Dr. Jeffrey L. Champion '82
2021 Recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Community Service
Following his graduation from Carroll, Dr. Jeff Champion '82 went to dental school at the University of Minnesota and while there, provided services for low-income individuals at the Gospel Dental Mission Clinic in St. Paul, Mn. Through this volunteer work, he provided much needed denture services for the senior community.
Since those early days of sharing his dental skills through his volunteer efforts, Dr. Champion has served the Waupun, Wis. community in private practice since 1986. He continues to weave service into all aspects of both his personal and professional life, driven by the belief that there is an obligation to give back to the global community, particularly those underserved.
Influenced by the adoptions of his foreign-born children, Harrison and Mei, Dr. Champion and his wife became active in supporting Mei’s birth home in Urumqi, China, located near the Gobi Desert. Before their trip to bring their daughter home, the Champions made the decision to spend six weeks traveling and immersing themselves into the homeland culture.
During that trip, they learned Mei’s orphanage was in dire need of the most basic items such as clothing, medicine, toys, just to name a few. They knew they needed to be advocates for these children and were committed to help. As mission committee members at their local church, they worked to set up a donation program. Dr. Champion also tapped his dental connections and raised dollars and secured toiletries, clothing and other items to support the orphanage.
His volunteer efforts abroad did not stop in China. In February 2020, Dr. Champion organized a volunteer dental mission to the poorest areas of the Dominican Republic. The province of Elías Piña is one of the 32 provinces of the Dominican Republic, on the western part of the country bordering Haiti. Infrastructure and access to health services are virtually non-existent in the region and Dr. Champion knew this was a community where his professional experience could make a difference.
With limited electricity available, he was dependent upon unreliable gas generators and bottled water for treatment. The limited supplies for care were the personal donations he brought down for use. Upon returning from this inaugural trip, Dr. Champion was dedicated to getting the word out about the critical need in the area for continued care. Through extensive networking and fundraising, he and his team are now planning on annual trips to the Dominican Republic to continue the good work and partner with the community in Elías Piña.
Approached by Church Health Services of Beaver Dam, Wis., a faith-based healthcare nonprofit that conducts primary, dental and mental health care for low-income families in the region, Dr. Champion was offered free supplies and some equipment for their mission—and in return offered his services to the underserved in Beaver Dam.
Dr. Champion volunteers in many capacities to promote wellness and community dental education. He has engaged in screenings and held wellness presentations at local schools and through Agnesian HealthCare. He has also served in many leadership capacities in the Columbia Dodge Marquette County Dental Society of the Wisconsin Dental Association including the position of president from 1996-1998.
Dr. Champion, an Eagle Scout, has also been a lifelong volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America as a scout leader, counselor, and a committee member for a number of troops in the Bay Lakes Council. He also actively volunteers with the Waupun Food Pantry and Habitat for Humanity through his work with the Boys Scouts.
Dr. Champion has continued to study and practice his Spanish while serving many Hispanic patients at his practice in Waupun. He also serves the Amish community through dental education and treatments. As he transitions into retirement from his private practice, Dr. Champion has been offered a permanent position with Church Health Services. He will continue his local work within Beaver Dam and will focus his efforts on continuing his mission in the Dominican Republic.
Dr. Champion lives in Waupun, Wis. with his wife Sandra. Both of his children, Harrison '17 and Mei '21, also attended Carroll University. Dr. Champion graduated from Carroll in 1982 with a degree in biology.