The 2015 Health Care Heroes Awards bestowed by the Memphis Business Journal are proof that The University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) is making a difference in Memphis and beyond.
Two longtime UTHSC physicians received Health Care Heroes Awards for their work. UTHSC also was well represented among finalists in the annual awards that recognize the best in health care in the Memphis area.
Barrett Haik, MD, FACS, Hamilton Professor of Ophthalmology and director of the Hamilton Eye Institute (HEI), won the Lifetime Achievement Award. Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, A. C. Mullins Professor in Translational Research, professor of Medicine, and director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the College of Medicine, received the top award in the Health Care Provider-Physician category. Marie Chisholm-Burns, PharmD, MPH, MBA, FCCP, FASHP, dean and professor in the College of Pharmacy, was one of four finalists in the Health Care Provider-Non-Physician category.
Besides those categories, awards were given out for administrative excellence, community outreach, and health care innovations during a dinner on Sept. 24.
Dr. Haik has worked tirelessly for more than 20 years to transform the Department of Ophthalmology at UTHSC from a small office with four academic faculty members into the Hamilton Eye Institute, which is ranked among the top 10 ophthalmological clinics in the United States.
A world-class eye center, HEI now has more than 40 academic faculty members, manages more than 40,000 outpatient visits annually and attracts patients from throughout the region and the world.
Dr. Haik is internationally known as an expert in the diagnosis and management of ophthalmic tumors. He has been awarded numerous grants for research, and received the Life Achievement Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Dr. Dagogo-Jack is an internationally known figure in the field of diabetes education, treatment and research. In addition to his duties at UTHSC, he is the 2015 president, Medicine and Science, for the American Diabetes Association, working on the national and international stage as a leader in the fight against the disease.
Dr. Dagogo-Jack was selected as the Internal Medicine Section Physician of the Year in 2013 by the National Medical Association, the nation’s oldest and largest organization representing African-American physicians and health professionals. He serves on the World Health Organization’s Strategic Planning Committee on Diabetes Mellitus.
Dr. Dagogo-Jack has attracted federal and private research funding totaling more than $20 million since joining UTHSC in 2001. His current research focuses on the interaction of genetic and environmental factors in the prediction and prevention of prediabetes and diabetes.
“I do not feel like a hero. I’m just doing the work for which I have been called,” Dr. Dagogo-Jack said in accepting the award. “I’m humbled to receive this award on behalf of UTHSC, my colleagues and research associates, and the more that 389 million people with diabetes in the world, 29 million of whom reside in the United States.”
Dr. Chisholm-Burns, who has been a pharmacist since 1992, became dean of the College of Pharmacy in 2012. She has more than 285 publications, has received approximately $10 million in external funding for research from organizations including the National Institutes of Health, and is the founder and director of the Medication Access Program, which helps provide medication to more than 830 solid-organ transplant patients.
Dr. Chisholm-Burns has been recognized with numerous awards for service, research and leadership. Awards received over the last two years include the 2015 Clinician of Distinction Award from the American Society of Transplantation, the 2015 Chauncey I. Cooper Pharmacist of the Year Award from the National Pharmaceutical Association, the 2015 Paul R. Dawson Biotechnology Award for research contributions from the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the American Pharmacists Association’s 2014 Research Achievement Award, and the 2013 Literature Award for Sustained Contributions from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation.