Lafene Health Center medical director named grand marshal for 2021 Homecoming Parade
The arrival of COVID-19 changed our world forever — and the situation continues to
change, seemingly every day.
Dr. Kyle Goerl has helped Kansas State University navigate these many changes through his role as medical director of Lafene Health Center.
“We talk a lot about family at K-State, and I am so grateful that through the most difficult time in my career, I had my Lafene family to lean against and draw strength from as we battled against what felt at times like impossible odds,” he said.
In recognition of his contributions to K-State and the health care community, Dr. Goerl has been named the 2021 Homecoming Parade grand marshal by the K-State Student Homecoming Committee and the K-State Alumni Association.
“I’m incredibly humbled and grateful that the students would consider me for this, and I am absolutely honored to represent our university,” Goerl said. “These last couple of years have been challenging to say the least for everyone on campus. That is certainly true for our team at Lafene, so to be chosen from a group of so many hard-working, caring and deserving folks is truly appreciated.”
In addition to his work with Lafene, Goerl serves as the K-State team physician chair of the Big 12 Conference Medical Aspect of Sport Advisory Committee. He also is part of a collaborative team providing research-based guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. He is the co-author of a publication that was one of many considered by the CDC for its update that provided shortened options for quarantine. His contribution to the research on COVID-19 transmission and quarantine periods assisted higher education and collegiate athletic programs in developing plans to safely resume sports.
“Since this is a new virus, what we learn about it is constantly changing,” Goerl said. “This results in changes to recommendations, new information to share with patients about testing, vaccines and treatments, and trying to consistently provide the safest and most up-to-date recommendations to campus.”
He is proud of the work accomplished at Lafene throughout the pandemic.
“I know none of us here thought we would be playing this critical of a role for anything on campus at any time, but we found ourselves amid the response and I firmly believe that my colleagues here more than rose to the occasion,” he said. “It is important to remember that we have been here the entire time. Remote work and time away are not options for medical workers in the middle of a pandemic, so despite the unknown and concerning times, fatigue, illnesses and medical problems of our own, we have pressed on, continuing to show up for each other and our campus.”
He believes that one of the key factors that makes K-State so special is the commitment Wildcats have to care for each other.
“This place not only bleeds purple, but also compassion and kindness,” he said. “Those connections are what I love the most, both my colleagues and the students we care for at Lafene. I want to ensure that every student on this campus is seen and feels like they have a place to thrive at this university. It will be exciting to see how we can reignite the work we have already started to improve not only the physical health, but overall well-being of every single person on campus.”