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UVM College of Medicine Announces 2013 Medical Alumni Association Award Honorees

The University of Vermont College of Medicine has announced the winners of the 2013 Medical Alumni Association Awards to be presented during its annual Medical Alumni Reunion, May 31, 2013, on the UVM College of Medicine campus.

John J. (Jack) Murray, M.D.’63, is the 2013 recipient of the A. Bradley Soule Award, established in 1983, which honors an alumnus/a whose loyalty and dedication to the College of Medicine most emulate those qualities found in its first recipient, A. Bradley Soule, M.D.'28. Dr. Murray has a long history of dedication and service to the University Of Vermont College Of Medicine. Returning to Burlington, VT in June 1968, having served two years in the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Murray worked as a pediatrician in private practice and as a clinical instructor in the Department of Pediatrics at the College of Medicine from 1968 to 2007. During his clinical teaching years he was privileged to help educate residents and medical students. He developed the Pediatric Senior Sports Medicine elective in 1983, serving as its director until 2005. As a member of the UVM Admissions Committee from 2007 through July 2012, Dr. Murray has helped to select an impressive group of candidates for admission to the College who best display its values. His dedication to excellence in medical practice is reflected in his service on that committee, and in the wisdom acquired from his many years of working as a pediatrician. He has been a class agent for the Class of 1963 since graduation, ensuring that the members of his class remain engaged with the College and one another. Dr. Murray also earned the Medical Alumni Association’s Service to Medicine and Community Award in 1995.

Alumni honored with this year's Distinguished Academic Achievement Award, established in 1985, which recognizes outstanding scientific or academic achievement, include:

Richard H. Feins, M.D.’73, Professor of Surgery, Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Dr. Feins is a thoracic surgeon. He trained in general surgery and cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Rochester, where he served on the faculty until 2005. He then moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as Professor of Surgery and head of General Thoracic Surgery. Throughout his career Dr. Feins has demonstrated creative leadership and innovation in thoracic surgery education. He has served on the American Board of Thoracic surgery as a director for eight years and then as Chair from 2007-2009. In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the Joint Council for Surgical Education, the Thoracic Surgery Foundation for Research and Education, and the General Thoracic Surgery Club. e is the co-director of the national Cardiothoracic Surgery Resident Boot Camp and the Executive Director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery “Senior Tour,” a nationwide organization of retired cardiothoracic surgeons who volunteer in the training of cardiothoracic surgery residents. Dr. Feins is recognized nationally as a “go-to-guy” on matters pertaining to the education of future thoracic surgeons and for simulation based training. In addition to having compiled an extensive bibliography of publications and prestigious awards, Dr. Feins, with his wife, Ceil, somehow managed to find time to devote their energies to a competitive collegiate rowing program they co-founded on the Erie Canal, which has become on the premier such programs in the U.S.

Edward P. Havranek, MD ’ 83, Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine; Cardiologist, Denver Health Medical Center; Director of Health Services Research, Denver Health

Dr. Edward P. Havranek is a Denver, Colo., cardiologist with a long-standing interest in measuring and improving the quality of care for cardiovascular disease, particularly heart failure. His current funded research focuses on causes and solutions to the problems of health disparities based on race and ethnicity. Dr. Havranek currently serves as chair of the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Annual Scientific Forum Program Committee and is a member of the Database Steering Committee for the American Heart Association and the Technical Advisory Committee for Colorado’s Regional Health Information Organization. He was a clinical coordinator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services-sponsored National Heart Care Projects from 1999 to 2005, chair of the Care Standards Committee of the Heart Failure Society of America from 2002 to 2006, and a member of the governor’s Health Information Technology Advisory Committee for Colorado in 2008 and 2009. Dr. Havranek serves on the editorial boards for several major cardiology journals.

Douglas W. Losordo, MD ’83, Interventional Cardiologist and Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois

Dr. Losordo is board-certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular disease, and interventional cardiology and is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American College of Physicians, the American College of Chest Physicians, and the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions. His major research interests encompass angiogenesis/vasculogenesis, progenitor/adult stem cells, tissue repair/regeneration, and vascular biology. Working with the late Jeff Isner at St. Elizabeth’s Medical in Boston, Mass, he developed a program in therapeutic angiogenesis and cell-based tissue repair and executed the full “translational medicine” paradigm: identifying novel therapeutics in the laboratory, developing these strategies in small and large animal models and designing and executing first in human clinical trials. Dr. Losordo previously served as director of the Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute and as the Eileen M. Foell Professor of Heart Research at Northwestern University’s School of Medicine and director of the Program in Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

The College's Service to Medicine and Community Award, established in 1984, is presented to graduates who have maintained a high standard of medical service and who have achieved an outstanding record of community service or assumed other significant responsibilities in addition to their medical practice. The 2013 recipients of this award are:

Joyce M. Dobbertin, MD ’98, Family Physician, Corner Medical Office, Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital

Dr. Joyce M. Dobbertin has been a dedicated and active member of her local community in St. Johnsbury, Vt. As a physician, she has been tireless in her involvement with patient care as well as the coming of age of medicine as regards electronic health records, community outreach and epitomizing what a “community doc” should be. She is the physician champion for the Vermont Blueprint at NVRH, Corner Medical helping with the design and implementation of the Blueprint in the Northeast Kingdom.   Dr. Dobbertin was named Physician of the Year in 2012 by the Vermont Medical Society and Medical Director of the Year in 2008 by the Vermont Health Care Association. For the last several years, Dr. Dobbertin has served as Volunteer Medical Doctor for two weeks a year at the Hillside Medical Clinic in Punta Gordo, Belize and performed similar volunteer work in Kingston and throughout Jamaica.   In addition, she served on the Board of Trustees of the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital in St. Johnsbury from 2007 to 2010.

Omar Khan, MD ’03,Medical Director, Preventive Medicine & Community Health & Director, Global Health Residency Track, Christiana Care Health System; Chair, Global Health Working Group, Delaware Health Sciences Alliance; Section Editor, Global Health, BMC Public Health

Dr. Omar Khan has made extensive contributions in the realm of global & community health, including experience working with USAID and serving as faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the University of Vermont, where he helped start the Global Health electives in the Department of Family Medicine. In addition to his appointments at Christiana Care and Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, both in Delaware, he holds faculty appointments as clinical associate professor with Drexel University’s College of Health Sciences and as clinical assistant professor with the Departments of Family Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Jefferson Medical College, and the University of Vermont. A reviewer or editorial board member for a number of prestigious medical journals, including JAMA and The Lancet, he has authored or co-authored five books in the area of global/community health. His most recent book, Megacities & Global Health, co-authored with Greg Pappas, was published in 2011. Dr. Khan has authored over 55 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and in January 2012 was appointed as a Reviewer for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). In 2009 he was named a “Top Doc” by Philadelphia magazine.

The Early Achievement Award, established in 2000, recognizes early-career physicians for outstanding academic achievements or contributions through community or medical service. The 2013 award recipient is:

Halleh Akbarnia, MD ’98, Attending Emergency Physician, St. Francis Hospital of Evanston, Ill.

Dr. Halleh Akbarnia joined the medical staff of Saint Francis Hospital (SFH) in 2007, and is an active member of the SFH Critical Care, Sepsis, and Graduate Medical Education Committees.  She served as the Chair of the Performance Distinction Committee, representing SFH at the System level, and a member of the Medical Executive Committee 2010-2011.  She was awarded the “Non Medicine Specialist of the Year” for the 2010-2011 year by graduating 2011 Internal Medicine Residents and the 2009-2010 “Teacher of The Year” by the Resurrection Emergency Medicine Residents.  Prior to joining St. Francis Hospital, she was assistant Medical Director at her residency program, VCUHS/MCV in Richmond, Virginia and was named “Teacher of the Year” in 2005 by the residents there.  Dr. Akbarnia is class agent for The Class of 1998.  She is an “outstanding leader within her class” and “has continued to unite our class” years later, writes one of her nominators.

For awards information, go to the 2013 Medical Alumni Association Awards website.

Images of the recipients are available for download here.

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