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Larry Crook's professional life has been largely as a
commissioned officer with the Indian Health Service (USPHS).
However, he has also provided medical care for extended periods in
other areas of the world - Africa, Russia, Kazakhstan, India,
Thailand and Burma, usually accompanied by his wife, Nonnie, who is
a nurse. After retiring as chief of internal medicine at the Gallup
Indian Medical Center (GIMC), he began working with Doctors Without
Borders (MSF) caring for refugees largely from some of the many
ethnic groups in Burma. Many were members of the Mon tribe who had
been in conflict with the Burmese Army since WW II and who live on
the Thai Burma border. When MSF pulled out of Thailand leaving
behind the Mon medics they had trained, Larry began supporting the
work of the lead medic. On returning to the USA, Larry established
a foundation to support the work on the Thai Burma border, aided by
some of his colleagues at GIMC. For the past several years this
foundation, the Thai Burma Border
Health Initiative has organized and supported additional MSF
trained medics in their work. The foundation has partnered with
other NGOs in this border area in helping people access care from
local medical facilities or the Thai government. In addition, the
medics provide care in the villages for people with chronic
diseases, especially AIDS and TB. Prenatal and postpartum care,
family planning, immunizations and other preventive services along
with health education in the schools are all done by the medics.
Finally, more young people are being trained to be medics in this
medically underserved area. In addition to spearheading the fund
raising in the US, Larry and Nonnie visit the Thai Burma border
area regularly to monitor the activities and provide education for
the medics. While there have been some major political changes in
Burma, the status of the ethnic minorities is still uncertain and
violent outbreaks are still being reported.
Another of Larry's passions is photography, which has resulted
in collections of wonderful photographs from the many places in
which he has practiced as well as visited. A sampling can be seen
at the TBBHI foundation Web
Because of his life-long commitment to service, the New Mexico
Chapter of the American College of Physicians is honored to present
the 2012 Community Service and Volunteerism Award to Dr Larry