Trotman recalls the pandemic’s early months as hectic and chaotic. “Everything felt deficient, whether it was supplies or time or staff. And we were doing that in a vacuum of medical knowledge,” he says. Developing protocols and policies for handling a pandemic has been an unparalleled experience, Trotman says, especially when medical experts are questioned and even threatened by some for following the science.
He’s grateful to be surrounded by colleagues who daily share knowledge and expertise. That’s why it was with humility and some reluctance that Trotman accepted recognition for work he considers a team effort. “He didn’t want to stand out because he knows so many people were involved,” Edwards says. “But I know firsthand that he exemplified what leadership our committee needed.”
Trotman has worked at CoxHealth for 16 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas–Austin; completed medical school at Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in north Missouri; and completed his internship and residency work at the University of Missouri–Columbia. Considering Trotman grew up in Texas and did his fellowship in infectious disease at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, Edwards says the community is lucky he settled in Springfield. “I will never be able to quantify and qualify it, but thousands of lives were impacted positively,” Edwards says.
As part of the Humanitarian honor, Trotman received a $5,000 cash award. He donated his award to Parasites Without Borders, an international organization focused on eliminating human suffering due to parasitic infections.
Trotman says the pandemic has taught him to be a better listener and communicator. And he hopes to impart to students he mentors that serving and caring for others is a responsibility and a privilege. It’s especially meaningful that the award committee recognizes the kind of work he and others do, he says: “To see it through a lens of humanitarianism is really special,” he says.