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American College of Emergency Physicians Recognizes Excellence in Emergency Medicine
Prestigious Awards Given at ACEP 13 in Seattle
Oct 16, 2013

SEATTLE  — The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) today recognized 10 individuals for outstanding contributions to emergency medicine during the organization’s annual meeting in Seattle — ACEP 13 Scientific Assembly — the largest gathering of emergency physicians in the country. The awards honor excellence across a wide range of activities, including leadership, policy, education and research. 

The following are the awards:

John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award

Mark L. Debard, MD, FACEP, of Columbus, Ohio, received ACEP’s highest honor — the John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award — named for a founding member and first president of ACEP.   Dr. Debard was recognized for his outstanding contributions to emergency medicine and for serving as a role model for all ACEP members.

Dr. DeBard is a professor of emergency medicine at the Ohio State University College of Medicine, where he teaches medical students and residents.  He also works full time as a clinician in the OSU Wexner Medical Center at University Hospital East in Columbus and serves as co-chair of the medical school’s Admissions Committee.

Dr. DeBard joined ACEP in 1976 and quickly became a leader at the state and national levels.  He was elected to Ohio ACEP’s Board of Directors in 1982 and served until 2005.  He was the chapter’s president in 1990 and continues as one of its longest serving councillors.  He served on the national ACEP Board of Directors from 1992-1998, as Council Vice Speaker from 1999-2003 and as Speaker from 2003-2005.  Throughout his career, he has championed important improvements in emergency care, including standards for exams and counseling of sexual assault patients and the identification of excited delirium syndrome as a clinical entity.  Dr. DeBard earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Dayton and his medical degree from Ohio State. 

James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award

Diana L. Fite, MD, FACEP, of Houston, Texas, received the James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award, named for the second president of ACEP and organizer of the Alexandria Plan for full-time emergency department staffing and management. 

Dr. Fite is an attending physician at two hospital emergency departments in Houston—Methodist Willowbrook and Christus Saint Catherine’s — as well as at freestanding emergency facilities in Tomball and Katy, Texas.  She also served for

22 years as part-time clinical assistant professor for the emergency medicine residency program at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

In 1995, Dr. Fite became the first female president of the Texas College of Emergency Physicians and the first and only emergency physician to serve as president of the 12,000-member Harris County Medical Society.  In both roles, she raised the visibility of emergency medicine and championed issues of importance to the emergency physicians and patients.

Dr. Fite grew up in the Texas Panhandle and earned her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Outstanding Contribution in Education Award

Amal Mattu, MD, FACEP, of Edgewater, Md., received an Outstanding Contribution in Education Award for his significant work on educational issues in emergency medicine.  Dr. Mattu is a tenured professor, vice chair and director of the Faculty Development Fellowship and the Emergency Cardiology Fellowship in the department of emergency medicine at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Mattu’s areas of academic focus are emergency cardiology, geriatric emergency medicine and faculty development.  Since joining the faculty at the University of Maryland in 1996, he has received more than 20 awards for lecturing and teaching, including national awards from ACEP.  He is the author of “ECGs for the Emergency Physician,” volumes 1 and 2, and has served as an editor for 13 other textbooks in emergency medicine, including ACEP’s “Electrocardiography in Emergency Medicine.”

Dr. Mattu is the editor and host of “EMCast,” EmedHome’s monthly podcast and creator of a weekly EKG video series with subscribers in more than 150 countries around the world.  He is a frequent speaker at educational conferences nationwide and in 18 other countries.

Dr. Mattu earned his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  He completed an emergency medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, followed by a teaching fellowship with a special focus on emergency cardiology.

Outstanding Contribution in Education Award

Jeffrey Tabas, MD, FACEP, of San Francisco, CA, also received an Outstanding Contribution in Education Award for his efforts to build the educational aspects of emergency medicine.  Dr. Tabas is professor of emergency medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and practices at San Francisco General Hospital.  He currently serves as a director in the UCSF office of continuing medical education and has taught emergency medicine, advanced procedural skills training and electrocardiography to a generation of students and residents.

Dr. Tabas’ areas of educational and research focus are cardiovascular emergencies and procedural skill training.  He has been an active lecturer, book chapter and review article author, editor of a textbook on emergency electrocardiography and course chair for several popular emergency medicine conferences.  For “JAMA Internal Medicine,” he serves as editor of the continuing medical education section and a popular clinical electrocardiography series.

Dr. Tabas has shown his dedication to ACEP in innovative ways, including creation of a groundbreaking cadaver-based life-saving procedures lab.  He has served as a member of the ACEP Education Committee and Scientific Assembly Planning Committee for more than a decade and was chair of the ACEP 2011 Scientific Assembly.

Dr. Tabas earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania.  He completed an internal medicine residency at University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center, and an emergency medicine residency at the UCLA-Olive View program.

Outstanding Contribution in Research Award

Brian J. O’Neil, MD, FACEP, of Detroit, Mich., received the Outstanding Contribution in Research Award. 

Dr. O’Neil is chair, director of basic science research and Edward S. Thomas endowed professor at Wayne State University School of Medicine’s department of emergency medicine.  He is also specialist and chief at Detroit Medical Center.

Dr. O’Neil is nationally recognized as an expert in the fields of cardiac and cerebral ischemia and resuscitation.  He has served ACEP in many high-impact roles, including chair of the Scientific Review Committees for Clinical Science and Basic Science, chair of the Research Committee and chair of the Emergency Medicine Research Section.

Dr. O’Neil is past chair of the American Heart Association’s (AHA’s) Emergency Cardiovascular Committee and Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Committee.  He is also the immediate past president of the AHA ECC Science Subcommittee and a member of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation, an AHA advisory group.

Dr. O’Neil is a member of the writing committee for the AHA’s Acute Coronary Syndromes Guidelines and its Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support Subcommittee and Writing Group.  He co-wrote the AHA’s 2010 guidelines on acute coronary syndromes and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which significantly updated the CPR basics taught to millions.  Born in Detroit and raised in East Detroit, Dr. O’Neil completed his undergraduate degree, medical training, emergency medicine residency and fellowship at Wayne State University.

Outstanding Contribution in EMS Award

Daniel G. Hankins, MD, FACEP, of Rochester, Minn., received ACEP’s Outstanding Contribution in EMS Award.

Based at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Dr. Hankins is a consultant and associate professor of emergency medicine and co-medical director of Mayo Clinical Medical Transport.

Dr. Hankins joined ACEP in 1980 and became board certified in emergency medicine in 1983.  An active member of Minnesota ACEP, he has served the chapter as president and chair of the EMS Committee.  He became involved with emergency medical services when he joined Saint Paul-Ramsey Medical Center, now Regions Hospital.  At SPRMC, he served as medical director for the Saint Paul Fire Department ALS service, the Life Link 3 air and ground critical care transport service, as well as multiple other ALS, BLS, and first responder services.

A committed champion of air medical services, Dr. Hankins has served as board member and president of the Association of Air Medical Services.  In 1999, AAMS recognized his seminal contributions with its Barbara A. Hess Research Award.

Dr. Hankins received his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh.  He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Minnesota and served in the U.S. Air Force from 1977 to 1979.

Colin C. Rorrie, Jr., PhD Award for Excellence in Health Policy

W. Wesley Fields, MD, FACEP, of Calif., received the Colin C. Rorrie, Jr. PhD Award for Excellence in Health Policy for his outstanding contribution in monitoring and influencing policy of importance to emergency medicine.  The award is named for ACEP’s Executive Director who served from 1982 to 2003.  Dr. Fields is a long-time member and past chair of the Board of Directors of CEP America, the nation’s largest partnership in emergency medicine.  He serves on the clinical faculty at the University of California, Irvine, and has been an attending physician at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center in Laguna Hills for 30 years.

Dr. Fields is a past president of California ACEP and has strengthened national ACEP as a dedicated member of the Federal Government Affairs Committee and the NEMPAC Board of Trustees.  He has served on many national expert task forces and panels, including recent work for the National Quality Forum on regionalizing emergency care.  He is the respected author of a number of peer-reviewed articles and practice management chapters.

Dr. Fields is the founding chair of the national Emergency Medicine Action Fund, a broad-based coalition engaged in federal regulatory and legal advocacy, health care reform and policy development for the acute care continuum.  He earned his medical degree from the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California and completed an emergency medicine residency at Harbor/UCLA.

John A. Rupke Legacy Award

Paul R. Pomeroy, Jr., MD, FACEP, of Detroit, Mich., received the John A Rupke Legacy award for outstanding lifetime contributions to ACEP.  The award is named in honor of John A. Rupke, MD, FACEP, one of ACEP’s founding members.   

Dr. Pomeroy is a retired emergency physician who spent his career caring for patients in the Detroit area.  He held department director positions at several suburban hospitals, including St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital and St Joseph Mercy Oakland in Pontiac.

Throughout his career, Dr. Pomeroy helped guide and shape emergency medical services systems.  He served multiple terms as medical director for EMS systems in Oakland and Western Wayne counties.  During his tenure, he developed, implemented and supervised important pilot programs, including the use of automated defibrillators and an intermediate airway device by basic emergency medical technicians.

Dr. Pomeroy’s dedication to ACEP began early and continues today.  He served as president of the Michigan Chapter in the early 1980s and is the longest continuously serving member of the ACEP Council.  In addition to recognition from the Michigan Chapter, he is the recipient of ACEP’s Council Meritorious Service Award and Honorary Membership Award.

Dr. Pomeroy earned his medical degree from the University of Michigan School of Medicine and completed a residency in internal medicine at Wayne County General Hospital, where he was chief resident.

Honorary Membership Award

Caral Edelberg, CPC, CPMA, CAC, CCS-P, CHC, of Baton Rouge, La., received an Honorary Membership Award for her outstanding service to the organization and the medical profession.  Mrs. Edelberg is president of Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Edelberg & Associates, a firm specializing in emergency, EMS/ambulance, and hospital medicine coding and compliance.

A widely recognized expert on emergency department revenue cycle management, Caral personally manages projects in facilities across the country.  She also develops training, auditing, and monitoring tools that identify coding and billing problems for emergency and hospitalist medicine.

Mrs. Edelberg has shared her knowledge and skills with ACEP and its members for decades.  She is a longstanding member of the ACEP Coding & Nomenclature Advisory Committee.  As a member, she has helped develop key tools, including frequently asked questions, on coding and reimbursement.  

A sought-after educator, Mrs. Edelberg has served as a faculty member for wide-ranging organizations, including national ACEP and nearly two dozen ACEP chapters.  She is the first non-physician to receive ACEP’s Outstanding Speaker of the Year Award and a two-time recipient of the ACEP Educational Meeting Committee’s “Over the Top” Faculty Award for teaching prowess and excellence.

Among other publications, Ms. Edelberg is the author of “Procedure Coding for Emergency Medicine” published by ACEP, “The Emergency Medicine Study Guide,” “The Emergency Medicine Coding Competency Examination,” and “The Emergency Department Answer Book.”

Council Meritorious Service Award

Robert M. Roth, DO, FACEP, of Tenn., received the Council Meritorious Service Award for his consistent contributions to the growth and effectiveness of the ACEP Council.  Dr. Roth is senior partner and compliance officer for Cumberland Emergency Physicians PC and is in clinical practice at Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, Tenn.  He has served the Tennessee Chapter as president and continues to be a board member.  In addition to influencing state policy on pediatric emergency care, he currently is working to change the standard for care in medical malpractice reform.

At the national level, Dr. Roth has been active in the ACEP Council since the 1980s and has served on the Tellers, Credentials & Elections Committee and on Reference Committees.  His insight, integrity and resourcefulness have advanced the Council’s mission to fairly represent all emergency physicians.

Dr. Roth received his medical training at the College of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines.  After Air Force training in aerospace medicine, he completed an emergency medicine residency at Wright State University.

ACEP is the national medical specialty society representing emergency medicine. ACEP is committed to advancing emergency care through continuing education, research and public education. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, ACEP has 53 chapters representing each state, as well as Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. A Government Services Chapter represents emergency physicians employed by military branches and other government agencies. 

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