American College of Rheumatology Announces Its 2023 Award Recipients
October 17, 2023 | ACR News
Leading rheumatology researchers, thought leaders, and practitioners honored for accomplishments and service during the College’s annual meeting
ATLANTA – The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP) proudly recognizes more than 50 recipients of its 2023 Master of the ACR and ARP designations, ACR Awards of Distinction, and ARP Awards of Merit and Appreciation during ACR Convergence 2023, the ACR’s annual meeting. These awards are presented annually to members who exhibit outstanding contributions to the ACR, the ARP, and the field of rheumatology.
Presidential Gold Medal
The Presidential Gold Medal, the highest award that the ACR can bestow, is awarded in recognition of outstanding achievements in rheumatology over an entire career. Established by the past presidents of the ACR, candidates will have made important contributions in multiple areas such as clinical medicine, research, education or administration. Funding support for this award of distinction is provided by the Rheumatology Research Foundation. This year, the ACR is proud to bestow this honor to:
Ellen M. Gravallese, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
ACR Awards of Distinction
The ACR also recognizes leading researchers, clinicians, mentors, and other professionals exhibiting superior commitment to the advancement of the field of rheumatology with the Awards of Distinction honors. Winners of this year’s awards are as follows:
Distinguished Basic/Translational Investigator Award
John Varga, MD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Distinguished Basic/Translational Investigator Award is awarded to a basic or translational investigator making outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology.
Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award
Daniel J. Wallace, MD, Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California
The Distinguished Clinician Scholar Award is awarded to a rheumatologist who has made outstanding contributions in clinical medicine, clinical scholarship or education.
Henry Kunkel Early Career Investigator Award
Jason S. Knight, MD, PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Henry Kunkel Early Career Investigator Award is awarded to an early career physician scientist, who is 12 years post Rheumatology certifying examination eligibility, who has made outstanding and promising independent contributions to basic, translational or clinical research in the field of rheumatology.
Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award
Peter A. Merkel, MD, MPH, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award is awarded to a clinical scientist making outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology. This award was known as the Clinical Research Award prior to 2006.
Paulding Phelps Award
Kelly Weselman, MD, RhMSUS, FACP, Wellstar Health System, Smyrna, Georgia
The Paulding Phelps Award is awarded to a clinical rheumatologist for outstanding service to patients, community and the practice of medicine.
Distinguished Fellowship Program Director Award
Robert Picard Sundel, MD, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
The Distinguished Fellowship Program Director Award is awarded to a current or former rheumatology program director that has made outstanding contributions in the mentoring and training of future rheumatologists. ACR members in good standing who are current or former rheumatology program directors for a minimum of five years and who participate in related ACR educational activities.
Distinguished International Rheumatology Professional Award
Debashish Danda, MD, DM, FACR, FRCP, MBBS, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India
Distinguished International Rheumatology Professional Award is awarded to a rheumatologist or rheumatology health professional outside of the US and Canada for exceptional contributions in public service and advocacy to the global rheumatology community.
Innovation in Clinical Care Award
Thomas Paul Olenginski, MD, FACP, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania
Innovation in Clinical Care Award is awarded to a community rheumatologist who has significantly advanced the practice of rheumatology though novel clinical initiatives. This may be accomplished through innovation in clinical practice design or quality, development of cutting-edge methods to improve health equity in rheumatology, cost savings initiatives, creative approaches in mentoring in community practice, or other innovations that improve the care of patients with rheumatic disease and/or advance the rheumatology subspecialty.
Distinguished Service Award
Erin Lois Arnold, MD, Arnold Arthritis and Rheumatology, Skokie, Illinois
The Distinguished Service Award is awarded to an ACR member for outstanding and sustained service to the ACR.
Master of the ACR Designation
Recognition as an ACR Master is one of the highest honors that the College bestows on its distinguished members. The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members, age 65 or older, who have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students, and the rheumatology profession. These honorees have devoted their long careers to furthering rheumatology research and improving clinical standards in the treatment of rheumatic diseases.
The 2023 recipients of the Master of the ACR designation are:
- Alfred Denio, MD, FACR, MACR, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pennsylvania
- Ann Rosenthal, MD, FACP, FACR, MACR, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- B. Anne Eberhard, MBBS, MSc, MACR, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, New Hyde Park, New York
- Arthur Kavanaugh, MD, FACR, MACR, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California
- David Karp, MD, PhD, FACR, MACR, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
- Enrique Roberto Soriano, MD, MSc, MACR, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Jorge Sanchez-Guerrero, MD, MSc, FACR, MACR, University Health Network/Sinai Health System, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- Gail Kerr, MD, FRCP(Edin), FACR, MACR, Washington, D.C. Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Georgetown University, Howard University, Washington, District of Columbia
- Gary Koretzky, MD, PhD, MACR, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
- George A. W. Bruyn, MD, PhD, FACR, MACR, Reumakliniek Lelystad, Lelystad, Netherlands
- Geraldine McCarthy, MD, FRCPI, FACR, MACR, University College Dublin, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
- Gregory Dennis, MD, FACR, MACR, IQVIA, Durham, North Carolina
- Jonathan Kay, MD, FACR, MACR, University of Massachusetts, Chan Medical School, Worcester, Massachusetts
- Jorg Goronzy, MD, PhD, FACR, MACR, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
- Joseph Eugene Huffstutter, MD, FACP, FACR, MACR, Arthritis Associates, Hixson, Tennessee
- Kent Kwoh, MD, FACR, MACR, University of Arizona Arthritis Center, University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson, Tucson, Arizona
- Leslie Crofford, MD, FACR, MACR, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
- Linda Ilene Ray, MD, FACR, MACR, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
- Maria E. Suarez-Almazor, MD, PhD, FACR, MACR, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
- Peter Gorevic, MD, FACR, MACR, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York
- Robert Taylor Schoen, MD, MBA, FACR, MACR, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
- Sharon L. Kolasinski, MD, FACR, MACR, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Sherine Emily Gabriel, MD, MSc, FACR, MACR, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona
- Syed Atiqul Haq, MD, FACR, MACR, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Shahbag, Dhaka, Bangladesh
- Wolfgang A. Schmidt, MD, MACR, Immanuel Krankenhaus Berlin, Medical Center for Rheumatology Berlin-Buch, and Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
Distinguished Fellow Award
The Distinguished Fellow Award recognizes up to ten clinical and research fellows who are in a rheumatology fellowship training program and who have performed meritoriously.
The 2023 recipients of the Distinguished Fellow Award are:
- Bryanna Mantilla, MD, PhD, MPH, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
- Caoilfhionn Marie Connolly, MD, MSc Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
- Caroline Haley Siegel, MD, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York
- Gregory McDermott, MD, MPH, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
- Mariana Correia Marques, MD, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
- Monica Yang, MD, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California
- Sali Merjanah, MD, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts
- Sarah Donohue, MD, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin
- Vanessa Kronzer, MD, MSc, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
- Wilson Kuswanto, MD, PhD, Stanford Medicine, Stanford, California
ARP Awards of Appreciation
ARP President’s Award
The ARP President's Award is awarded to the ACR/ARP member or team performing outstanding service within the present year in advancing the goals, ideals, and standards of the ARP.
This year, the ARP President’s Award is presented to all members of the ARP Governance Task Force.
- Jan K. Richardson, PT, PhD, OCS, FAPTA (Co-Chair), Medical Outcome Indicators, Durham, North Carolina
- Yvonne Golightly, PT, PhD, MS (Co-Chair), University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
- Bharati Bhardwaja, PharmD, BCPS, LSSBB, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Denver, Colorado
- Kaleb Michaud, PhD, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska
- Daniel Schaffer, PA-C, MPAS, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
ARP Awards of Merit
ARP Awards of Merit recognize the following: Lifetime Achievement Award, President’s Award, Addie Thomas Service Award, Ann Kunkel Advocacy Award, Distinguished Scholar Award, Distinguished Educator Award, Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award, and Master Designation. . Winners of this year’s awards are as follows:
ARP Lifetime Achievement Award
Jan K. Richardson, PT, PhD, OCS, FAPTA, Medical Outcome Indicators, Durham, North Carolina
The Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to a current or former member of ARP whose career has demonstrated a sustained and lasting contribution to the field of rheumatology and rheumatology health professionals.
ARP Addie Thomas Service Award
Christine Stamatos, DNP, Northwell Health, Division of Rheumatology, Huntington, New York
Hazel L. Breland, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Medical University of South Carolina, Hollings Cancer Center, Charleston, South Carolina
The Addie Thomas Service Award is presented to an ARP member in honor of our Association's first president and recognizes individuals who have been an active volunteer involved with local, regional/state, national, and/or international arthritis-related activities.
ARP Ann Kunkel Advocacy Award
Jillian Rose-Smith, PhD, MPH, MSW, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York
The Ann Kunkel Award is presented to an ARP member who has provided extraordinary service to advocate for patients with arthritis and rheumatic diseases or for health professionals in rheumatology.
ARP Distinguished Scholar Award
Helene Alexanderson, PhD, RPT, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
The ARP Distinguished Scholar Award is presented to an ARP member who demonstrates exceptional achievements in scholarly activities pertinent to arthritis and rheumatic diseases.
ARP Distinguished Clinician Award
Martha Curry, MS, APRN, CPNP-PC, Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston, Texas
The ARP Distinguished Clinician Award is presented to an ARP member who is engaged in clinical practice and demonstrates outstanding clinical expertise in arthritis and rheumatic diseases.
ARP Distinguished Educator Award
Jessica Farrell, PharmD, Albany College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, and Albany Medical Center, Albany, New York
The Distinguished Educator Award is presented to an ARP member who has demonstrated sustained excellence in the teaching of patients and students/trainees, including health professional students, medical students, residents, graduate students, and/or fellows, with their primary focus being rheumatology related content.
Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award
Daniel White, PT, ScD, MSc, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware
The Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award recognizes the importance of the mentor/mentee relationship. A dedicated mentor can significantly influence the successful development and career of a mentee. This award honors an active ACR or ARP member for their contributions to the rheumatology profession through outstanding and ongoing mentoring. Funding support for this award of distinction is provided by the Rheumatology Research Foundation.
Master of the ARP Designation
Recognition as an ARP Master is one of the highest honors that the College bestows. The designation of Master is conferred on ARP members, age 65 or older, who have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through service to the ACR/ARP and advancements in research, practice, education, and/or advocacy.
The 2023 recipients of the Master of the ARP designation are:
Kimberly Kimpton, PT, MARP, Retired, Denver, Colorado
Catherine L Backman OT, PhD, MARP, Retired, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
All nomination submissions are reviewed by the ACR’s Membership and Awards Committee, a joint committee composed of both ACR and ARP volunteers. Nominees are considered for an award based on criteria that range from their academic and scholarly representation to their rheumatology service record both inside and outside the College.
About ACR Convergence
ACR Convergence, the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, is where rheumatology meets to collaborate, celebrate, congregate, and learn. With more than 240 sessions and thousands of abstracts, it offers a superior combination of basic science, clinical science, business education and interactive discussions to improve patient care.
About the American College of Rheumatology
Founded in 1934, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) is a not-for-profit, professional association committed to advancing the specialty of rheumatology that serves nearly 8,500 physicians, health professionals, and scientists worldwide. In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatology professionals are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases.
About the Association of Rheumatology Professionals
The Association of Rheumatology Professionals (ARP) is a division of the American College of Rheumatology built by rheumatology professionals, for rheumatology professionals. Our goal is to empower rheumatology professionals by providing education, advocacy, and practice management tools.
About the Rheumatology Research Foundation
The Rheumatology Research Foundation is the largest private funding source of rheumatology research and training programs in the U.S. Established in 1985, the Foundation is focused on advancing patient care and accelerating discoveries in rheumatic diseases.