Five UTHSC Professors Win Health Care Heroes Awards

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Demonstrating the breadth of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s strength in health care, five UTHSC professors emerged as winners of the Memphis Business Journal’s Annual Health Care Heroes Awards.

Demonstrating the breadth of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center’s (UTHSC) strength in health care, five UTHSC professors emerged as winners of the Memphis Business Journal’s Annual Health Care Heroes Awards last night. Held at the Hilton-Memphis, the newspapers’ Eighth Annual Awards Banquet honored finalists from across the local health care community, including a total of 10 UTHSC faculty.

From a field of outstanding Memphis health care contributors, Roger Hiatt, MD, professor emeritus in the College of Medicine, was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award. Barbara Connolly, EdD, PT, chairman of the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Allied Health Sciences, received the Health Care Provider Non-Physician Award. Jim Dale, MD, professor of medicine, took home the Health Care Innovations Award. Stanley Kaplan, MD, professor, College of Medicine, was named Health Care Provider Physician. Waletha Wasson, DDS, associate professor in the Department of Restorative Dentistry, College of Dentistry, garnered the Community Outreach Award.

Chancellor William F. Owen, who congratulated the winners at the event, said, “UT Health Science Center’s pervasive impact on Memphis and the Mid-South was evident tonight. The winners and the additional Health Science Center finalists, were nominated by their affiliate health care providers where they serve patients on a daily basis.” He noted, “Our faculty is among the best in the country whether they are teaching future health care providers, conducting research, caring for patients, or serving our community.”

Among the finalists were: Michael C. Levin, MD, associate professor, College of Medicine, and chief of neurology at the VA Medical Center; Duane Miller, PhD, professor in the College of Pharmacy and director of medical chemistry for GTX, Inc; Peter Netland, MD, professor of ophthalmology and director of the UT Hamilton Eye Institute Glaucoma Service; James Wheless, MD, professor of medicine and director of the Le Bonheur Neuroscience Program; and Robert Williams, PhD, professor of genetics in the medical college’s Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology.

In addition to Dr. Owen, the winners and finalists, other UTHSC representatives attending the event included: Mrs. Alice Owen, wife of the Chancellor; Michael Caudle, MD, vice chancellor for health system affairs for UTHSC; William Frey, PhD, dean of the College of Allied Health Sciences; Russell Gilpatrick, DDS, dean of the College of Dentistry, and his wife, Donna; La Don Jones, PhD, vice chancellor of community relations; Stephen Schwab, MD, executive dean of the College of Medicine, and Pat Wall, MD, interim dean of the College of Medicine, Memphis campus.

As the Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Dr. Hiatt’s 44-year career as an ophthalmologist has been a testimony to service, both in teaching and medical missionary work. In addition to hundreds of students trained while he was chairman of the ophthalmology department for 30 years at UTHSC, Dr. Hiatt has taught doctors around the world through his educational missionary trips. He has trained residents in ophthalmology in both hemispheres