health, and Peter credits Gloninger with inspiring her to work in the field.
Peter is population health coordinator and registered dietitian at Val Verde Regional Medical Center in Del Rio, Texas. She previously served at Franklin Primary Health Center Inc. in Mobile, Ala., where she educated patients with diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, in addition to securing nutrition and wellness grants for the underserved. For more than 15 years, Peter served as the administrator and team leader of her husband’s pediatric practice in Crestview, Fla., where they provided care for thousands of uninsured and underserved children. Partnering with another local physician, Peter helped to organize the community’s annual Asthma and Allergy Fair, which helped to bring attention and resources to children with these conditions.
The Peters organize and lead annual medical mission trips to Belize, where they have provided a wide array of medical and dental services to people in need. While in Belize, Peter and her fellow volunteers identified several individuals with serious medical conditions and arranged to have them treated at American health care facilities. In addition to recruiting medical and dental professionals to join them in the effort, Peter has organized several fundraisers, the largest of which is an international food festival held each year at a local elementary school. Over the years, the event has raised tens of thousands of dollars to purchase medical supplies and other desperately needed items. From 2000 to 2008, Peter oversaw a free medical clinic at her church that provided care to migrant workers in the Northwest Florida area. For many, the care provided at the clinic was the only medical treatment they had received in years.