American College of Emergency Physicians Recognizes Excellence in Emergency Medicine

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

The following people received awards:

  • John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award

Frederick C. Blum, MD, FACEP, received ACEP’s highest honor, given to current or past national leaders in recognition of outstanding contributions to ACEP. It is named in honor John G. Wiegenstein, a founding member and the first president of ACEP.

Dr. Blum served as president of ACEP in 2005 when the organization released its first Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine and held a “Rally at the U.S. Capitol.” In addition, he gave testimony before Congress when the Institute of Medicine released a landmark report on emergency care in the United States. Dr. Blum’s visibility during these groundbreaking events drew national attention to the problems facing emergency physicians and the millions of patients they treat each year.
As an ACEP leader, Dr. Blum has stressed the importance of contributions to the National Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee. Thanks in part to his efforts, NEMPAC today is the fourth largest medical specialty PAC. Dr. Blum has dedicated his career to training a new generation of emergency physicians and mid-level providers. Many of his students have ascended to leadership positions within the West Virginia Chapter and national ACEP.
Since leaving ACEP’s board of directors, Dr. Blum has focused his efforts internationally, speaking around the world as secretary general and president of the International Federation of Emergency Physicians. In addition, he has testified on behalf of ACEP before national policymakers about drug shortages in the emergency department. He continues to serve ACEP as a member of the Emergency Medicine Foundation Board of Trustees, as well as a liaison representative to the Joint Commission’s Ambulatory Care Technical Advisory Committee. He also serves on the board of directors of the National Commission for the Certification of Physician Assistants.
Dr. Blum is an associate professor of emergency medicine at West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va. He has served ACEP as an exemplary leader and role model for more than 20 years at the state, national and international levels. Dr. Blum completed his undergraduate and medical education at West Virginia University, including a combined residency in pediatrics and internal medicine. He is board certified in emergency medicine, pediatric emergency medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. He has been a member of ACEP since 1985 and a fellow since 1992.
  • James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award
John J. Skiendzielewski, MD, FACEP, received this award, which honors the late James D. Mills Jr., MD, the second president of ACEP and organizer of the Alexandria Plan for full-time emergency department staffing and management.
Dr. Skiendzielewski is the Emergency Medicine Service Line Director for Geisinger Health System in Danville, Penn., and former director of the department of emergency medicine at Geisinger Medical Center. He was a member of Geisinger’s first emergency medicine residency class, and he has remained to create one of the strongest emergency medicine residency programs in the country.
Dr. Skiendzielewski is well known for his insightful commentary and his thoughtful approach to problem solving. His contributions to emergency medicine and ACEP are varied and highly significant. At the national level, he served as vice president and was twice elected to ACEP’s board of directors. Additionally, he has served on a range of committees and task forces, many of which he chaired. At the state level, Dr. Skiendzielewski has served Pennsylvania ACEP in almost every capacity, including committee member, board member and officer. He also has represented Pennsylvania as a councillor.  
In addition to excellence as a teacher, clinician and ACEP supporter, Dr. Skiendzielewski is also the author of numerous articles published in emergency medicine and general medical journals. He received the Meritorious Service Award from Pennsylvania ACEP in 1993 and was made a life fellow of ACEP in 2005.  
Dr. Skiendzielewski received his medical degree from Temple University. He is board certified in emergency medicine.
  • Outstanding Contribution in Education Award
Cherri D. Hobgood, MD, FACEP, received this award, which recognizes significant contributions to the educational aspects of the specialty of emergency medicine.
Dr. Hobgood is chair of the department of emergency medicine and Rolly McGrath professor of emergency medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. In addition, she is president-elect of the Society for Academy Emergency Medicine, which promotes research and education in academic emergency medicine.  
Dr. Hobgood previously served at the University of North Carolina, including vice chair of the department of emergency medicine.
Dr. Hobgood is an active clinician and educator who has helped transform emergency medicine education over the course of her career. Renowned regionally, nationally and internationally as a lecturer, she has championed important innovations in how emergency physicians learn and teach. Highlights include projects on the assessment of medical errors, quality measurement and teaching teamwork in emergency medicine practice.
Dr. Hobgood is chair of the International Federation for Emergency Medicine Core Curriculum and Education Committee, which has developed and disseminated model curricula for emergency medicine students and residents worldwide. Her work in death notification, including the GRIEV_ING communication model, was funded by the Emergency Medicine Foundation and the federal Office for Victims of Crime and is recognized as a standard in palliative care. For her innovations in this area, Dr. Hobgood was inducted into the National Arnold Gold Humanism in Medicine Honor Society. Her studies are also the basis of HEEAL-a method of error disclosure based on patient preferences.
Dr. Hobgood received her medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. She completed residency training in family medicine and emergency medicine, is board certified in emergency medicine and an ACEP fellow since 1999.
  • Outstanding Contribution in Research Award 
Nathan Kuppermann, MD, MPH, FACEP, received this award, which recognizes significant contributions to research in emergency medicine. He is the Bo Tomas Brofeldt Endowed chair of the department of emergency medicine at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine, and a professor in the departments of emergency medicine and pediatrics. He is both a pediatric emergency physician and a clinical epidemiologist.
Dr. Kuppermann is the primary or senior author of nearly 100 research papers published in leading journals. His primary areas of study are pediatric diabetic ketoacidosis-associated cerebral edema, clinical and laboratory evaluation of febrile children and laboratory and radiographic evaluation of pediatric trauma patients.
Dr. Kuppermann was elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2011 and is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Critical Care Research Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Emergency Medicine, the Ambulatory Pediatric Association’s Ludwig/Seidel Research Award, the EMSC National Hero’s Award for Outstanding Research Project, the SAEM Excellence in Research Award and the Dean’s Excellence in Research Award from UC Davis School of Medicine.
Dr. Kuppermann served as chair of the Steering Committee of the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network from its creation in 2001 through 2008. In 2011, he helped to further develop the field of pediatric emergency medicine in Argentina, and is helping to develop the first pediatric emergency medicine research network in Argentina and Uruguay.
Dr. Kuppermann received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and a master’s degree from the Harvard University School of Public Health. He completed his residency training in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine.
  • Outstanding Contribution in EMS Award
Debra G. Perina, MD, FACEP, received this award, which recognizes contributions to emergency medical services that are nationally significant.
Dr. Perina is an associate professor in the department of emergency medicine at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, EMS fellowship director and division director of pre-hospital care. She also is a regional quality medical director for the University of Virginia Health Sciences System. Dr. Perina has published more than 20 chapters and articles on EMS-related issues and is co-author of the NHTSA National Standard Medical Director’s Curriculum.
Dr. Perina has served on several committees involving ACEP, the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the National Association of EMS Physicians, exploring physician certification in EMS. In 2010, that vision was realized when the American Board of Medical Specialties recognized EMS as an emergency medicine subspecialty. She now is leading the effort to create the first EMS certification examination.
Dr. Perina was president of South Carolina ACEP from 1991 to 1993 and has served as the chapter’s councillor. At the national level, she has chaired ACEP’s Academic Affairs Committee and has served as a member of the Managed Care Task Force, Section Grant Task Force, Rural Affairs Task Force, Well-being Committee and the Emergency Medicine Workforce Task Force.
Dr. Perina received her medical degree from West Virginia University. She completed a residency in emergency medicine at the University of South Carolina and the executive leadership in academic medicine fellowship at Drexel University.
  • Colin C. Rorrie Jr., Ph.D. Award for Excellence in Health Policy
Daniel J. Sullivan, MD, JD, FACEP, received this award, which recognizes outstanding contributions in monitoring and influencing health policy. The award is named after ACEP’s executive director Colin Rorrie who served from 1982 to 2003.
Dr. Sullivan is president and chief executive officer of The Sullivan Group, a medical risk management and patient-safety organization. He also is chairman of the board of MEA Management LLC, an emergency medicine staffing organization with more than 300 emergency physicians, and an associate professor of emergency medicine at Rush Medical College.  
Dr. Sullivan is a past president of the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians and has served ACEP in numerous ways at the national and state levels. He has published cutting-edge research defining risk and safety issues in the practice of emergency and acute care medicine. Dr. Sullivan is a co-editor of the ACEP Risk Management textbook and teaches risk and safety to emergency physicians.
Dr. Sullivan received his medical degree from Rush Medical College and completed post-doctoral training at Cook County Hospital – both in Chicago. In 1989, he earned a law degree and began a lifelong effort to help emergency physicians in an increasingly litigious society.
  • John A. Rupke Legacy Award
Sanford H. Herman, MD, FACEP, received this award, which is given for outstanding lifetime contributions to ACEP. In recognition of longevity and unwavering dedication, the Legacy Award was named for John A. Rupke, MD, one of the organization’s initial founding members. 
Dr. Herman is an emergency physician and government affairs liaison for the Emergency Services Network in Nashville, as well as the Tennessee regional medical director for Valley Emergency Physicians Medical Group. He began his practice of emergency medicine in 1986 and has been a member of ACEP since, participating actively in ACEP’s Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee chapters. He currently is president of the Tennessee Chapter.
At the national level, Dr. Herman has served as a councillor since 1989 and as a member of the Council Steering Committee from 2000-2002. He also has chaired two sections and served as a member of the Emergency Medicine Practice, Bylaws and Finance Committees, as well as a member of the first two Work Force Studies and the second ACEP Report Card working group.
Dr. Herman received his medical degree from The American University of the Caribbean and trained in general surgery in Ann Arbor, Mich. Has also has a master’s degree in zoology from Eastern Michigan University.
  • Council Meritorious Service Award
Marilyn J. Heine, MD, FACEP, FACP, received this award, which is given forconsistent contributions to the growth and effectiveness of ACEP’s Council. She practices emergency medicine at Mercy Suburban Hospital in Norristown, Penn., and hematology oncology in Langhorne, Penn. This year, she will serve as president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society, her achievement in a career marked by outstanding accomplishments.
Dr. Heine has been active in ACEP at the chapter and national levels since the early 1992. She was president of the Pennsylvania Chapter from 2004-2005 and has served on national ACEP committees, including State Legislative/Regulatory, Quality & Performance, Nominating and Federal Government Affairs, where she also was chair. She has been a dedicated councillor from 1998-2006 and again 2009-2010. Dr. Heine has testified before Congress and the Pennsylvania General Assembly on behalf of physicians, and has met with President George W. Bush and legislative leaders.
Dr. Heine is the recipient of many honors, including the R. William Alexander, MD, Award from the Pennsylvania Medical Political Action Committee, the Patients’ Choice Award, the Hero of Emergency Medicine Award, the Dr. Benjamin Rush Award, Pennsylvania ACEP’s Meritorious Service Award, the U.S. Senate Republican Conference Certificate of Distinguished Service, the ACEP 911 Legislative Network Member of the Year and the Bucks County YWCA’s Award for Women Who Make A Difference.
Dr. Heine received her medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She is board certified in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology.
  • Honorary Membership Award
Leah J. Heimbach, JD, RN,received this award, which recognizes outstanding service to ACEP or to the medical profession.  
Ms. Heimbach is a practicing attorney and co-owner and principal of Health Management Solutions LLC, a health care management consulting firm with offices in West Virginia and the metro Washington, D.C. area. From August 1987 to May 2011, she served as executive director of West Virginia ACEP.
Ms. Heimbach came to emergency medicine as a clinician, first as an emergency nurse, nurse supervisor, paramedic, flight paramedic and then as a successful paramedic educator. She served as chair of the Advanced Cardiac Life Support Executive Committee for the state and rose to the position of board member and officer within Basic Trauma Life Support International. She is the author of multiple EMS book chapters and journal articles and has secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in grant money for local EMS agencies over the years.
Ms. Heimbach has degrees in nursing and health education from Fairmont State College, and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from West Virginia University College of Law. She received her law degree from West Virginia University in 1995 and has served as general counsel for two of the largest hospitals in the state.
  • Honorary Membership Award
Arthur E. Auerreceived this award, which recognizes volunteer commitment to strengthening the community and the specialty of emergency medicine. He is well known and respected in emergency medicine for the critical role he played in the creation and development of ACEP as its first executive director.
Hired as a consultant by ACEP founder John Wiegenstein in 1968, he served as executive director from 1970-1981. During his tenure, he built an effective staff, encouraged membership growth, developed the Scientific Assembly into a major annual event, launched the college’s peer-reviewed journal-then known as the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians-supported the creation of the American Board of Emergency Medicine and forged valuable relationships within the House of Medicine. He also oversaw the college’s move to Irving, Texas, into a building that still serves admirably today.
Mr. Auer currentlyis executive director of the Collin-Fannin County Medical Society, a post he created in partnership with the society’s leaders in 2008. He has held positions in medical society executive management, including positions with the Los Angeles County Medical Association, the San Joaquin Medical Society and the Palm Beach Medical Society. He has also held leadership positions with Professional Healthcare Consultants, International Medical Centers HMO in Palm Beach County and American Emergicenters Inc.
Mr. Auer holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences with an emphasis in business management and graphic arts from Western Michigan University.
 About The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP)

ACEP is a 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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