The Great Basin Service Club announced the selection of G.N. Christensen, M.D. as the Grand Marshal for this year’s July 4th parade. He has been an active and vital part of the community since his arrival in 1968.
Dr. Christensen (Norm to his friends), was recruited by the Eastern Nevada Medical Group — and since the area offered everything he was looking for, he has called Ely and White Pine County home ever since.
Christensen and his wife, Joyce, raised three children, George III (Chris), Deborah, and Bret.
Born in Minnesota but raised in Arizona, Christensen attended the University of Arizona, graduating with a degree in chemistry. He graduated from University of Tennessee Medical School and interned in Phoenix, Ariz. and Minneapolis, Minn. He completed his residency in General Surgery in Albuquerque, N.M.
During Christensen’s internship, he was commissioned as a captain in the U.S. Air Force. At the end of his residency, he served two years active duty and served in the Ready Reserves for 10 years, from 1968 to 1978.
Christensen has served on numerous state medical advisory committees over the years. He feels that you should be actively involved in professional groups. He has cherished the camaraderie of his peers and feels it helps to keep you in touch with the evolution of the profession. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Nevada Health Systems.
Christensen was also a member of the Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners from 1978 to 1982. He has been a long time member of the Nevada State Medical Association, serving as president from 1991 to 1992.
He served as advisor to William Bee Ririe Hospital Board or Trustees for many years and served as a board member from 1995 to 2015 as chief of staff. In his spare time, Christensen has been active in the Ely United Methodist Church, having served on the administrative board, various committees and the choir.
He has been a member of Ely Rotary Club since 1970 holding the office of president from 1980 to 1981. He is a past member of the White Pine Community Choir and currently plays in the Home Town Band and belongs to the White Pine Historical Car Club as well as various horsemen’s associations, most notably the National Pony Express Association. He has participated in the Pony Express re-ride for 37 consecutive years.
During Christensen’s many years of service to the people of Ely and White Pine, he has taken the time to be a preceptor for students and residents from the University of Nevada Medical School. Students are required to spend time in a rural setting and Christensen was the first physician to offer to mentor them. He felt he had an obligation to support the medical profession and helping in the formation of future physicians was a way to accomplish this.
But perhaps Christensen’s largest contribution to White Pine County was to establish the Emergency Medical Service. Because of his surgical training, he was often called by other physicians to the emergency room. He was distressed by the condition of the patients “literally dropped off” at the E.R. Christensen decided it was time to teach the ambulance attendants how to care for patients in transport.
He began the instructions in 1969. He was the Emergency Medical Technician instructor for over 20 years. When he started EMT training, there were very few physicians in Ely which meant long days and nights working in the office and hospital.
Christensen had the dedication to spend a big portion of his limited free time to improve health care for all citizens.