Dr. Erik Meidl is proud that he can be a part of the life-saving work at the Hannibal Free Clinic, and hopes others will be inspired to join him in volunteering.
"The time spent there not only helps these patients, but also can give the volunteers experiences that can change their outlook on life," he said.
Meidl, born and raised in Wisconsin, graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. While majoring in biology, he did research in a molecular genetics lab. This academic work along with working as a nurse’s aide at a rehabilitation hospital in White Plains, N.Y., confirmed his aspiration to become a physician. He also learned that he enjoyed volunteering as he had the opportunity to participate with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and other causes. The highlight of his early life, however, was meeting his future wife, Susan, who was also a student at Dartmouth.
He went on to medical school at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, the oldest medical school in the United States, graduating in 1991. Meidl completed his first two years of internal medicine training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He and his wife, Susan, a dermatologist, both completed their residency training at the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa., where Meidl served as chief resident. The family moved to Hannibal in 1996 to practice at the Hannibal Clinic where they settled and have now raised three Hannibal Pirates and a Notre Dame Raider.
Meidl continues to practice Internal Medicine in Hannibal and is board certified in Obesity Medicine having achieved the top score in the nation during his most recent certification examination. He also has a strong interest in medical ethics and is certified in medical ethics by the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Because he enjoys research, he has published nine peer-reviewed articles, one of which was recognized with the Linacre award by the Catholic Medical Association for the best scholarly article of the year. He has twice served as president of the Hannibal Regional Medical Staff, has served as president of the Northeast Missouri Medical Society and is a past president and CEO of the Hannibal Clinic.
Outside of medicine and raising a family, Meidl enjoys hunting, hiking and fishing.
"Our family did a lot of camping in the national and state parks while our children were younger, and we completed our goal of traveling with our camper to all of the lower 48 states and all of the lower Canadian provinces. My son got me interested in sailing during some of his Boy Scout activities. I now enjoy sailing on Mark Twain Lake. I also love playing board games, and playing music with the violin and mandolin," he said.
Meidl has a passion for reading mystery stories and has written several children’s books. He hopes to do more writing in the future.
In addition to his volunteer service at the Hannibal Free Clinic, Meidl said, "I have been blessed to volunteer as a physician medical missionary with Helping Hands Medical Missions. I have been on six medical mission trips to Mexico serving predominantly the indigenous Mayan population. Those experiences have given me valuable insights into the healthcare system abroad, the inequity in material wealth, and a greater sense of our shared common humanity."
"We are very fortunate to have Dr. Meidl volunteer at the Free Clinic; we are so grateful to Dr. Meidl and all our volunteer providers without whom we could not exist," said Clinic Manager Sharon Webster, RN.
The Hannibal Free Clinic is a local, non-profit United Way agency that cares for patients through volunteerism, charitable gifts, and in-kind contributions.
Seven local medical providers volunteer at the clinic, complemented by a myriad of other types of volunteers and donated services given by Hannibal Regional and other supporting agencies. The Hannibal Free Clinic has provided nearly 15,000 visits and facilitated access to 20,000 prescriptions valued at more than $15,000,000 for patients without insurance and living at 150 percent of poverty or below. Of the more than 2,000 unique patients who have received care at the Free Clinic nearly half are working in a job in which they do not receive benefits, yet are not eligible for Medicaid or subsidized insurance on the federal health care exchanges.