March 25, 2009


Dr. Frannie Koe Speaks at Health Lecture Series

Local physician Dr. Frannie Koe recently spoke to Northeast Alabama Community College students and personnel on rural health issues as a part of the college’s Health Lecture Series. Dr. Koe is the family practice physician with the Will’s Valley Family Medicine Center in DeKalb County. Dr. Koe told those present that access to health care remains a key problem for many who live in rural areas. Not only is there often a shortage of health care personnel and services, but because of transportation problems, many living in rural areas have a difficult time in getting transportation to a clinic or physician for care. Because of this access problem, Dr. Koe noted that she still makes house calls to some of her patients.

Dr. Koe told those of her own experience of becoming a physician through the Rural Medical Scholars Program. This program was developed as a part of a strategy to recruit more students from rural areas into medical school, and then establish their medical practice in rural areas. The program was established and is operated by the University of Alabama and the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Dr. Koe added that she began her pre-med studies at 30, a relatively late age for a student, after her three children were born. Dr. Koe encouraged NACC students to pursue their dreams of becoming physicians and health care workers and that programs such as the Rural Medical Scholars are available for their training and support. Dr. Koe is a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and also obtained degrees from the University of Alabama/Birmingham and the University of Alabama/Birmingham School of Public Health.

Dr. Koe also advised students to learn how to do as much with computers as they can. “My office is totally computerized,” she said. Dr. Koe also told students that it remains important for physicians to communicate well with their patients and to establish good rapport with them. Practicing medicine in a rural area, Dr. Koe said, permits her to spend more time with patients and better communicate with them. Dr. Koe added that she enjoys the lifestyle in a rural area and lives on a 78-acre farm, complete with a waterfall, ponds, and cultivated land.

NACC President Dr. David Campbell told the audience that our area was very fortunate to have a physician like Dr. Koe to provide care to residents and that she is an inspirational model for students in pursuing their dreams. The Health Lecture Series is a regularly scheduled event sponsored and organized by NACC in order to provide the students, staff, and the community with the latest information pertaining to health care issues. NACC Event Planner Susan Barron organizes and coordinates the Health Lecture Series, which is open to and free to the public.

The Will’s Valley Family Medicine Center is located at Collinsville and serves as a satellite clinic for the DeKalb Regional Medical Center. More information about the Rural Medical Scholars Program may be obtained by contacting the College of Community Health Sciences (CHS)at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa or by visiting the CHS web page at

For additional information about attending Northeast, visit the Admissions page. For information about the Health Lecture Series, e-mail or phone ext. 248.

Dr. Frannie Koe Speaks at Northeast Health Lecture Series. Left to Right, Susan Barron, NACC Event Planner; Dr. Frannie Koe, family practice physician; and Dr. David Campbell, NACC President.