The four physicians who will receive the 2014 Outstanding Alumnus Awards from the College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) on Aug. 14 have excelled in clinical practice, teaching and community service. Two internal medicine specialists, a pediatric allergist/immunologist and a pediatrician, the outstanding physicians will be honored when graduates of the UTHSC College of Medicine gather in Memphis for the annual College of Medicine Alumni Weekend August 14-16.
“These four graduates personify the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the College of Medicine. Collectively, they have contributed 190 years to the medical profession and their communities.”
Kris Phillips, associate vice chancellor for Alumni Affairs
The College of Medicine Alumni Council will bestow its highest honor on James D. Link, MD, a pediatrician; Dana V. Wallace, MD, a pediatric allergist/immunologist; Jesse J. Cannon, Jr., MD, an internal medicine physician; and Jack B. Alperin, MD, a specialist in internal medicine and hematology. The awards are presented annually to give special recognition to graduates of the UTHSC College of Medicine who have distinguished themselves in their medical practice, their profession and their community.
“These four graduates personify the mission of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and the College of Medicine,” said Kris Phillips, associate vice chancellor for Alumni Affairs. “Collectively, they have contributed 190 years to the medical profession and their communities.”
Dr. James D. Link, who grew up in Cullman, Alabama, became a pediatrician because of the care he received for the chronic allergies he had as a child. Impressed by the doctor who helped him, he decided the career would let him do the same for others. He graduated from the UT College of Medicine in 1961, and completed his internship and residency at then-Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis.
Dr. Link moved to Florence, Alabama, joining another pediatrician in the Infants’ and Children’s Clinic, PC, where he spent his career. “Seeing second- and third-generation patients and their children and their children’s children, speaks to me of trust,” he said. In retirement, he volunteers in the community, working with the Help Center in Florence to provide food and services to the needy.
Dr. Dana V. Wallace, a native of Andersonville, Tennessee, graduated from the UT College of Medicine in 1972, did her pediatrics residency at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and completed a fellowship in allergy and immunology at Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. She is board certified in pediatrics and allergy/immunology.
Dr. Wallace moved to Florida to start her practice, and today is a successful practitioner at Florida Center for Allergy and Asthma Care in Hollywood, Florida. She is an associate clinical professor at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Florida, and Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. Currently on the World Allergy Organization board of directors, she is the past president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). Dr. Wallace has received the ACAAI Distinguished Service Award and the ACAAI Women in Allergy Award. Among other professional positions, Dr. Wallace is the past president of the Broward County Medical Association and past president of the Florida Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Association.
Dr. Jesse J. Cannon, Jr., who is from Stanton, Tennessee, and graduated from the UT College of Medicine in 1976, had a general practice in internal medicine in Covington and Munford, Tennessee, for almost 20 years. During that time, he held university appointments at the UT College of Medicine and Meharry Medical College. He also served as consulting staff or chief of staff at Baptist Hospitals in Tipton County and Lauderdale County, and at Haywood Park Community Hospital in Brownsville, Tennessee. He served on the Tennessee Governor’s Council for the American College of Physicians from 1993 to 1996.
In 2007, Dr. Cannon became the medical director of the inpatient clinic at Western Mental Health Institute in Bolivar, Tennessee. “Learning the discipline of psychiatry, the metabolic and social aspects of mental illness, has become a passion with me now,” he said.
Dr. Jack B. Alperin graduated from the UT College of Medicine in 1957. He received postgraduate training in internal medicine and hematology at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center in Chicago, and served on the faculty at Chicago Medical School. He completed a fellowship in the Hematology Research Laboratory at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston in 1965, and joined the faculty there in the Department of Internal Medicine.
Currently, Dr. Alperin is a clinical professor in the UTMB Departments of Internal Medicine, Pathology, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He is a consultant in hematology and transfusion medicine, and is the associate director of the UTMB Blood Bank. He has served as acting director of the Blood Bank and acting chief of the Division of Hematology-Oncology.
During his distinguished career, Dr. Alperin has been involved in hematologic research, and is the author or co-author of more than 125 papers and abstracts related to the study of blood and its diseases. He was named one of the “Best Doctors in Texas” by Texas Monthly Magazine from 2006 through 2012.
Having served on numerous committees at UTMB, Dr. Alperin was named an inaugural Osler Scholar in the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine at UTMB. He has taught generations of medical students, staff and blood bank technologists. His teaching awards include the Golden Apple Award, two awards from the Department of Internal Medicine Alumni Association, and the UTMB School of Medicine Alumni Association Appreciation Award for Excellence in Teaching.
The physicians will be honored during an Alumni Awards Dinner at The Peabody, which begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception. Some 100 UTHSC friends, alumni and team members are expected to attend, including UT System President Joe DiPietro and UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab, MD, who will welcome the guests. Other events during the College of Medicine Alumni Weekend include class reunions, continuing medical education, campus tours and a networking reception for alumni and students.