Three to Receive UTHSC Outstanding Alumni Awards

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Three exceptional alumni were chosen by the College of Medicine Alumni Council to receive the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine’s 2005 Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Three exceptional alumni were chosen by the College of Medicine Alumni Council to receive the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine’s 2005 Outstanding Alumnus Award. Presented annually, the award was created to give special recognition to UTHSC graduates who have distinguished themselves in their medical practice, their profession, and in their community. Charles Edward Allen, MD (1954), Robert E. Tooms, MD (1956), and Lawrence D. Wruble, MD, (1958) will be presented the awards at the October 14 Alumni Awards and Reunion Luncheon, a highlight of the 2005 Medicine Alumni Weekend.

Each award winner made his mark in more than one of the primary academic medicine mission areas of education, patient care, research and community service. Each also left an indelible legacy in his chosen specialty: Dr. Allen in internal medicine and cardiology, Dr. Tooms in orthopedic surgery and Dr. Wruble in gastroenterology.

A pioneer in medical education, Dr. Allen served nationally as the director of the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education, was a trustee on the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, was elected three times to the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council on Medical Education and served on both the AMA’s Section on Medical Schools and the committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation. He was the driving force behind the founding of the Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) which had a profound impact on the level of healthcare in the Appalachian areas of Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.

Over his dynamic career, Dr. Allen has received a variety of honors including, the Governor’s Outstanding Tennessean Award, the Tennessee Medical Association’s Outstanding Physician Award, the Meritorious Service Award from the Tennessee Hospital Association, and his community presented him with the Spirit of Johnson City Award. In his retirement, his continuing interest in education is evidenced by his service on the ETSU Foundation Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees of Milligan College and the Board of Trustees of Emmanuel School of Religion.

Dr. Tooms made a huge difference in the lives of amputees by being instrumental in the development of a number of research projects that resulted in increased mobility for handicapped individuals. Recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in prosthetics, he has authored several textbook chapters and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles.

A leader in the field of orthopedics, Dr. Tooms was also leader at UTHSC in a variety of positions, including medical director of the University of Tennessee Rehabilitation Engineering Center, medical director of the Spinal Cord Injury Center, chief of the Childhood Amputee Clinic, consultant to the Tennessee Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and chairman of the committee on rehabilitation of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. In addition to his numerous positions at UTHSC, he was president of the medical staff at Baptist Memorial Hospital and chief of staff of the Campbell Clinic where he mentored and trained orthopedic residents for many years. As a lasting legacy, he spearheaded the drive to establish the Harold Boyd Chair of Orthopedics at UTHSC, helping to raise over a million dollars to fund the position.

Revered and honored for his contributions to education, Dr. Wruble’s teaching abilities have been recognized as outstanding from the beginning of his career. He has received the Faculty Recognition Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Teaching Excellence Awards for two consecutive years, and the Golden Apple Award from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where he still holds the position of professor of medicine.

Opening the first gastroenterology practice in the city of Memphis in 1970, Dr. Wruble established the Memphis Gastroenterology Group and is currently its president. He is medical director of Summit Research Solutions, a clinical trials management company, and is the founder and medical advisor of Siteworks Solutions, an industry leader in clinical trials software for the management of administrative and regulatory changes in the conduct of clinical research. Recognized nationally in his field, Dr. Wruble was awarded the Certificate of Appreciation from the American College of Gastroenterology, has authored five books and numerous peer-reviewed papers, and remains active in research.

“Drs. Allen, Tooms and Wruble represent the best of what UT College of Medicine graduates contribute in practice, academics and community service. Each has been an innovator in his chosen specialty and has moved the entire field forward, making an enormous difference in people’s lives along the way. I am proud of their association with the College of Medicine,” said Henry Herrod, MD, dean of the UTHSC College of Medicine.