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Evangel University celebrates retirement, volunteerism of local physician

January 22, 2014 | Anna Lester

If you could point to one person as the inspiration for your career, who would it be?

For many Pre-Med and Nursing graduates from Evangel University, that person is Dr. Richard Honderick, a local family physician and 1971 Evangel graduate.

Honderick has worked with Evangel volunteers since 2002 and has led medical service trips to Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Sri Lanka, India (Calcutta), South Africa, northern Asia, Haiti and Peru.

“It was Rick’s vision to partner with Evangel and HealthCare Ministries — to have students participate in medical service trips and be mentored by medical professionals,” says Dr. Michael Tenneson, professor of biology.

Read about Evangel’s 2013 medical service trip to Peru.

“Several EU grads who have become physicians say he was the reason they chose medicine. Dr. Honderick is an example of selfless focus on the needs of his patients, both physical and spiritual,” he says.

“It has been hugely rewarding to work with students,” says Honderick. “I enjoy their desire to learn and the energy they bring. On our trips, we are focused on the needs of those in different countries, but the students become an integral part of that whole process.”

Jill Kalinowski, senior Biology major, served in Peru with Honderick in May 2013.

“My experience with Dr. Honderick was invaluable,” she says. “His wisdom and knowledge go far beyond his career. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with someone who is so full of integrity.”

Honderick has served as Evangel’s consulting physician since 1984. He was honored with the Alumni Association President’s Award in 2010.

In December 2013, Honderick celebrated his retirement from a thriving family practice after decades of serving the Springfield community. But the EU collaboration is far from over.

“I am pleased to continue my work with Susan Bryan, nurse practitioner in the Evangel Health Center, and to continue our overseas medical service trips,” says Honderick. “We are going to Haiti in May.”

He continues to work part time at the Mercy Orthopedic Hospital in Springfield. “This position allows me to put funds toward additional mission trips,” he says.