July 22, 2017

ACU Announces 2016 Award Recipients

ACU Announces 2016 Award Recipients

Leaders In Health Care Access Honored At 2016 Annual Conference

McLean, VA – The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) awarded its highest honors, the Clinician of the Year, Organizational Excellence, and the Congressional Champion award winners during the 2016 Annual Conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington D.C.  ACU also selected a winning poster session submission during the Conference.

“This year’s award winners reflect the strength, breadth, and depth of knowledge and passion for the underserved that exists within ACU’s membership,” says Craig Kennedy, Executive Director of ACU. “Our Awards Committee was inspired by their dedication to serving poor urban and rural communities, their innovative approaches to meet the needs of a diverse population, and successful transdisciplinary models of health care. They’re truly role models who ‘walk the talk’ of what it means to make a difference.”

Selections by the Awards Committee are based on an evaluation of category–specific criteria. The 2016 ACU Award winners are:

Clinician of the Year

Dr. DeLeonThe Clinician of the Year is awarded to Dr. Samuel DeLeon, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for Urban Health Plan (UHP) in Bronx, New York for his outstanding leadership in expanding UHP to 9 health centers, 9 school based, and 3 part time clinics. He spearheaded UHP’s adoption of health IT, supported a mentorship program to foster clinical retention, and developed a successful pay for performance program. Valuing continuous quality improvement, Dr. DeLeon co-founded the Institute for the Advancement of Community Health, created a Best Practices Committee, and guided a Community-Research Unit through clinical trials. Under his leadership, UHP was awarded the Asthma Leadership Award by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Dr. DeLeon’s commitment to service for vulnerable communities is evident through his work over the past 20 years.

Organizational Excellence

Family First logoThe Organizational Excellence Award is given to Family First Health in York, Pennsylvania for their dedication to providing culturally competent, team-based health care for underserved populations. As a primary care facility that offers universal HIV testing, brings care to rural areas, and invests in oral health and integrated behavioral health, they have demonstrated their role as a leader in community health issues. They build workforce from the communities they serve, and foster economic stability through generations.

Congressional Champion

The Congressional Champion Award is given to Senator Al Franken who has dedicated himself fully to advocating for affordable, high-quality health care as a fundamental right, regardless of income or health status. He serves as the Chairman of the Senate Rural Health Caucus, which prioritized strengthening the National Health Service Corps, and has sponsored many bills promoting health equity, including the Comprehensive Justice and Mental Health Act of 2015.

Poster Session Presentation

The winner of the poster presentation was “Increasing Colon Cancer Screening Using FIT Testing in Primary Care” by Dr. Jennifer Genuardi, Director of Clinical Best Practices and Clinical Evaluation at Urban Health Plan in Bronx, New York.  As the winner of the poster presentation, Dr. Genuardi has the opportunity to submit an article on her research to the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved, the official publication of ACU. The lead judge for the poster presentations was Dr. Virginia Brennan, the editor of the Journal.

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The Association of Clinicians for the Underserved is a transdisciplinary organization established in 1996 by participants and alumni of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC).  ACU’s members are comprised of clinicians, health care organizations, and advocates united in a common mission to improve America’s underserved populations and to enhance the development and support of the health care clinicians serving these populations. Programs include professional education, clinical tools, advocacy, patient education, training and technical assistance.