• People in the News/Awards -- January/February

    February 11, 2019, 08:52 am News Staff – AAFP members often are named to leadership positions or receive various honors. Such was the case for three Academy members recently.

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    Barbara Walker, D.O., of Kure Beach, N.C., was honored with the NBOME Clark Award for Patient Advocacy from the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.

    The NBOME Clark Award is given to individuals who advocate for high-quality patient care. Walker's efforts have helped contribute to the acceptance of the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination of the United States (COMLEX-USA) for physician licensure by the Federation of State Medical Boards, as well as by every individual state allopathic and osteopathic medical licensing board. In December 2018, the AMA House of Delegates adopted a resolution to promote equal acceptance of the COMLEX and the United States Medical Licensing Examination at all residency programs in the United States.

    Walker is a life member of the AAFP. She currently serves as president of both the American Association of Osteopathic Examiners and the North Carolina Medical Board. In addition to those responsibilities, she serves as a contracted family physician with the family medicine residency program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, N.C.

    Walker graduated from the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific in Pomona, Calif., in 1984 and completed a residency in family medicine at Womack Army Community Hospital at Fort Bragg, N.C. She served for more than two decades in the U.S. Army, including active duty in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. She retired from the Army in 2006 with the rank of colonel.

    Howard Selinger, M.D., of Burlington, Conn., recently was appointed the Carol L. and Gustave Sirot Endowed Chair of Family Medicine at the Frank H. Netter, M.D., School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden.

    "The school of medicine is dedicated to training physicians who will treat the entire person," said the medical school's dean, Bruce Koeppen, M.D., Ph.D. "I can think of no one more deserving than Dr. Selinger to hold the Carol L. and Gustave Sirot Chair in Endowed Medicine.

    "Throughout his career, Dr. Selinger has been a leader and advocate for family medicine," Koeppen continued. "This endowed chair not only recognizes his many accomplishments, but also his vision for primary care and especially family medicine."

    The endowed chair is named after the late Gustave Sirot, M.D., a dermatologist and faculty member at Yale Medical School, and his wife, who was diagnosed with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) about a decade ago. In 2016, she made a generous donation to Quinnipiac to help raise awareness and improve diagnosis and treatment of the condition.

    Selinger, a 1983 graduate of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, said he plans to create a new curriculum for medical students at the Netter school aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment of ME/CFS.

    Robert Tarnas, M.D., was elected chair of the Department of Family Medicine at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) in Bennington.

    Tarnas joined SVMC in 1985 and has provided care at a number of the medical center's satellite campuses. He began work at the Deerfield Valley campus in Wilmington in 1997 and was medical director at the SVMC ExpressCare clinic in Bennington when it opened in February 2015. In October 2015, he began work at SVMC's newest campus in Pownal.

    Tarnas is a 1979 graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit. He completed his residency in family medicine at Oakwood Hospital in Dearborn, Mich., in 1982.