The Ely Times
A reception was held this past Sunday for Dr. Norman Christensen. It was two fold, a celebration of Christensen’s retirement and to honor him as a recipient for a prestigious award as one of Nevada’s Most Distinguished Nevadans for 2019.
The Nevada Board of Regents named him as a recipient earlier this year, and honored him at the Spring commencement ceremonies at University of Nevada Reno.
Christensen has been in the medical field for the past 51 years. He arrived in White Pine County in July of 1968, fresh out of med school. As a board certified surgeon, Christensen worked in the original White Pine County Hospital, then the William Bee Ririe Hospital.
Working through his clinic schedule, providing coverage for the Emergency Room, caring for patients at the hospital, while working in a private business, then as a state employee it is evident that helping others has been a lifetime passion for him.
In 1969, the University of Nevada Medical School in Reno was established.
Shortly after this, medical students needed a location to do their rural medicine training, and more than 200 students relocated to White Pine to be mentored, trained and further educated by Christensen.
Christensen is a professor for the university and has been recognized for his service. He also served on the Nevada Board of Medical Examiners in 1978 for a four year period.
He continues to serve as a rural representative for the Nevada State Medical Association, and served as President of the Medical Association for several years.
Later on in Christensen’s medical career, it was identified early on that Emergency Medical Support was needed in White Pine County. He found the resources to start the program and has remained the Medical Director for Emergency Medical Services, and has held this title for over 50 years.
It’s hard to imagine that as busy as he has been with his career, and serving on various boards, he finds time for leisure activities.
Christensen is the current president of the Ely Rotary Club, he plays for the Cheat Grass Band, sings with the Community Choir, and has a love and collection of antique cars. He also has participated in the Pony Express Re-Ride, 39 times to be exact, while providing hay to feed many of the participants during the event.
The Christensen family has been a member of the Ely United Methodist Church shortly after moving here in 1969. Throughout this time, Christensen has served as trustee or committee member to sustain this organization. This included transition into a new facility that was a 25 year process
With his license being renewed earlier this year in July, he noted he will be practicing and prescribing for two more years. When asked if he was going to continue seeing patients he said yes, he will be seeing patients three days a week at the clinic in addition to continuing his status as Medical Director for the White Pine Care Center.
“I have been the Medical Director for the Care Center since 1970, no one else has spoke of an interest in it, and someone needs to look after those folks,” he said