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May 2007 Issue

UC Infectious Disease Center team
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Faculty Rake In Awards at 2007 Health Care Heroes Ceremony

By Amanda Harper
Published May 2007

UC stole the spotlight at the 10th annual Business Courier Health Care Heroes awards ceremony, with faculty members winning three of four primary award categories, a Lifetime Achievement award and the first-ever National Health Care Hero award for a program done in collaboration with the U.S. Air Force.

More than 300 physicians, nurses and other medical professionals from Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky were nominated for the awards, which honor local health care professionals in the areas of patient care, research, management and community service.

John Tew, MD, received the Lifetime Hero award for his years of achievement as a leading neurosurgeon. Tew led the development of the Neuroscience Institute, which was founded in 1998 at University Hospital and the UC College of Medicine. He also served as professor and chairman of UC’s neurosurgery department for 20 years.

“This award isn’t about me—it’s about the neuroscience team,” said Tew during his acceptance speech. “No one wants to leave home to get care when they have a serious disease, and I’m proud that we’ve been able to make the absolute best neuroscience care possible right here in Cincinnati.”

The Business Courier also recognized the U.S. Air Force Critical Care Air Transport Teams with the first National Health Care Hero Award. These highly specialized medical teams—which are trained at University Hospital—create and operate a portable intensive care unit during flight on board any available transport aircraft. The three-person teams, typically made up of a respiratory therapist, critical care nurse and critical care physician, are rapidly deployable and responsible for keeping critically wounded soldiers alive between the battlefields of Iraq and nearest full-service military hospital. Maj. Gen. Thomas Loftus, MD, accepted the award on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and the local UC team.

In the community outreach category, Joseph Kiesler, MD, family medicine, was recognized for his work with the Center for Respite Care, a 14-bed, free medical clinic for homeless people in Northern Kentucky.

Frank McCormack, internal medicine, received the innovator award for his work to elevate the level of public awareness and research for a rare lung condition known as lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM).

“Dr. McCormack has almost single-handedly raised LAM from obscurity to the forefront of pulmonary medicine,” said Sue Byrnes, director of the LAM Foundation, who accepted the award on his behalf. “He has been a beacon of hope for everyone who is affected by this disease, and he remains one of the most honorable, selfless people I’ve ever met.”

The UC Infectious Disease Center team—Judith Feinberg, MD, Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, and Peter Frame, MD—was recognized in the provider category for their care of HIV and AIDS patients in the Greater Cincinnati region.

The medical team said the true heroes were the people living with HIV and dedicated the award to them.

“We feel honored and blessed to do this work,” said Feinberg. “We took a disease that was cutting down people younger than we were, and now we’re watching them have healthy babies and live long lives.”

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