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Eighth Annual CASTLE CONNOLLY National Physician of The Year Awards - Wednesday, 3/20/2013 9:04 PM


The Eighth Annual Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. National Physician of the Year Awards took place on Monday evening, March 18, 2013 at The Pierre Hotel in New York City. The Awards recognized and honored five exemplary physicians, as well as the many thousands of other excellent physicians practicing in communities throughout the United States. A generous cocktail hour was followed by dinner and the awards presentation.

During the cocktail hour we spoke with two of the five awardees of the evening. The first was a Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Dr.Sterling Williams. The other was Dr. Jerry A .Shields, a recipient of a Clinical Excellence Award. Dr. Jerry A. Shields attended the evening's event supported by his wife Dr. Carol Shields. He happily shared a little about his work with me: "I have an unusual specialty, I'm an opthamologist who specializes in cancer ocular oncology. I started developing a service at Wills I Hospital in Philadelphia back in 1973 and we started seeing patients with only eye cancers- benign and malignant eye tumors. We've been gradually building up this type of service and practice for many years. We see patients each week from all over the country and all over the world."

Dr. Sterling Williams sits on the faculty of George Washington University in Washington DC, with his main job being that of Vice President of the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. He attended the evening's event supported by his wife and three children. In regards to his award, Dr. Sterling explained, "I don't know how I got to this point in my career quite honestly. I am surprised and a little bit blown away by this award. It's not about me, I'm sort of representative of a whole lot of things and a whole lot of people who make this possible. It is a true honor. I have had a lot of fun over thirty years."

Dr. John Connolly, Dawn Halfaker and John K. Castle

Awards were given to physicians who are nationally recognized leaders and contributors in their specialties.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is awarded to physicians for their lifetime of dedication to research and practice in their respective fields. This year, the award will be presented to:

• Michael R. Harrison, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences; Founding Director of the Fetal Treatment Center – University of California, San Francisco

• Sterling B. Williams, M.S., M.D., Ph.D., Clinical Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology - George Washington University Medical School; Vice President for Education - American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists

The Clinical Excellence Award, recognizing physicians who exemplify excellence in clinical medical practice, will be presented to:

• Gopal Badlani, M.D., Professor and Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs, Department of Urology - Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center

• Jo A. Hannafin, M.D., Ph.D., Attending Orthopedic Surgeon and Director of Orthopaedic Research - Hospital for Special Surgery; Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery - Weill Cornell Medical College

• Jerry A. Shields, M.D., Director, Ocular Oncology Service - Wills Eye Institute; Professor of Ophthalmology - Thomas Jefferson University

Charluata Badlani and Dr. Gopal Badlani

The National Health Leadership Award was awarded to a non-physician for outstanding dedication and work with an organization that has served to heighten the awareness of the need for support and research for that specific cause. Dawn Halfaker, President and CEO of Halfaker and Associates, LLC and President of the Board of Directors of the Wounded Warrior Project, will receive this year’s National Health Leadership Award.

Notable attendees for the evening included: John K. Castle, Chairman, and John J. Connolly, Ed.D., President and CEO of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., William Liss-Levinson, Ph.D., Vice President, Chief Strategy & Operations Officer, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. and Jean Morgan, M.D., Vice President, Chief Medical & Research Officer, Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., who was among the Awards Presenters for the evening. Dr. Steve Salvatore, host of “Dr. Steve,” Tribune’s nationally syndicated TV show, was the evening's the Master of Ceremonies.