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Medical Alumni Society honors seven physicians

The University of Minnesotas Medical Alumni Society board has selected seven physicians to receive its three awards for 2006.

Please join us in congratulating and thanking these recipients for their exceptional work in the service of the medical profession.

The Harold S. Diehl Award

This lifetime achievement award is granted to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Medical School, the University, and the community. It was established by the University of Minnesota Medical Alumni Society in honor of the Medical School’s fifth dean, Harold Sheely Diehl, M.D.

George L. Adams, M.D.
A member of the resident alumni Class of 1971, Adams is being honored posthumously for his caring contributions to the field of otolaryngology and the University of Minnesota. He was a recipient of many national and international awards in otolaryngology, and his work is now considered the standard of care for patients with head and neck cancer. He served as chair of the Department of Otolaryngology for 17 years with unwavering support for his staff, fellows, residents, and students. Adams passed away on April 8 after a brief illness.

Raymond G. Christensen, M.D.
Christensen is being honored for his lifelong commitment to improving patient care in Minnesota’s rural areas. He’s been an advocate for patients and health care professionals in rural areas for decades and in many capacities: as assistant dean for rural health at the University of Minnesota Medical School—Duluth, as an empathetic family physician at the Gateway Family Health Clinic in Moose Lake, and as a leader in several other rural health organizations. Christensen’s colleagues laud him for his compassion and tireless spirit.

Ernest Ruiz, M.D.
Ruiz is being honored for his devotion to emergency medicine at the University of Minnesota. He founded the country’s second residency program in emergency medicine in 1971 at the Hennepin County Medical Center, which eventually led to the creation of the Medical School’s Department of Emergency Medicine in 2002. Colleagues know him for his team-building skills and humility. Although Ruiz retired in 1999, he continued to serve the Medical School for another four years by developing a training course for rural medical teams.

Warren J. Warwick, M.D.
A member of the Class of 1954, Warwick is being honored for his trailblazing contributions to cystic fibrosis care worldwide. He founded the Minnesota Cystic Fibrosis Center in the early 1960s and has been its guiding spirit ever since. Over the years it has grown to become one of the best and largest cystic fibrosis centers in the country. A long-time faculty member at the University of Minnesota, Warwick is known for his expertise in pulmonary function and inventions to help manage cystic fibrosis and other chronic lung diseases.

The Distinguished Alumni Award

This award recognizes University of Minnesota Medical School alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their local, regional, or national community through medical practice, teaching, research, or other humanitarian activities.

William E. Jacott, M.D.
A member of the Medical School Class of 1964, Jacott has played a large role in making Minnesota a leader in health care. In 2000 he cofounded the Minnesota Alliance for Patient Safety, a group of health care organizations working together to improve safety procedures and reduce medical errors. Jacott has also served the University of Minnesota as the first head of the Medical School-Duluth’s family practice department as well as assistant vice president for health sciences and head of the family practice department on the Twin Cities campus.

John E. Repine, M.D.
A member of the Medical School Class of 1971, Repine is a world authority in acute and chronic lung injury. He is now the president, CEO, and director of the Webb-Waring Institute for Cancer, Aging, and Antioxidant Research in Denver. He’s also a professor and associate dean for student advocacy at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. Repine has received many awards for teaching and research, and colleagues say he hasn’t forgotten his Midwestern roots in caring for his patients, students, and the community.

The Early Distinguished Career Award

This award honors a physician for his or her exceptional accomplishments within 15 years of medical school graduation.

Jon S. Hallberg, M.D.
A member of the Medical School Class of 1992, Hallberg is being honored for reaching out to the community through medicine. A family physician and medical director of the new Center for Medical Humanities in the Medical School, he provides context for health-related issues every week on Minnesota Public Radio’s All Things Considered. He also has served the arts and sports communities in a medical capacity. Hallberg previously spent several years as medical director of the University of Minnesota Primary Care Clinic, leading efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of care provided there.

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