People in the News/Awards -- October

October 31, 2011 03:45 pm News Staff

A number of AAFP members received some prestigious honors and awards this past month, including several awards given by the AAFP during its annual Scientific Assembly. In addition, the American Board of Family Medicine's Pisacano Leadership Foundation has named five individuals as this year's Pisacano Scholars.

The AAFP has awarded Rob Crane, M.D., of Dublin, Ohio, the 2011 Public Health Award. The AAFP's Public Health Award recognizes individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the health of the American public. As the founder and president of the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, Crane has dedicated 14 years to preventing teen smoking through both education and tobacco control. He also has coordinated and implemented a number of public health programs that have sought to counter the toll of tobacco use, HIV/AIDS and drunk driving.

Crane is a clinical associate professor at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and teaches in the family medicine residency program at the Ohio State University Medical Center. In 2010, Crane was awarded the Family Physician Mentorship Award from the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians.

Family physician Kisha Davis, M.D., M.P.H., of North Potomac, Md., has been appointed to the 2011-2012 class of White House Fellows, where she will work for the next year for the U.S. Department of Agriculture advising the agency on nutrition issues, food safety and the marketing of food products. The White House Fellows( program provides "first-hand, high-level experience with the workings of the federal government."

Davis most recently practiced medicine at Chase Brexton Health Services, in Gaithersburg, Md. She also is one of the New Physician alternate delegates to the AAFP Congress of Delegates.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed AAFP member Daniel Derksen, of Albuquerque, as the director of the state's office of health care reform. As director, Derksen will be responsible for overseeing health care reform efforts and for establishing a state health insurance exchange. Derksen is a former Robert Wood Johnson Foundation health policy fellow and the past president of the New Mexico Medical Society. He also has served as a professor in family and community medicine at the University of New Mexico.

Chyke Doubeni, M.D., of Worcester, Mass., has received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers( Established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, the awards recognize recipients' "innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach."

Specifically, Doubeni was honored for his population-based studies(, conducted in real-world settings, on the effectiveness of screening colonoscopy in reducing deaths from both left- and right-sided cancers in average-risk adults.

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has nominated AAFP member Michael Fine, M.D., as that state's new director of the department of health. Fine is past president of the Rhode Island AFP. He has been working as interim health director since February, while continuing as medical program director for the state's department of corrections.

The AAFP has awarded Robert Graham, M.D., director of the Aligning Forces for Quality Program at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and professor of family medicine at the University of Cincinnati, the 2011 John G. Walsh Award, which is one of the highest honors bestowed by the AAFP. The award is designed to recognize long-term commitment and is given for dedicated, effective leadership that furthers the development of family medicine.

Graham served as the EVP of the AAFP, 1985-2000; the head of the AAFP Foundation, 1988-1997; and the administrative officer of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, 1973-1975. The AAFP's center for policy studies, the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, is named for him.

In addition to his activities in family medicine, Graham has held a number of leadership positions in the federal health sector, including administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration. He also has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, or IOM, and served as board chair of the bipartisan Alliance for Health Reform.

Three AAFP members have been elected to membership in the IOM. They are:

  • Bruce Nedrow "Ned" Calonge, M.D., M.P.H., president and CEO of The Colorado Trust in Denver and immediate past chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, or USPSTF;
  • Michael LeFevre, M.D., M.S.P.H., Future of Family Medicine Professor and vice chair of the department of family and community medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine and chief medical information officer for University of Missouri Health Care, both in Columbia, and current co-vice chair of the USPSTF; and
  • Jeannette South-Paul, M.D., Andrew W. Mathieson Professor and chair of the department of family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a past president of the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

Election to the IOM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service. New members are elected by current active members through a highly selective process that recognizes individuals who have made major contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

The AAFP has named Richard Kovar, M.D., as its national 2012 Family Physician of the Year. The award honors one outstanding American family physician who provides patients with compassionate and comprehensive care and serves as a role model professionally and personally in the community, to other health professionals, and to residents and medical students.

Kovar has served as a practicing family physician and medical director of Country Doctor Community Health Centers in Seattle, for more than 20 years. Kovar regularly advocates for health care for the poor. He is an active supporter of legislation that funds community health clinics and provides resources to ensure the most vulnerable patient populations have access to a stable medical home. Kovar also performs pro bono medical evaluations for individuals who have suffered torture, abuse or war trauma and who are seeking asylum in the United States.

The American Board of Family Medicine's Pisacano Leadership Foundation has named this year's Pisacano Scholars. Each recipient is honored as an outstanding medical student who has made a commitment to family medicine and has shown "demonstrable leadership skills, superior academic achievement, strong communication skills, identifiable character and integrity, and a noteworthy level of community service." The 2011 scholars are

Alexandra Hunt, of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle;
Jessica Johnson, of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine in Farmington, who also is the Student Member of the AAFP Board of Directors;
Nathan Kittle, of the Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago;
Rebecca Mitchell, of the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine; and
Benjamin Preyss, of the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.

Each scholar receives as much as $7,000 per year for a maximum of four years.