HealthPartners doctor honored for his service to Minnesota veterans
Brigadier General David Hamlar receives Veterans’ Voices Award
The motivation to join the military can be different for different people. It could be a desire to serve and protect. Or it could be a pride in one’s country. For Brigadier General David Hamlar, MD, it was both of those things, but also something else.
“The reason I joined the Ohio National Guard is, I had to pay for my car,” Dr. Hamlar explained with a smile. “I was paying for my tuition and everything, but my car broke down.”
Dr. Hamlar had finished his medical school training and was in his residency in 1989.
“When you are a resident, you have to be able to get to the hospital when they need you. So I decided to join the National Guard.”
Making the move to Minnesota in 1994
Dr. Hamlar served as a fellow in 1994 at the University of Minnesota. He was hired full-time as a HealthPartners ear, nose and throat surgeon in 1995.
“Regions has been so good to me. I have deployed over six times, and Regions has been very supportive of that.”
A desire to serve veterans
“I have seen patients from the battlefield all the way to full recovery mode in my work at the VA.”
In 28 years of service, it’s the experiences that motivate Dr. Hamlar to be a voice for veterans. From deployment, to treating the wounded, to helping them through the rehab process, his passion to help has become who he is.
With his military background and genuine interest to give back to veterans, Dr. Hamlar has played a key role in the development of the Lee and Penny Anderson HeroCare program at Regions Hospital. He also sees patients at the VA Hospital.
“Believe me, I love practicing medicine, but nothing compares to those I have helped in the military,” Dr. Hamlar said. “I take care of trauma patients. I do reconstruction for those who have cancer. I treat kids born with deformities. That is rewarding. But to be able to serve our nation. And to be able to take care of our nation’s wounded is by far the biggest thrill I have ever had.”
Dr. Hamlar was honored as a 2016 Veterans’ Voices Award winner. The Minnesota Humanities Center began recognizing Minnesotans for their community leadership and contributions to veterans in 2013.
“The Veterans’ Voices Award celebrates the positive and essential role of the veteran in the future of our state,” said David O’Fallon, President of the Minnesota Humanities Center. “Dr. David Hamlar is a great example of a Minnesota veteran giving back to his community.”
“To me, this award is about how we affect the lives of veterans. To be recognized for that work is very humbling and very special to me,” Dr. Hamlar said.