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Clinic director receives award for service

Dr. Leanne Rousseau, medical director at the Dirne Community Health Center, was presented the Bob LeBow Award for Exemplary Service Tuesday by the Idaho Primary Care Association.

Before the Dirne clinic received a federal grant to become a federally funded community health center, it operated as a free clinic a couple of nights a week, staffed by volunteers.

Rousseau started volunteering at the clinic in 1991, in addition to her regular job as a physican at Group Health.

She became Dirne’s medical director last year when it became a full-time health center.

“She has been the rock that has kept that clinic going,” said Bill Foxcroft, executive director of the association.

In addition to Rousseau, the clinic has another full-time doctor, a part-time doctor, and is in the process of recruiting a third with the help of Kootenai Medical Center.

The clinic employs a total of 22 staff members, said CEO Joel Hughes.

The award is named after Bob LeBow, a Nampa, Idaho, physician and community health center medical director who dedicated his life to advocating for the medically underserved.

He died last year after a bike accident. The association gave the first award to a physician in Oregon last year, Foxcroft said.

In addition to a plaque, Rousseau was given a $1,000 check from the IPCA written out to the Dirne Community Health Center.

“I’m very humbled,” Rousseau said as she accepted the plaque and check.