AMA Foundation Honors Compassionate Physicians with Excellence in Medicine Awards

The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation honored six physicians with awards representing the highest ideals of medical service in providing care to underserved and needy patients. The physicians were honored during the fifth annual Excellence in Medicine Awards dinner on Feb 12, 2007, preceding the American Medical Association’s National Advocacy Conference in Washington D.C. One physician received the Dr. Nathan Davis International Award in Medicine, one physician received the Jack B. McConnell, M.D. Award for Excellence in Volunteerism and four others received the Pride in the Profession Award, all offered by the AMA Foundation in association with the Pfizer Medical Humanities Initiative. The six physicians honored with the awards were singled out for their compassion, leadership, excellence, integrity and high ethical standards.

Jim Radcliffe, M.D. — Papua New Guinea

The Dr. Nathan Davis International Award in Medicine, presented to Jim Radcliffe, M.D., of Papua New Guinea, honors a domestic physician for outstanding international service in the areas of medical practice, medical education or medical research. Since 1985, Dr. Radcliffe has lived in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, where he practices general surgery at the 120- bed Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. In 2004, Dr. Radcliffe and his small physician and nurse team oversaw the care of 40,000 outpatients, 4,100 hospital admissions, 800 deliveries and 700 major surgeries.

William J. Little, M.D. — Racine, Wis.

The Jack B. McConnell, M.D. Award for Excellence in Volunteerism, presented to William J. Little, M.D., honors a domestic senior (more than 55 years old) physician’s commitment to volunteer medical care provided to those without access to health care in the United States. When this internist and pulmonologist from Racine, Wis., retired in 1989 after 35 years in medicine, he joined the board of directors of Health Care Network Inc. in Racine, Wis., a then budding program, that coordinates volunteer services of local medical and dental providers who treat low income and uninsured patients. Since the clinic opened in 1990, Dr. Little has paved the way, serving as president for two years and currently serving as volunteer medical director. Despite a patient population with challenges, including alcohol and drug abuse, low education levels, and language barriers, Dr. Little dedicates his time to helping those who need him most.

Lawrence P. Emberton, M.D. — Edmonton, Ky.

The Pride in the Profession Awards honor domestic physicians who aid underserved populations in the United States. This award is presented to Lawrence P. Emberton, M.D., who runs his own practice in Edmonton, Ky. With the closest hospital 20 miles away, Dr. Emberton has served his patients as pediatrician, obstetrician/gynecologist, radiologist, geriatrician, pathologist and more. Throughout his career, Dr. Emberton has made house calls on horseback and has traded medical care for produce to accommodate a patient with no other means of payment. He has served with compassion and without expectation, as the average per capita income is less than $14,000 and nearly a quarter of the population lives below the poverty level.

”Dev” A. GnanaDev, M.D. — Colton, Calif.

The Pride in the Profession award is presented to ”Dev” A. GnanaDev, M.D., who has dedicated much of his career to improving the quality of life for patients in his home state of California. Dr. GnanaDev donated his own money to start the free cardiac rehabilitation program at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in San Bernardino, Calif., for patients who lack health insurance. He also worked with local firefighters to create the Inland Empire Burn Institute in Colton, Calif., which provides aid for burn victims and runs a camp for young survivors. He has served on the board of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and, most recently, played a major role in San Bernardino County’s efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Jeannette South-Paul, M.D. — Pittsburgh

The Pride in the Profession award is presented to Jeannette South-Paul, M.D., of Pittsburgh. Dr. South-Paul’s medical career has been guided by a special interest in providing care for the underserved and underrepresented. In 1988, she developed a women’s medical student support group and edited two books and two video teaching modules under the umbrella heading of racial and ethnic disparities in medicine. While serving as an example for women medical students and residents as a trainer for the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program for female leaders in medicine, Dr. South-Paul has sponsored a holistic wellness program for upperclassmen at an underserved, Pittsburgh- area high school. As chair of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Family Medicine, she sees patients a minimum of two days a week at the Theiss Clinic that exclusively serves the indigent and the homeless with no other place for medical care.

Gary VanderArk, M.D. — Englewood, Colo.

The Pride in the Profession award is presented to Gary VanderArk, M.D., of Englewood, Colo., who opened the nonprofit Doctors Care in Littleton, Colo., in 1988. The program has grown to provide affordable, accessible medical care for more than 2,500 children and 1,000 adults last year alone. His vision has helped him lead the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center’s neurosurgery residency program into full accreditation.

American Medical Association
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