Health care hero: Dr. Mubashir Badar, physician of the year

Dr. Badar has been honored for making Sanford Bismarck a safer place

Health care hero: Dr. Mubashir Badar, physician of the year

Dr. Mubashir Badar is a specialist in hospital care at Sanford Medical Center – Bismarck who is providing simple solutions to address some of the challenges of taking care of patients with COVID-19.

Those solutions begin with being a team player while serving in a leadership role. It’s a combination that involves expertise and a caring attitude for this Sanford Health 2020 physician of the year.

“Dr. Badar is well respected among his peers and nursing staff,” said Tim Flagstad, Sanford Health director of professional practice in Bismarck. “His commitment to patient care, his calm manner and positive attitude reflect well on Sanford and make it easy for him to lead.”

It goes without saying that providers honored for things they’ve done in 2020 have definitely earned the recognition. Going back to March when the pandemic hit the region, Dr. Badar has been on the front lines in Bismarck serving in a vital role within the health care community.

As an example, he reduced exposure to COVID-19 by isolating pandemic patients on a single medical floor that includes negative pressure isolation. Negative pressure isolation is a technique that prevents airborne contaminants from drifting to other areas.

In order to ration the use of personal protective equipment, he also designated a single hospitalist provider per week to care for the patients on this floor.

First in line to volunteer for that duty? Dr. Badar himself.

So what brought him to this decision — why is this a sacrifice worth making? Dr. Badar responded by praising his profession.

‘What we signed up for’

“If you ask most physicians you’ll get the same answer,” he said. “That answer is ‘This is what we signed up for!’ If you go back to our medical school days or even before that, we’d ask ourselves why we wanted to become doctors. It’s to take care and provide care for the patient in the time of their greatest need. There is no better feeling than doing exactly that.”

A significant part of that commitment goes beyond purely clinical boundaries. Staff have had to accept additional risks while stationed on the front lines. Understandably, they are concerned for their families.

“The one thing I’ve said in the last few days is this: ‘It’s OK — we’ve got this,’” Dr. Badar said. “At Sanford we’re going to come together like a family, have each other’s back and do what is needed to take care of our community. We’re not in this alone. We have the support of hundreds of other doctors, nurses, administration and the government.”

Humbling experience

Patients derive comfort from being well-informed. Dr. Badar has found that his conversations with those affected by COVID-19 tend to be more intense.

“We spend time easing fears and anxiety,” Dr. Badar said. “It’s about educating the patients on the virus and reassuring them, telling them things are going to be OK and their families are going to be safe. We’ll get them through this.”

For personal inspiration, he looks no further than to those working side-by-side with him, as well as those in the next town, the next state, and the next country. People from different backgrounds, different cultures and different walks of life have come together with solidarity to fight a common enemy.

“I’m closer to my colleagues now than I’ve ever been,” he said. “Think of all the nurses, physicians, ER doctors — think of every person sacrificing time with family and fearlessly coming out to helping their patients. In some cases, they’re distancing themselves from family when they go home — just so they can care for the community. I’m humbled by that.”

Sanford Health honors employees of the year

Sanford Health recently announced its employee of the year award winners for 2020. Winners are nominated by their peers for demonstrating the organization’s values. In Bismarck, those honored: Dr. Mubashir Badar, physician, specialist in hospital care, Sanford Health physician of the year; Julie Jacobson, manager infection prevention, Sanford management employee of the year; Fonda Opp, registered nurse case manager, Sanford clinical employee of the year; Douglas Thomas, environmental services technician, Sanford support services employee of the year.

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Posted In Awards & Recognition, Bismarck, COVID-19, Physicians and APPs, Sanford Stories