Each year, the AAFP honors selected members during its annual Congress of Delegates and Scientific Assembly. At the 2010 meeting in Denver, the following members were recognized for their accomplishments.
S. Hughes Melton, M.D., of Lebanon, Va., was honored as the Academy's 2011 Family Physician of the Year for his work providing the full spectrum of family medicine care -- plus focused care for patients with chronic pain and/or addiction issues -- to about 18,000 underserved residents of rural Southwest Virginia.
The award honors an outstanding American family physician who provides compassionate and comprehensive patient care and serves as a community role model -- professionally and personally -- to other physicians, residents, medical students and health professionals.
Paul Jaster, M.D., was honored as the recipient of the 2010 Humanitarian Award. He has served as a family physician and teacher at Kijabe Hospital in the Kiambu District of Kenya for the past five years. The hospital serves a population of 250,000.
Before his service in Kenya, Jaster received the Kansas AFP Exemplary Teaching Award for his work at the Smoky Hill Family Medicine Residency Program in Salina, Kan.
Larry Green, M.D., of Aurora, Colo., was honored as the recipient of the 2010 Thomas W. Johnson Award. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to family medicine education at the undergraduate, graduate and continuing education levels.
Green was the Woodward-Chisholm Chair of the University of Colorado, Denver, Department of Family Medicine for 14 years and is still a faculty member there. He now holds the Epperson-Zorn Endowed Chair for Innovation in the family medicine department. Among numerous other accomplishments, Green also is the founding director of the AAFP's Robert Graham Center in Washington and was one of the architects of the Future of Family Medicine project.
The 2010 John G. Walsh Award was presented to Thomas Norris, M.D., of Seattle, in honor of his contributions to the advancement of family medicine.
Currently the vice dean for academic affairs, professor of family medicine and adjunct professor of medical education at the University of Washington, Seattle, Norris developed rural family medicine residency programs in Montana and at MultiCare Health System's Tacoma Family Medicine, which is affiliated with the University of Washington School of Medicine. He also played a key role in establishing the UW Physicians Network, which is the University of Washington's network of community-based primary care clinics.
Tamra Deuser, M.D., of Lewisville, Texas, received the 2010 Public Health Award. A member of the Texas AFP's Commission on Public Health, Clinical Affairs and Research, Deuser was honored for her efforts to raise the profile of key public health issues in her state.
Among other activities, Deuser represents the specialty of family medicine on the Texas Immunization Stakeholder Working Group, a coalition of public and private stakeholders that monitors the current state of immunizations in Texas, identifies shortages and disparities among different populations, and proposes strategies to increase immunization awareness and implementation across the state.
She also is an advocate for the Texas Medical Association's Be Wise - Immunize program, which sponsors immunization clinics and promotes childhood and adolescent immunizations among the public.
Lee Sacks, M.D., of Oak Brook, Ill., received the 2010 Robert Graham Physician Executive Award. He is executive vice president and chief medical officer of Advocate Health Care and president of Advocate Physician Partners, both in Oak Brook.
Sacks, who began his career as a family physician and clinical instructor, has been involved in health care issues at national, state and local levels. He's an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and serves on the board of governors of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago and on the board of directors of the Chicago chapter of the American Heart Association.
Gary Levine, M.D., of Greenville, N.C., received the 2010 AAFP Exemplary Teaching Award for full-time faculty. Sharing the award for volunteer faculty are Larry Coleman, M.D., and Betty Coleman, M.D., both of Pikeville, Ky.
In other news, Mona Bomgaars, M.D., M.P.H., has been appointed to the executive committee of the AMA's National Disaster Life Support Education Consortium, or NDLSEC.
The NDLSEC was organized after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as an all-hazards training program for first responders and other health care professionals.
Bomgaars, who is retired from the Hawaii Department of Health, is an associate faculty member at the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine's Department of Tropical Medicine. She also is a member of AAFP's Disaster Preparedness Member Advisory Panel.
Katherine Flores, M.D., of Fresno, Calif., is among 15 members appointed to the new National Health Care Workforce Commission. She will serve a one-year term.
The commission will advise policymakers on ways to improve the healthcare workforce. It will develop and commission evaluations of education and training activities; identify barriers to improved coordination at the federal, state and local levels; and encourage innovations that address population needs, changing technology and environmental factors.
Flores is director of the University of California, San Francisco, or UCSF, Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research. A practicing family physician in Fresno, she has extensive experience in the area of health professions diversity and health professions pipeline development.
Flores is assistant clinical professor in the department of family and community medicine at UCSF Fresno. She is chair of the California Health Professions Consortium and serves on the Governor's Healthcare Workforce Diversity Council.