AMA honors Dr. O'Leary for JCAHO leadership

The contributions of two Dallas orthopedists, a South Carolina ethics leader and five medical executives also were recognized.

By Kevin B. O’Reilly — Posted Dec. 5, 2005

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Dallas -- Patient-safety leader Dennis S. O'Leary, MD, was one of several physicians who were honored for their service at the American Medical Association November Interim Meeting.

Dr. O'Leary, president of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, was given the Distinguished Service Award for re-energizing the accrediting body as a leading force for improvements in patient safety and health care quality. The award is the highest honor bestowed each year by the AMA.

"Dr. O'Leary's work to forge collaboration and consensus on patient safety and quality issues among health care groups is essential to moving the needle forward for real improvements for our patients," AMA President J. Edward Hill, MD, said.

The AMA's Benjamin Rush Award for Citizenship and Community Service went to J.A. "Tony" Herring, MD, a Dallas pediatric orthopedist noted for discovering that younger people with amputations can benefit from snow skiing using special equipment. Dr. Herring has served as chief of staff at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children since 1978, where fellow AMA award winner Daniel J. Sucato, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon.

Dr. Sucato received the Dr. William Beaumont Award in Medicine for his research on spinal surgery and the treatment of patients with scoliosis. The Beaumont award is given to AMA member physicians who are younger than 50.

Donald E. Saunders Jr., MD, received the Isaac Hays, MD, and John Bell, MD, Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism for founding the South Carolina Medical Assn.'s first ethics committee.

The Association also honored five executives from county, state or specialty medical societies for their contributions.

Honorees are: Dolores L. Green, executive director of the Riverside County Medical Assn.; Jon Hornaday, special services director for the Texas Medical Assn.; H. Dunbar Hoskins Jr. MD, executive vice president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology; Timothy B. Norbeck, executive director of the Connecticut State Medical Society; and C.C. "Cork" Swarens, executive vice president of the Missouri State Medical Assn.

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