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2017 Awards Recipients

Each year at our annual meeting, the AAMC presents its major awards honoring individuals and programs making significant contributions to our community in the fields of medical education, research, and community service.
Learn more about the AAMC Awards


George Thibault, MD

2017 Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education

In his career spanning four decades, George Thibault, MD, has been a driving force for the now widespread adoption of interprofessional team-based education and care. As president of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, Dr. Thibault has been at the helm of transformative conferences and reports for innovation in health professions education. He also established the Macy Faculty Scholars Program to promote the careers of future leaders and innovators in health professions education.  Dr. Thibault is a nationally sought-after advisor and highly lauded teacher who has earned a reputation as “one of the true giants of contemporary medical education.”
Learn more about Dr. Thibault


Laurie H. Glimcher, MD

2017 Award for Distinguished Research in the Biomedical Sciences

Laurie H. Glimcher, MD, developed a passion for discovery in childhood and has noted that her career as a physician-scientist “chose me.” Dr. Glimcher has made numerous discoveries that have advanced treatments for many diseases and chronic conditions, including cancer, asthma, and osteoporosis. She is widely considered to be the international authority on the development and activation of lymphocytes in the immune system. In addition to her pioneering research, Dr. Glimcher is a distinguished leader in academic medicine, previously serving as dean of Weill Cornell Medical College and currently serves as president and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
Learn more about Dr. Glimcher


Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD

2017 David E. Rogers Award

Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, is perhaps most known for developing a multifaceted checklist intervention that eliminated central-line bloodstream infections, which has been called a watershed moment for U.S. health care. Dr. Pronovost is also known for his work to combat preventable deaths and as a pioneer in patient safety. He also helped establish the scholarly field of improvement science, which he continues to advance as founding director of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality. In 2008, Dr. Pronovost was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine.
Learn more about Dr. Pronovost


George C. Hill, PhD

2017 Herbert W. Nickens Award

George C. Hill, PhD, has devoted his career to encouraging diversity, inclusion, and equity in the biomedical workforce and beyond. At Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, he was instrumental in transforming admissions and faculty recruitment to enhance diversity and inclusion. Later, he led similar efforts across all of Vanderbilt University, serving as the university’s first vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Dr. Hill is also an accomplished biochemical microbiologist, and has mentored dozens of aspiring scientists and physicians.
Learn more about Dr. Hill


Laurie Woodard, MD

2017 Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award

Laurie Woodard, MD, has taught the art of caring for vulnerable populations to thousands of students at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine. She has inspired and nurtured many student-led initiatives supporting underserved communities, including the BRIDGE Clinic, Tampa Bay Street Medicine and USF Health Nicaragua. As a passionate advocate for people with disabilities and their health, Dr. Woodard has developed specialized instruction in disability for medical students at all levels, participates in national efforts to incorporate disability in core health care curricula and models a hands-on commitment through her community volunteer activities.
Learn more about Dr. Woodard


University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine

2017 Spencer Foreman Award for Outstanding Community Service

A community-based medical school, the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine has dedicated itself to advancing the state’s highest health priority: ensuring South Dakotans have access to high-quality, culturally appropriate care. The school achieves this aim through a comprehensive strategy that relies on strong, long-standing partnerships with towns, tribes, and clinical providers across the state. In addition to considering all of South Dakota as their community, faculty and students at the Sanford School of Medicine embrace an engaged scholarship mindset, sharing their work with the broader medical community through publications that are designed to enhance the nation’s rural workforce.
Learn more about the Sanford School of Medicine


Lynn M. Cleary, MD

2017 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Lynn M. Cleary, MD, joined the faculty at SUNY Upstate Medical University in 1985 and became a core faculty member for the internal medicine education programs. Students and residents recognize her teaching excellence, and their evaluations rank her among the top educators in the College of Medicine. While she now serves as vice president at Upstate, Dr. Cleary continues to teach and mentor medical students and is an influential educator on the national stage as a member of several boards, committees, and working groups.
Learn more about Dr. Cleary


John H. Coverdale, MBChB, MD

2017 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Learners at Baylor College of Medicine know John H. Coverdale, MBChB, MD, for the patience, humility, and respect he models at the bedside and in the classroom. Coupled with his teaching talents, Dr. Coverdale has earned the praise of his students and faculty colleagues who have bestowed on him more than 25 educational awards. Dr. Coverdale is also one of Baylor College of Medicine’s most active scholars, having authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, including many that he has co-authored with students and residents.
Learn more about Dr. Coverdale


Joseph P. Grande, MD, PhD

2017 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

Joseph P. Grande, MD, PhD, is a steadfast supporter of students and is deeply committed to creating a positive learning environment at Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. He was fundamental in revising the school’s curriculum to maximize student engagement, and he created teaching assistantships to encourage third-year medical students to explore their interests in education scholarship. Since joining the faculty of Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in 1991, Dr. Grande has continually earned the trust and praise of his students, achieving the honor of the school’s “Teacher of the Year” more than a dozen times.
Learn more about Dr. Grande


Richard C. Vari, PhD

2017 Alpha Omega Alpha Robert J. Glaser Distinguished Teacher Award

After leading a major curriculum transformation at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Richard C. Vari, PhD, developed the curriculum at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine from the ground up when he arrived there. Through these efforts, he has championed problem-based, patient-centered learning, and underscored the importance of professionalism and humanism in medicine. Dr. Vari’s passion and skill for medical education has earned him many accolades from students and colleagues alike.
Learn more about Dr. Vari