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College to give 14 awards for health care achievement

From the April ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright © 2002 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Nominations for College awards, Masters due July 1

During this year's Convocation Ceremony at Annual Session in Philadelphia, the College will honor 11 individuals and three organizations for their exemplary work in health care. Here is a list of the awards and this year's recipients:

ACP-ASIM Award for Distinguished Contributions in Science as Related to Medicine

Seymour Reichlin, MACP, Tucson, Ariz.
Renowned for his work in neuroendocrinology, Dr. Reichlin is considered the father of neuroimmunoendocrinology. He has published extensively and described the interactions between the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. He has made numerous contributions to the understanding of the roles of trophic hormones, the significance of the pituitary hormones themselves, and both short and long feedback circuits.

Most recently, his laboratory established inflammatory mediators' impact on hypothalamic-pituitary function. As president of the Endocrine Society, he emphasized the close connection between endocrinology and its parent discipline, internal medicine.

Joseph F. Boyle Award for Distinguished Public Service

John A. Kitzhaber, MD, Salem, Ore.
Dr. Kitzhaber is governor of Oregon, clinical associate professor of health and preventive medicine at the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, and a faculty member of the Estes Park Institute in Englewood, Colo.

Nationally recognized for his work on the groundbreaking Oregon Health Plan, Dr. Kitzhaber brought together diverse interest groups to pass the law. The plan, which took effect in February 1994, has reduced the number of uninsured Oregonians by 200,000. The plan directs state monies to health care areas that provide patients the greatest value.

James D. Bruce Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions in Preventive Medicine

Matthew Lukwiya, MD, Gulu, Uganda (deceased)
Dr. Lukwiya lost his life while fighting an Ebola epidemic in Gulu, Uganda, in December 2000. The epidemic killed hundreds in the small central African country between August 2000 and January 2001. Dr. Lukwiya combined his caregiving skills with a broad understanding of public health, biological sciences and human behavior. His warmth and respect for others helped him give generous and tireless care.

Ralph O. Claypoole Sr. Memorial Award for Devotion of a Career in Internal Medicine to the Care of Patients

Somsak Bhitiyakul, FACP, Kingston, N.Y.
Dr. Bhitiyakul is president of the medical staff at Kingston Hospital in Kingston, N.Y. and was the first physician to offer nephrology care in Ulster County, N.Y. He was the driving force behind the creation of Kingston's first dialysis center and continues to work to expand this vital service while diligently advocating for his patients.

Dr. Bhitiyakul also serves as an instructor and role model for residents in the Mid-Hudson Family Practice residency program. Widely respected and much sought-after as a consultant, Dr. Bhitiyakul has been president of the Mid-Hudson Society of Internal Medicine for several years.

Nicholas E. Davies Memorial Scholar Award for Scholarly Activities in the Humanities and History of Medicine

Robert J. T. Joy, FACP, Bethesda, Md.
A retired colonel in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Dr. Joy is known as the "dean" of military medicine historians. His interest in medical history and record as a scholar ultimately led to his appointment in 1981 as professor and chair of the department of medical history at the F. Edward Hèbert School of Medicine of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where he taught a mandatory course on military medical history for nearly 20 years.

Distinguished Teacher Award

George A. Sarosi, FACP, Indianapolis
Dr. Sarosi is professor of medicine at Indiana University and chief of the medical service at the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis. A skilled bedside teacher, he has received 17 teaching awards and serves as an attending physician 11 months a year.

In addition to giving numerous presentations, Dr. Sarosi is a prolific writer who has published extensively on diagnosing and treating fungal disease. His contributions to the epidemiology of blastomycosis have shaped current understanding of the disease.

Oscar E. Edwards Memorial Award for Volunteerism and Community Service

James B. Reuler, FACP, Portland, Ore.
In 1983, Dr. Reuler helped found the Wallace Medical Concern, where he has served as volunteer physician and preceptor for medical students and residents. The Concern is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions and provides medical care for the homeless and those without medical resources. In his work with the Concern, Dr. Reuler has been a potent fund raiser and an effective advocate for the poor.

Edward R. Loveland Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions in the Health Field

South-Eastern Organ Procurement Foundation, Richmond, Va.
The South-Eastern Organ Procurement Foundation (SEOPF) was founded in 1969 to stimulate organ procurement. Its initial projects included preserving kidneys over time to allow organ sharing, developing guidelines for sharing kidneys, creating a computer system for registering patients and allocating donor organs, pursuing funding and establishing costs of organ procurement.

From these efforts have come the United Network for Organ Sharing, the Department of Transplantation and extensive data collection and sharing processes that all American transplant programs use today. SEOPF currently covers 19 states and includes 49 transplant centers, 28 organ procurement organizations and 49 histocompatibility laboratories.

William C. Menninger Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Science of Mental Health

Luther D. Robinson, MD, Washington
Dr. Robinson currently provides psychiatric training for medical students and psychiatric residents at Howard University. He has taught medical students, psychiatric residents, clergy, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists how to care for and treat seriously mentally ill and deaf mentally ill patients.

In 1969, he became the first African-American director of the prestigious St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington. He guided the hospital through many organizational and policy changes and provided a strong infrastructure for his successors. He also developed one of the country's first treatment programs tailored for mentally ill patients who are also deaf.

John Phillips Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions in Clinical Medicine

David H. Solomon, MACP, Santa Monica, Calif.
One of the country's leading thyroidologists, Dr. Solomon is chief of the department of medicine at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He led this county facility to international recognition for the quality of its science, training and patient care. It became one of the most popular internal medicine residency programs in America.

An early leader in the field of geriatrics, Dr. Solomon taught his students and trainees to respect the elderly and deliver compassionate care to older patients who suffer from loneliness and have little time left. He continues to be active in the American Geriatric Society/Hartford Project, which promotes research by surgical and medical specialists interested in aging.

Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award (#1)

APPNA SEHAT: Primary Health Care Project of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America's Health Development Foundation, Westmart, Ill.
In 1989, the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America created APPNA SEHAT to promote good health in Pakistan by optimizing local resources. Nasim Ashraf, MD, is the driving force behind this highly successful program.

The project's technical staff train and support local workers. These health assistants visit all village households once a month to provide basic health education, immunizations and maternal/child care.

The project now serves more than 150,000 people in 100 villages in four regions of Pakistan. In part because of the project's efforts, infant, maternal and diarrheal mortality rates have dropped significantly, more safe drinking water is available, and more than 1,000 Pakistani women have learned to read.

Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Foundation Award (#2)

CommunityHealth, Chicago
CommunityHealth is an inner-city volunteer clinic that provides free preventive and primary care services to Chicago's uninsured poor. Supported by local private grants and its own fundraising efforts, the clinic has provided free care for nearly 51,000 individuals since opening its doors in 1993.

The clinic also serves as a community resource, referring patients to social service agencies and providing important health information on topics such as sexually transmitted diseases.

Serafino Garella, FACP, Governor for the College's Northern Illinois Chapter, is the organization's founder. He volunteers nearly 20 hours a week for CommunityHealth, enlisting residents and medical students and asking colleagues to donate their services when patients need special care.

Alfred Stengel Memorial Award for Outstanding Service to the ACP-ASIM

Robert B. Copeland, MACP, LaGrange, Ga.
Dr. Copeland's long history of service to the College includes serving as Governor for the Georgia Chapter from 1986 to 1991 and as a Regent from 1993 to 1999. During his term as Regent, he served on several critical College committees.

Dr. Copeland played a crucial role in the ACP-ASIM merger and was the first chair of the Board of Regents of the merged organizations in 1998-99. Since 1999, he has been chair of the ACP-ASIM Foundation's Board of Trustees.

Dr. Copeland is medical director of the Georgia Heart Clinic and president of Southern Cardiopulmonary Associates in LaGrange, Ga. He also serves as clinical professor of medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and at Emory University in Atlanta.

Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Teacher Award

John Kenneth Chamberlain, FACP, Rochester, N.Y.
For the past 20 years, Dr. Chamberlain has offered med-peds residents the continuity care experience in his office. He works with four or five residents simultaneously, taking on one PGY-1 resident each year. Residents continue working in his office two half days per week throughout their four years of training.

In addition to his work with students and residents, Dr. Chamberlain was instrumental in forming a med-peds section within the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). He has chaired this section since 1997 and has worked to form a closer relationship between this group and the ACP-ASIM. This has led to the groups' increased cooperation on educational and advocacy issues, as well as discounted dues for joint members of both organizations.

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Nominations for College awards, Masters due July 1

Nominations for ACP-ASIM awards and Masterships are due July 1.

Each year, the College's Awards Committee presents 14 awards and a number of Masterships during Convocation Ceremony at Annual Session. These awards recognize the accomplishments of distinguished individuals in a wide variety of areas, including the practice of medicine, teaching, research, public service and volunteer service. The Awards Committee is seeking nominations that encompass a broad range of skills and talents.

For a candidate to be considered, five letters must be sent. Incomplete files will be held over for the following year, and all materials are kept confidential. Individuals cannot nominate themselves, and only successful candidates are notified of election results. The files of unsuccessful candidates are held for three years, but new material and new curricula vitae must be resubmitted each year for the candidate to be considered again.

Criteria for the College's awards and Masterships are online at www.acponline.org/college/aboutacp/awards_masters.pdf. For more information or a print version of the criteria, call Jean Elliott at 800-523-1546, ext. 2692, or 215-351-2692.

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