Distinguished Academic Achievement Award

Presented to alumni in recognition of outstanding scientific or academic achievement.

2023 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

Christensen - Photo 1Jared D. Christensen, M.D.'03, MBA
Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Radiology, Duke University
Founder and Imaging Director, Duke Lung Screening Program
Chair, American College of Radiology Lung-RADS Committee

Jared Christensen, M.D.’03, M.B.A. is a Professor and Vice Chair for the Duke University Department of Radiology. He is the founder and Imaging Director of the Duke Lung Screening Program and serves as Chair of the American College of Radiology Lung-RADS Committee, which establishes national guidelines on the classification, reporting, and management of pulmonary nodules detected at lung cancer screening.

After graduating from the University of Virginia, Dr. Christensen received his medical doctorate from the University of Vermont College of Medicine (2003) with subsequent training in general surgery at the University of Virginia. He completed a diagnostic radiology residency at the University of Rochester and a cardiothoracic imaging fellowship at Duke University, staying on as faculty at Duke. He has since obtained an MBA from the Duke Fuqua School of Business, assuming administrative roles within the Department of Radiology and Duke Health System. 

Dr. Christensen is a former Division Chief of Cardiothoracic Imaging and Director of Thoracic Intervention at Duke Health. He led the multidisciplinary formation of the Duke Lung Screening Program and has served as Imaging Director since its inception in 2011. In addition to administrative roles at Duke, Dr. Christensen has leadership and committee appointments with the American College of Radiology (ACR), the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS), Society of Thoracic Radiology (STR), and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN). 

Dr. Christensen is a national and international distinguished educator with over 100 invited talks, including visiting professorships. He is a three-time recipient of the Duke Radiology Resident teaching award, and has been recognized by the American Roentgen Ray Society for excellence in education. 

Dr. Christensen’s professional and research interests include lung cancer screening, image-guided thoracic interventions, leadership development, and healthcare strategy. He enjoys travel, architecture, cooking, photography, and spending as much time as possible with his wife, Elizabeth, and their eight children.

Costedio - PhotoMeagan Costedio, M.D.'03, FACS, FASCRS
Chair of Surgery and Medical Director of Colorectal Surgery, University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center, Beachwood, OH
Associate Professor of Surgery, Case Western Reserve University

Meagan Costedio, M.D.’03, FACS, FASCRS earned her medical degree from the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine in Burlington, Vermont, and she stayed to complete a general surgery residency at Fletcher Allen Healthcare - University of Vermont. She completed a colorectal surgery residency at Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. She stayed on as staff at Cleveland Clinic where she pioneered the robotics program in colorectal surgery and developed a specialty in minimally invasive colon surgery.

Her specialties includes single port laparoscopy, transanal minimally invasive surgery (TAMIS), robotics, and transanal total mesorectal excision.  She is currently the Chair of Surgery and the Medical Director of Colorectal Surgery at University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood, Ohio as well as Associate Professor of Surgery at Case Western Reserve University.  She is certified by the American Board of Surgery for general surgery and the American Board of Colon and Rectal Surgery.

Park - PhotoJulie R. Park, M.D.'88
Chair, Department of Oncology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Associate Director Translational Research, St. Jude Comprehensive Cancer Center
Scientific Chair, New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy Consortium

Julie R. Park, M.D.’88 is Chair of the Department of Oncology at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. She earned her bachelor’s degree and medical degree from the University of Vermont before completing a residency in pediatrics University of Washington and fellowship in pediatric hematology/oncology at the University of Washington/Fred Hutch Cancer Center.

Dr. Park’s work focuses on translating laboratory discoveries to improve the survival of children with cancer. In particular, a major area of research focus has been toward the development of novel therapy of neuroblastoma. She has served as chair of the Children’s Oncology Group Neuroblastoma Scientific Committee, and is scientific chair of the New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy consortium, funded through a NCI Program Project Grant: “Discovering and exploiting mechanisms of neuroblastoma therapy resistance” that is focused on translating laboratory discoveries to novel therapies for children with neuroblastoma.

In 2009, Dr. Park was named the Bushnell Towne Wilkerson Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neuroblastoma. She has over 150 publications, serves as Section Editor, Pediatric Oncology for UpToDate, is President-elect of Advances in Neuroblastoma Research, and was the 2018 recipient of the American Society of Pediatric Hematology Oncology’s Frank Oski Award. 

As one nominator writes, “She has mentored, taught, and lectured hundreds of students, residents and fellows, many of whom have distinguished themselves with ground-breaking research and highly credible publications. In addition, her leadership positions and more than $15 million in grant funding have certainly made her a national if not international expert in pediatric neuroblastoma.”

2022 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

Dr. HoweJames R. Howe, M.D. '87
Professor of Surgery, Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery;
Director, Division of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery,
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

Dr. Howe is Professor of Surgery at the University of Iowa. He trained in General Surgery at Barnes Hospital/Washington University, which included a T32 Surgical Oncology research fellowship where he was a member of the group that found the gene responsible for Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia type 2 by positional cloning. He completed a clinical fellowship in Surgical Oncology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, then began his career at the University of Iowa in 1996. Here he has specialized in gastrointestinal cancer and endocrine surgery, and his research has concentrated on genetic studies of cancer. His laboratory discovered a gene that causes the inherited colorectal cancer syndrome Juvenile Polyposis in 1998, and in 2001 identified a second predisposition gene.

He became Division Director of Surgical Oncology and Endocrine Surgery in 2002, and his clinical practice and research has focused on small bowel and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) and their metastases. He has served as President of the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society (2018-20) and the Society of Surgical Oncology (2020-21). Clinically he is known for his work on cytoreduction of NET liver metastases and guidelines for the surgical management of small bowel and pancreatic NETs. He has directed a funded laboratory over his career, been chair of an NIH Study Section, and his current research focuses on gene expression and drug sensitivity in NETs. He has written over 160 peer-reviewed papers, one book, and over 50 book chapters.

Dr. JerussJacqueline S. Jeruss, M.D. '97, Ph.D., FACS
Professor of Surgery, Pathology and Biomedical Engineering;
Associate Dean for Regulatory Affairs;
Director, Breast Care Center and Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship;
Michigan Medicine, University of Michigan Department of Surgery, Division of Surgical Oncology
Dr. Jeruss is Associate Vice President for Research, Associate Dean for Regulatory Affairs, and Professor of Surgery, Pathology, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. She trained in General Surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital/Northwestern University, where she also received a PhD focused on mammary gland development and oncogenesis. Her PhD studies were supported by an American College of Surgeons Resident Research Scholarship and an NIH T32 Carcinogenesis research fellowship. During her PhD studies, Dr. Jeruss described the mechanisms by which a TGFβ signaling protein, SMAD3, suppressed breast cancer progression. She completed a clinical fellowship in Breast Surgical Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, and then returned to Northwestern to join the faculty in 2006. At Northwestern and also the University of Michigan, where Dr. Jeruss moved in 2014, her clinical practice has focused on the care of patients with breast cancer. 

In 2015, Dr. Jeruss became Director of the University of Michigan Breast Center, Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship, and Co-Director of an NIH T32 Surgical Oncology Training Program. She is currently serving as Chair of the Society of Surgical Oncology Breast Fellowship Training Committee and Vice Chair of the American College of Surgeons Scientific Forum Committee. Clinically, she is known for her work associated with establishing the field of fertility preservation for young patients with cancer. Her NIH supported research program has been directed towards novel strategies to combat breast cancer metastasis, including the translation of CDK inhibition to treat aggressive subtypes and the implementation of a bioengineered scaffold to identify early metastatic events.  Through her basic and clinical research program, Dr. Jeruss has been actively involved in the mentorship of students at all levels of training. She has published numerous manuscripts and book chapters, and has also received awards for teaching and research excellence.

Dr. SartorelliKen Sartorelli, M.D. '87
Green and Gold Professor of Pediatric Surgery, UVM Larner College of Medicine
Vice Chair for Education, Department of Surgery
Division Chief, Pediatric Surgery, UVM Children's Hospital and UVM Department of Surgery
Surgeon-in-Chief, UVM Children's Hospital

Dr. Sartorelli was born and raised in Barre, Vermont. He earned a degree in Zoology from the University of Vermont (UVM) in 1982 and subsequently obtained his medical degree from the University of Vermont College of Medicine in 1987. Dr. Sartorelli completed his surgical residency, including a year as a surgical research fellow, at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont (now the University of Vermont Medical Center) in 1993. Next he moved west to Colorado and completed his pediatric surgical residency at Denver Children’s Hospital in 1995. After completion of his pediatric surgical training Dr. Sartorelli retuned to Vermont and joined the faculty at the UVM College of Medicine, where he is a Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics. He also serves as Division Chief of Pediatric Surgery and surgeon in chief of the Vermont Children’s Hospital. Dr. Sartorelli’s professional and research interests have been in the areas of pediatric and adult trauma. He has served on a number of hospital and university committees and is involved in regional and national surgical organizations.   

On June 2, 2017, Dr. Sartorelli was invested in a formal ceremony at the UVM Larner College of Medicine as the inaugural Green and Gold Professor of Pediatric Surgery. The endowed professorship was established in 2013 through the generosity of faculty in the Department of Surgery, who collectively established 14 Green and Gold Professorships in each of their divisions to demonstrate their high regard for resident and medical student training, research and innovation as well as patient care. This professorship will provide Dr. Sartorelli with endowed financial support to conduct cutting-edge research and to advance education activities in pediatric and adult surgery. Dr. Sartorelli holds board certifications in both surgery and pediatric surgery from the American Board of Surgery. He has received numerous awards for his teaching, academic achievements and work in the area of pediatric and adult trauma. Dr. Sartorelli, his wife Marybeth reside in Williston, Vermont and have four grown children. 

Dr. SavageSharon Savage, M.D. '97
Chief of Clinical Genetics Branch;
Clinical Director of Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics;
National Cancer Institute

Sharon A. Savage, M.D., is the Chief of the Clinical Genetics Branch and Clinical Director of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG) at the National Cancer Institute (NCI). She received her MD from the University of Vermont College of Medicine, completed residency in Pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center, Washington, DC, and fellowship in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology in the combined NCI-Johns Hopkins program. Dr. Savage joined the Clinical Genetics Branch in 2006 as a tenure-track investigator and was awarded tenure in 2012. She has been leading the Clinical Genetics Branch as Branch Chief since 2013. Dr. Savage was appointed Clinical Director of DCEG, NCI in 2019. Dr. Savage's internationally recognized research program combines clinical, genetic, basic science, and epidemiology studies to advance understanding of cancer etiology and improve the lives of individuals with complex cancer-prone disorders. Her inter-disciplinary approach to research has resulted in the creation of international research consortia and patient advocacy groups for Telomere Biology Disorders and Li-Fraumeni Syndrome. Dr. Savage’s more than 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications include discoveries of numerous genetic causes of telomere biology disorders, inherited bone marrow failure syndromes, and pediatric cancer risk factors, as well as novel insights into the clinical manifestations and outcomes in cancer-prone disorders.

2021 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

Dr. Carey headshotTimothy S. Carey, M.D. '76
Research Professor of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Timothy S. Carey, M.D. ’76 is Research Professor of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He was general medicine division chief during the 1990’s, a  former director of the Sheps Center for Health Services Research, and served as co-PI of UNC’s NIH sponsored North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute (NC TraCS). After earning his M.D. from the UVM Larner College of Medicine in 1976, Dr. Carey interned and then completed a medicine residency at Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. In 1985, Dr. Carey earned his MPH from the University of North Carolina, where he was also a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.

Dr. Carey is a skilled internist, researcher, teacher, and administrator, winning numerous institutional, regional, and national honors, including the John Eisenberg Award for mentoring from AHRQ and the American College of Physicians' Laureate Award. He has trained numerous fellows over time through T32 awards and serving as a junior faculty mentor. He has published more than 170 peer reviewed journal articles with topics such as work-related disability, neck and back pain, end-of-life care, and health disparities in pain management.

Dr. KingPatricia A. King, M.D. '96, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont

Patricia King, M.D. ’96, Ph.D., FACP, is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine where she is active in medical school curriculum development and medical student teaching, receiving the inaugural LCOM award for Curriculum Innovation in 2020. She is active clinically in the practice of primary care internal medicine with the University of Vermont Health Network.  She earned her Ph.D. in Physiology from Brown University and M.D. from the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine.  She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Vermont Medical Center, including service as Chief Resident. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.   

Dr. King has been extensively involved with medical licensure and regulation since 2003 both in Vermont and nationally.  She was a member of the Vermont Board of Medical Practice from 2003 to 2015, and chair from 2010-2014.  She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) 2014-2020, and elected as Chair 2018-2019.  Her work at FSMB included serving as Chair of FSMB’s Workgroup on Physician Sexual Misconduct (2018-20), whose recommendations have been recognized nationally and are resulting in improvements to state medical board function and public protection across the country.  Dr. King was awarded the John H. Clark Award (National FSMB award) in 2014 in recognition of her service to the VT State Medical Board. Dr. King has also been an active participant in many roles for the United States Medical Licensure Examination (USMLE), co-owned by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the Federation of State Medical Boards.  

Dr. McNiff headshotJennifer M. McNiff, M.D. '86
Professor, Departments of Dermatology and Pathology
Director, Yale Dermatopathology Laboratory
Director, Yale Dermatopathology Fellowship Program

Jennifer McNiff, M.D. ’86 is a Professor of Dermatology and Pathology at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, CT. After earning her medical degree at the Larner College of Medicine, Dr. McNiff trained in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center where she served as chief resident. She next completed a fellowship in dermatopathology at the Medical College of Virginia, before joining the faculty at the Yale University School of Medicine where she has spent her career. She has served as Director of Dermatopathology for the past two decades, and recently served as Interim Chair of Pathology at Yale.

Dr. McNiff’s interests and publications focus on general clinicopathologic correlations in dermatopathology and immunoflourescence techniques in dermatopathology. She has served the American Society of Dermatopathology in multiple roles, including President, Program Committee Chairman, and Board Member. She has also been active in the International Society for Dermatopathology, serving on the Executive Committee. Dr. McNiff is a regular invited speaker at these and other venues. Dr. McNiff was awarded the Walter Nickel Award for Excellence in Teaching of Dermatopathology from the American Society of Dermatopathology in recognition of her years of educating dermatology and pathology residents, fellows, and other physicians.

Dr. Rogers headshotFrederick B. Rogers, M.D. '81
Adjunct Professor of Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine
Frederick B. Rogers, M.D. ’81 is a Senior Trauma Research Consultant and former Division Chief and Trauma Medical Director, Program Director General Surgery Residency, and Director of Research at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. He has been a dedicated trauma surgeon for more than 30 years. He holds appointments as Professor Emeritus in the Department of Surgery at the University Of Vermont Larner College Of Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the University Of Pennsylvania Perelman School Of Medicine. Following his medical education at The University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine, he completed his General Surgery Residency at The University of Illinois at Chicago and Trauma Fellowship at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. 

Dr. Rogers collaborates extensively in trauma surgery, critical care, education and research. His research interests include trauma system development with a focus on Level IV trauma centers, geospatial mapping of variance within organized trauma systems, and inferior vena cava filters in severely injured patients. Recently, he was published in the coveted New England Journal of Medicine, A Multicenter Trial of Vena Cava Filters in Severely Injured Patients, a Randomized Control Trial of over 240 trauma patients which is a most significant contribution to the trauma arena. This adds to his 270 publications in peer-reviewed journals in addition to 329 presentations and lectures on various trauma care, critical care and trauma system development topics.

2020 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

Dr. BeamisJohn Beamis, M.D. '70
Emeritus Chair, Division of Internal Medicine
Emeritus Chair, Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, Burlington, Massachusetts

Dr. Beamis is a retired pulmonologist in Santa Barbara, CA. After receiving his BS from Notre Dame and his MD from UVM, Dr. Beamis completed an internship at Tulane followed by an Internal Medicine residency and Pulmonary fellowship at Deaconess Hospital in Boston. After an additional Pulmonary fellowship at the Naval Hospital in San Diego, he served six years in the US Navy.

The bulk of his career was spent at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, MA, 20 years of which were served as Chair of Pulmonology and 10 years as Chief of Medicine. He has also practiced and taught in Hawaii and Japan. While in Honolulu he helped two hospitals (Kaiser and Queen’s) establish their endobronchial ultrasound programs. Dr. Beamis was a pioneer in Interventional Pulmonology, co-editing the first monograph and text on the specialty and establishing its first fellowship in the United States. He has served on numerous national and international organizations, including as founding member and president of the American Association of Bronchology and Interventional Pulmonology and president of the World Association for Bronchology. 

Dr. CookDeborah Cook, M.D. '90
Professor, Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Director of Dermatopathology and the Dermatopathology Fellowship Program
Larner College of Medicine, Burlington, VT

Deborah Cook, M.D. ’90 is a dermatopathologist at the Larner College of Medicine. After receiving her BS in Chemical Engineering and Biology, Dr. Cook earned her medical degree at UVM in 1990. She completed her residency in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology at what is now the UVM Medical Center, becoming chief resident and completing fellowships in surgical and cytopathology in Burlington. She then completed a fellowship in dermatopathology at the Medical University of South Carolina before returning to Vermont where she has spent her career. Today, she is a Professor in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Director of Dermatopathology and the Dermatopathology Fellowship Program, which she created in 2005.

Her nomination states, “Dr. Cook has published dozens of articles and book chapters, lectured at national and international forums, and serves on multiple institutional and national committees. Her reputation has led to her selection to a current role on the test writing committee for the American Board of Pathology, as well as her elevation to Chair-elect of the College of American Pathologists Dermatopathology Subcommittee. Amid these myriad accomplishments, Dr. Cook sought and embraced the role of a Foundations Course Director, where she has led Connections for the past 6 years. The consummate quietly effective professional, her humble demeanor and demonstrated ‘giving back’ ethos set the standard for faculty and students to emulate.”

Dr. LawsonJeffrey Lawson, M.D. '90, Ph.D. '92
President and Chief Executive Officer, Humacyte, Incorporated.
Adjunct Professor of Surgery and Pathology
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

Dr. Lawson is a vascular surgeon and research scientist, whose work with tissue engineered blood vessels has led to state-of-the-art developments in the generation of human blood vessels for vascular repair and replacement. After earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Iowa, he came to UVM where he received both his medical degree and Ph.D. He completed a general and thoracic surgery residency and vascular surgery fellowship at Duke University, where he remains as an adjunct professor of surgery and pathology, and the past Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Surgery. 

As president and CEO of Humacyte, Dr. Lawson, leads a team developing bioengineered vascular tissues that can be used in numerous vascular repair applications, including vascular trauma, peripheral arterial disease and vascular access for hemodialysis dialysis. His 200+ publications and decades of research have contributed numerous novel innovations to clinical care as well as basic science. Dr. Lawson is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Surgical Association and current president of the Vascular Access Society of the Americas.  He also serves as a Board member on the Kidney Health Initiative (KHI) and the and the American Board of Vascular Surgery.

Dr. ParentAndrew Parent, M.D. '70
Retired Professor and Chairman Emeritus, Department of Neurosurgery, The University of Mississippi School of Medicine      

Andrew Parent, M.D. ’70 was born in St. Albans, Vermont. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, VT, before graduating from the UVM College of Medicine in 1970. After completing his surgical internship at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, he served two years in the US Air Force as a captain and general medical officer. After a neurosurgical residency at Emory University, he began a long career at the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, and eventually led the Department of Neurosurgery for more than a decade.

Dr. Parent’s impressive collection of clinical and basic science publications focus on topics ranging from pituitary pathology to neurotrauma to pediatric neurosurgery. He has led community outreach efforts to prevent child abuse, and formed and chaired a medical ethics consult service. Dr. Parent holds professional membership in numerous medical associations and societies, has served as President of the Mississippi Neurological Society and the Southern Neurological Society. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American College of Endocrinology.

He retired from surgical practice in 2018, and continues to deliver lectures at the University Of Mississippi School Of Medicine, especially in neuroendocrinology and neuroanatomy. 

2019 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

Dr. ChurchPaige Terrien Church, M.D. '99
Neonatologist and Director
Neonatal Follow Up Clinic at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto

As the Director of the Neonatal Follow-Up Program and Spina Bifida Program at the University of Toronto, Dr. Paige Terrien Church, M.D. ’99 is known for her incredible and outspoken advocacy for children starting life in the NICU and their families. Rather than focusing on traditional neonatal outcomes and surveillance, she has focused on a service model with an emphasis on the outcomes of fun, parental empowerment, and function. With a special and personal interest in spina bifida, Dr. Church seeks to provide the best care for her patients with spina bifida via meaningful and open conversations reflect insight from her own struggles with spina bifida. In recent years, she has researched and identified a “preterm behavioral phenotype,” that is increasingly used to identify and describe preterm infants and increase awareness of this phenotype in the community. She assesses and advocates for her patients in the long-term, following them through their preschool and early schooling years.

Dr. Church was the first pediatrician awarded dual certification in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine and Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics by the American Board of Pediatrics. As a teacher in her clinic, she is widely recognized and many students want to be under her mentorship. Involved in major research at Sunnybrook, she is either principal investigator or site principal investigator in six ongoing studies, which have attracted “in excess of $2.5 million in funding.”

NielsenCraig Nielsen, M.D. '94
Associate Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean of Clinical Education,
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio

Craig Nielsen, M.D. ’94 is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Assistant Dean of Clinical Education at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University. Dr. Nielsen trained in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic and served as Chief Medical Resident prior to joining the faculty in 1998. As the residency program director for 10 years, he oversaw curricular innovations and dramatically improved the quality of recruited residents. In 2014, Dr. Nielsen received the Cleveland Clinic Maria and Sam Miller Master Educator Award and the Ohio American College of Physicians (ACP) Evelyn V Hess Master Teacher Award. In September of 2018, he was elected to the American College of Physicians ( ACP) Board of Governors and in June of 2019 he was named Governor of the Ohio Chapter of the (ACP), the national organization of internists. He is widely known as the doctor’s doctor and an outstanding teacher. Dr. Nielsen has made many presentations regionally and nationally, and he has authored dozens of peer reviewed publications.

WeaverDonald L. Weaver, M.D. '84
Professor of Pathology, UVM Larner College of Medicine and Director of Breast Pathology Service and Surgical Pathology Fellowship Program, UVM Medical Center
Medical Director, UVM Cancer Center Bio Bank

Dr. Weaver joined the UVM faculty in 1990 as a surgical pathologist. Right from the beginning, Dr. Weaver focused on breast cancer research in four interrelated areas: Breast cancer screening, the role of sentinel node biopsy in management, concordance of diagnosis in breast pathology, and improvements in diagnosis using new technology. He has conducted research in Sentinel Lymph Nodes and his involvement in the Breast Cancer Surveillance System has contributed to breast cancer screening guidelines in the US. He is a nationally-recognized expert in breast cancer diagnostic accuracy research, and he has over 140 articles published in some of medicine’s most prestigious journals such as Cancer, JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, and the New England Journal of Medicine. He has achieved national recognition for his work studying breast cancer and this work has benefitted thousands of patients.

Dr. WhalenMichael Whalen, M.D. '89
Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School
Pediatric Intensivist and Investigator at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Mass.

Michael J. Whalen, M.D. ’89 is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and a pediatric intensivist and investigator at the Massachusetts General Hospital. His research uses mouse models of traumatic brain injury and intracerebral hemorrhage to determine cellular and molecular mechanisms of cell death and functional outcome in patients with these conditions.  Dr. Whalen is the senior scientific director of animal studies for the NFL Players Association Grant to Harvard College.  He leads a group of Harvard-wide investigators in pilot studies to better understand mechanisms of human concussion also using mouse models and three-dimensional brain-like tissue cultures.  As a pediatric intensivist, he hopes to make translationally relevant discoveries that can be brought to clinical trials for children and adults with acute brain injury.  His clinical work is in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine at the PICU at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children.

2018 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

Dr. BronsonDavid L. Bronson, M.D. '73, MACP, FRCP Edin
Chairman, Board of Commissioners of the Joint Commission
Professor Emeritus, Lerner College of Medicine/Case Western Reserve University
Past President and CEO, Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals

Dr. David Bronson is Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Joint Commission and a member of the Emeritus Staff at the Cleveland Clinic. In 2015, following a four decade career in the practice of internal medicine, medical education, and executive leadership at the University of Vermont and Cleveland Clinic, he stepped down from the full time faculty to devote time to national leadership in healthcare quality improvement. He has published in the areas of smoking cessation, predictive instruments, quality improvement, peri-operative care, patient adherence, delirium, leadership education, and health care economics. 

Dr. Bronson has held many leadership positions in national medical organizations and is Chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Joint Commission for 2017 and 2018.

Dr. HsiehMatthew Hsieh, M.D. '98
Staff Clinician, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, NIH
Faculty Member, NHLBI, Hematology Branch

Matthew Hsieh, M.D. ’98 is a staff clinician at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases within the National Institutes of Health. He is also a faculty member in the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institutes’ hematology branch. His research focuses on sickle cell disease and has led to the increased awareness usage of hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) as part of a patient’s overall sickle cell disease care. Dr. Hsieh is regarded highly not only as a researcher, but also in his interactions with patients, which have been described as exceptionally kind and compassionate. Dr. Hsieh is an ad-hoc reviewer for numerous publications and is the author or co-author of nearly 70 peer-reviewed articles.

Dr. SlavinSumner Slavin, M.D. '73
Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
Plastic Surgeon, Private Practice

Sumner Slavin, M.D. ’73 is an Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, and maintains a private plastic and aesthetic surgery clinic. He has been an associate editor for the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and his work in lymphedema has culminated in the publication of the textbook Lymphedema – Presentation, Diagnosis, and Treatment, which Dr. Slavin co-edited. His teaching at Harvard Medical School, his clinical work at his private practice, at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and at Boston Children’s Hospital have all garnered accolades and awards, and his mentorship of students at the Larner College of Medicine has inspired decades of future physicians.

Dr. VargasSara Oakes Vargas, M.D. '93
Staff Pathologist, Boston Children's Hospital
Staff Pathologist, Brigham and Women's Hospital
Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Sara Vargas, M.D. ’93 is a pediatric and pulmonary pathologist. She is a staff pathologist at Boston Children’s Hospital and at Brigham and Women’s hospital, a consulting staff member at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. She also serves as Director of Quality and Patient Safety in the Department of Pathology at Boston Children's Hospital. She has served as a member of numerous committees and societies, with particularly deep involvement with the Society for Pediatric Pathology, of which she is currently President. Dr. Vargas is an ad-hoc reviewer for numerous publications including Lung, Modern Pathology, and New England Journal of Medicine, and is the Associate Editor of Pediatric and Developmental Pathology. She received the College’s Recent Alumni Award (today known as the Early Achievement Award) in 2004, and she has since shown continued dedication to teaching, research, patient care, and service to her medical community.

2017 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

CunninghamMichael L. Cunningham, M.D. '87, Ph.D.
Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Craniofacial Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine
Jean Renny Chair of Craniofacial Medicine and Medical Director of the Children’s Craniofacial Center at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Dr. Cunningham pursued subspecialty birth defects training while enrolled in graduate school in the Department of Biological Structures (Anatomy) at the University of Washington. Since 1991 his clinical practice has been limited to the diagnosis and longitudinal management of children with craniofacial malformations. He is the founder of PACT (Partners in African Cleft Training), a grass roots craniofacial training program in sub Saharan Africa, which has trained over 100 providers and inspired the development of the Nifty cup™, a simple feeding device for infants in developing countries who cannot breastfeed. Dr. Cunningham is dedicated to the advancement of craniofacial research and the unique model of pediatric care developed at Seattle Children’s Hospital for children born with craniofacial conditions.

GoldsmithDonald P. Goldsmith, M.D. '67
Director, Section of Rheumatology, St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia
Professor of Pediatrics, Drexel University College of Medicine

Dr. Goldsmith’s foremost contributions to the field of pediatric rheumatology include the earliest report of post-streptococcal reactive arthritis in children, the description and labeling of a previously undefined inflammatory disorder as “neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease” (NOMID), now identified as one of the primary autoinflammatory disorders, and the development of the Childhood Health Assessment Questionaire (CHAQ), worldwide still the most widely used assessment tool for juvenile idiopathic arthritis. In November 2012, he was recognized as a Master of the American College of Rheumatology, one of only 16 pediatric rheumatologists so honored.

HamerDavidson H. Hamer, M.D. '87
Professor of Global Health and Medicine, Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine
Adjunct Professor of Nutrition, Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Dr. Hamer is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases with particular interests in tropical infectious diseases, travel medicine, maternal, newborn, and child health (MNCH), emerging diseases, and antimicrobial resistance. He has more than 25 years of field research experience on malaria, pneumonia, neonatal and child survival, maternal health, micronutrient deficiencies, and HIV/AIDS in resource-limited countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and South America. His MNCH research has yielded evidence used by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and Ministries of Health in Africa to change health policies, guidelines, and program implementation. In addition to his continued research on MNCH, which currently includes a focus on stunting and early childhood development, Dr. Hamer has served as the principal investigator since 2014 for GeoSentinel, a global surveillance network of 66 sites in 30 countries that uses returning travelers, immigrants, and refugees as sentinels of disease emergence and transmission patterns throughout the world.

MainElliott K. Main, M.D. '77
Chairman and Chief of Obstetrics; California Pacific Medical Center Medical Director, California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, Stanford Medical School

Dr. Main’s leadership of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative indicates his position at the forefront of work focusing on outcome-based quality improvement in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology. As the former Chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, he led one of the largest departments in the country, with over 90 Ob/GYNs and more than 6,000 annual births. He developed and led multiple large improvement efforts at Sutter Health’s 20 hospitals, including the First Pregnancy and Delivery initiative focusing on the care of nulliparous women.

2016 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

Atkins_Kristen_100x160_000Kristen A. Atkins, M.D. '96
Associate Professor, Pathology and Residency Program Director
University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA

A world-renowned pathologist, Dr. Atkins’ research interests include fluid cytology in ovarian cancer, uterine smooth muscle tumors, and clinical applications of proteomic research. In addition to her multiple positions at the University of Virginia, she serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Gynecologic Pathology, and is the American Society of Cytopathology Scientific Program Committee Chair in charge of planning and organizing the annual national meeting.

bergersen_100x160_000Lisa B. Bergersen, M.D. '96, M.P.H.
Associate Professor Harvard Medical School
Department of Cardiology Children's Hospital Boston

Dr. Bergersen is an interventional pediatric cardiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. A leader in the field of pediatric cardiology and quality initiatives to improve the outcomes of interventional procedures in children, her work has been funded by organizations such as The Children’s Heart Foundation and the American Heart Association. To date she has over 40 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals. In 2010, she received her Master’s in Public Health from Harvard University.

pomerance_100x160_000Jeffrey J. Pomerance, M.D. '66, M.P.H.
Professor Emeritus in Pediatrics at UCLA

Dr. Pomerance has helped to shape the field of neonatology through his decades of work as a clinician, scholar and leader. For 23 years, he served as director of the Division of Neonatology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and held appointments at UCLA as professor of pediatrics and public health. He went on to become director of Newborn Medicine at Greater Baltimore Medical Center with academic appointments at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. For 25 years, Dr. Pomerance’s main research interest has been interpreting umbilical cord blood gases, and he authored the seminal text, Interpreting Umbilical Cord Blood Gases: For Clinicians Caring for the Fetus or Newborn.

2015 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

bessey100x160Palmer Q. Bessey, M.D. '75

Dr. Bessey is a trauma surgeon who focuses on burn care and serves as Associate Director of the William Randolph Hearst Burn Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He completed a surgical residency and a year of surgical critical care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and then did a research fellowship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in surgical metabolism and nutrition. He was a member of the surgical faculty and served in leadership roles in Trauma, Burns and Critical Care at UAB, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Rochester, before assuming his current position at Cornell in 2000. He later completed a masters program in epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health of Columbia University. He has dedicated his career to improving the care of people with serious injuries from trauma and burns, striving for both survival and quality of life. He has served as a State Chair and Region Chief on the Committee on Trauma of the American College of Surgeons, as a Director of the American Board of Surgery, and most recently, as President of the American Burn Association.

Little_George 100x160George A. Little, M.D. '65

Dr. Little was a rotating intern at the University of Oregon before serving as a Peace Corps Physician in Africa. He completed a pediatric residency at what is now the UVM Medical Center and a neonatology fellowship at the University of Colorado. He joined the faculty at Dartmouth where he founded the neonatal intensive care unit and the Vt/NH regional perinatal education program in collaboration with Dr. Jerold Lucey. He served for over a decade as Professor and Chairman of the Dept. of Maternal and Child Health at Dartmouth before it became the departments of Pediatrics and Ob/Gyn. His long term interests include perinatal health policy, regionalization, outcomes, and family –centered care especially in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), clinical decision-making and ethics. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and an Honorary Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as well as Alpha Omega Alpha. He has served in positions of membership and leadership with many organizations in the professional association, public, private and government sectors. He has maintained an active involvement in global health beginning with 2 summers in Tanzania when a UVM medical student and was co-chair of the Global Implementation Task Force for Helping Babies Breathe, a neonatal resuscitation program for resource poor areas that is being disseminated globally. At the present time he remains active at Dartmouth and with initiatives in Malawi, Nigeria and Kosovo.

Smith_Richard100x160Richard V. Smith, M.D. '90

Dr. Smith is an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon. He is actively involved in numerous research projects studying cancers of the head and neck. His research focuses on identifying genetic and biologic aspects of such cancers that correlate with a patient’s prognosis. His goal is to help determine the optimal treatment for an individual patient, to maximize their chance of cure and minimize treatment-related side effects. In addition, his clinical investigation has focused on developing new techniques in trans-oral surgery, a less invasive form of surgery in which the surgeon gains necessary access to the surgical field through the mouth. At the same time, Dr. Smith seeks to assess the quality of life benefits for such treatments. His service to professional medical societies includes terms as President of the New York Head and Neck Society and President of the New York Laryngological Society.

Snow_Norm 100x160Norman J. Snow, M.D. '70

Since his graduation from the College of Medicine in 1970, Dr. Snow has fashioned a career in academic cardiothoracic surgery that is the envy of many of his colleagues in the specialty. Dr. Snow’s career has been one of academic excellence. He has held academic appointments in Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Louisville, Case Western Reserve University, the University of Illinois as a tenured professor and, more recently, as Adjunct Professor of Surgery at the University of Vermont and Professor of Anatomy at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. He has authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications, given over 120 presentations, and contributed eight book chapters. He not only has been a member in good standing of every major surgery and cardiothoracic surgery society, he has actively contributed to multiple committees and projects. Building on his interest in emergency medical services, for example, he chaired the Trauma and Emergency Care Committee of the Cleveland Academy of Medicine and was the inaugural medical director of Metro Life Flight, which at the time was the second largest helicopter EMS program in the country.

Sullivan_Daniel100x160Daniel C. Sullivan, M.D.'70

For 20 years, from 1977 to 1997, Dr. Sullivan was in academic radiology, holding faculty appointments at Yale University Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, and University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, before joining the National Cancer Institute at NIH in 1997. From 1997 to 2007 Dr. Sullivan was Associate Director in the Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Head of the Cancer Imaging Program at NCI. In 2007 Dr. Sullivan returned to Duke where his current responsibilities include serving as Vice Chair for Research, co-director of the Radiation Oncology and Imaging Program for the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center and Co-Director of the Imaging Program in the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI). Dr. Sullivan serves as Science Adviser to the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) where he founded and Chairs the Quantitative Imaging Biomarkers Alliance (QIBA) to coordinate a range of national and international activities to advance the field of quantitative imaging. He is a Fellow in the American College of Radiology, the Society for Breast Imaging, and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. In 2013 he was named to the Editorial Board for the 8th Edition of Cancer Staging Manual, American Joint Committee on Cancer. In 2014 he was appointed to a term on the National Advisory Council for Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering at NIH. Dr. Sullivan has received Merit Awards while at the NIH and in 2009 he received the Gold Medal Award from the Association of University Radiologists.

2014 Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Recipients

Baumhauer_Judith 100x160Judith F. Baumhauer, M.D. '89, M.P.H.

Celebrating her 25th reunion, Dr. Judith Ford Baumhauer was named the first woman president of both the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society for 2012-2013 and the Board of Directors of the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery in 2012.  Additionally, she was the first president of the Eastern Orthopedic Association, the largest Regional Orthopedic Society, where she served from 2009 to 2010. She has served on the Board of Directors of the American Board of Medical Specialties; Board of Directors of the OEF and OREF, the major humanitarian and research fund raising organizations in her specialty. Dr. Baumhauer has also been an editor or reviewer for major medical journals including the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery and Clinical Orthopedics, and serves on many committees for the University of Rochester. Her honors of note include the Distinguished Alumna Award from Springfield College in 2008; the Achievement Award from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons in 2010; and the ATHENA Award of the Rochester Business Alliance’s Women’s Council in 2012.  Dr. Baumhauer also received the Alumni Award for Surgical Excellence from UVM at her graduation in 1989 and has received multiple research grants and is published widely. She is noted for her superb leadership and her dedication to career and family, and is a highly respected researcher and clinician.

Hitti_Jane100x160Jane E. Hitti, M.D. '89, M.P.H.

Celebrating her 25th reunion year, Dr. Jane Hitti went on from the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont to develop a first-rate career in her chosen field of maternal fetal medicine. Her work focuses on infectious disease in pregnancy and has been recognized with several prestigious awards. She is also an adjunct professor of epidemiology and director of the maternal fetal medicine fellowship program. She joined her department in 1998 and is board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and the subspecialty of maternal fetal medicine. "Every woman deserves to have a happy and healthy pregnancy, within the context of her own circumstances,” she says. “I hope to advocate effectively for the health of women and their infants and to encourage my patients to participate actively in their care." Dr. Hitti’s clinical interests include the effects of HIV and other infectious diseases in pregnancy; multiple gestation, and prematurity prevention; and ultrasound. Her expertise encompasses high-risk obstetrics, infectious diseases, and perinatology.

Hyman_Neil100x160Neil H. Hyman, M.D. '84

Celebrating his 30th reunion, Dr. Hyman is currently the Samuel B. and Michelle D. Labow Green and Gold Professor of Colorectal Surgery and co-director of the Digestive Disease Center.  He has authored more than 170 peer-reviewed original articles or textbook chapters.  He serves on many regional and national committees, and is a member of numerous national organizations and societies.  He has been President of the Vermont Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, Associate Editor of Diseases of the Colon and Rectum, Principle Investigator of the New England and Vermont Colorectal Cancer Quality Project, and Chairman of the Standards Committee of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.  Dr. Hyman has been the recipient of many teaching awards including three Clinical Teacher of the Year Awards. He received the Jerome S. Abrams Teaching Award in 1992-93, 1993-94 and 1997-98; the Howe Outstanding Surgery Faculty Award for 2000-2001, 2004-2005, 2010-2011; and the Humanism in Medicine Award for 2001-02.  He was named Teacher of the Year by the Chief Surgical Residents in 1991, 2007 and 2009.  In 2005, he delivered the Commencement Address at the College of Medicine graduation. Dr. Hyman was named Physician of the Year by the Vermont Medical Society in 2011.

Persing_John100x160John A. Persing, M.D. '74

Celebrating his 40th reunion, Dr. John Persing is the Irving & Silik Polayes Professor of Plastic Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine, where he has chaired the Section of Plastic Surgery for over two decades. At Yale he has expanded the Section’s scope and mission while traveling the world teaching surgical techniques. He has published widely, and is an international expert in craniosynostosis, a condition in which sutures in the infant skull fuse prematurely. As a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Persing has a long history of involvement with international aid organizations that provide cleft lip and reconstructive surgeries in developing areas of the world. He co-founded such an organization, the Virginia Children’s Connection, in 1989; he became a volunteer provider, trip leader, and later a Board of Directors member for the reconstructive surgery organization Interplast. As an Advisory Board member of Operation Smile, he has overseen a DNA study into the genetics of cleft lip/cleft palate.   Dr. Persing is past Chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery and President of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons and the current President of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons.