In 1975, Gary R. Gazella, a student representative, was asked to join a group of family physicians who presented a proposal to U-M’s Board of Regents and Medical School to develop a Department of Family Medicine. This department would encourage comprehensive, compassionate care for the entire family, as well as train future leaders in this specialty. Although the proposal met with some resistance, the group persevered and in 1978 the Department of Family Medicine was created at the University. Dr. Gazella was instrumental in the inception of the Department and now continues to impact its future and the future of the specialty by providing support for students who choose a career in family medicine.
Dr. Gazella was one of the first members of his family to attend college. A 1973 University of Michigan Medical School graduate, he began his private practice in Dearborn, Michigan. He was active in his hospital’s Department of Family Medicine, the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, serving as President from 1987-1988, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Dr. Gazella retired from practice in Dearborn after nearly 40 years. He feels truly blessed by the wonderful patients who put their trust in his care. He loves photography and likes to travel. He and his wife, Bonnie, have two grown children and enjoy spending time with their two wonderful grandchildren. In addition, Dr. Gazella has also been a valuable member of Department’s Development Advisory Committee since its inception.
Dr. Gazella established the Gazella-Brandle Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor and memory of: Dr. Gazella’s sister, Kathy Lynn Gazella (1951-1963) whose short but outstandingly courageous life was an amazing inspiration to all who were blessed to have known her; Dr. Gazella’s father, Richard LaVern Gazella (1923-1996) who served and loved his country, church, community and, most importantly, his family with true compassion and dedication throughout his exemplary life; and Dr. Gazella’s mother-in-law, Doris Arlen Hanson Brandle (1922-2013) whose love and passion for life touched everyone she encountered with warmth, kindness, and affection, leaving all with truly unforgettable memories.
The first Gazella-Brandle Memorial Scholarship in Family Medicine will be presented to Jonathan D. Waldmann at our annual celebration this spring.