One of the highlights each year during the CMDA National Convention is the presentation of the Servant of Christ, Educator, Missionary and President’s Heritage Awards. You are invited to nominate CMDA colleagues for three of these four awards, while the Missionary of the Year Award is selected by the CMDE Commission.
A one-page summary of the person’s achievements and why they should be considered can be submitted to CMDA's Board of Trustees, by fax to 423-844-1017 (Attn: Board of Trustees) or mailed to CMDA, Attn: Board of Trustees, P.O. Box 7500, Bristol, TN 37621.
Servant of Christ Award
In 1972, the Board of Trustees of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations established the “Man of the Year’ award. This action was taken to honor those distinguished physicians or dentists whose careers have blended well the attributes of committed Christians and competent clinicians. The title of this award was changed at a later date to the Servant of Christ.
Beyond these two talents, however, the designee selected must exemplify one additional characteristic, namely, a remarkable commitment to excellence in the fields of medical missions, clinical research, patient care or medical ethics. This award is given when, in the judgment of the Trustees, the contributions of such a clinician are called to our attention and merit recognition. Though honors and awards in this life may have only temporal significance, nonetheless, they can make the consensus of responsible peer review that wishes to recognize the remarkable careers some in our midst have achieved under the grace of God. To recognize these clinicians is to honor their diligence and to remind students that worthy role models do exist in the Christian medical and dental communities.
The Servant of Christ award, begun in 1972, honors those distinguished physicians or dentists:
- whose careers have blended well the attributes of committed Christian and competent clinician;
- have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to excellence in fields of medical missions, clinical research, patient care or medical ethics.
PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS
|2020||Dr. T. Bob Davis|
|2019||Eugene G. Rudd, MD|
|2018||Rick Donlon, MD|
|2017||Dr. Ed and Mrs. Debby Read|
|2016||Bill Rambo, MD, and Lydia Engelhardt, MD|
|2015||Dr. William and Mrs. Dorothy Ardill|
|2014||Robert F. Agnew, MD|
|2013||Dr. Richard and Millie Bransford|
|2012||Dr. Eugene Carroll Stone|
|2011||Dr. James D. Smith|
|2010||Dr. David Thompson|
|2009||Dr. Robert Orr|
|2008||Dr. Sam & Dorothy Molind|
|2007||Dr. Haddon Robinson|
|2006||Dr. Dan Fountain|
|2005||Dr. Ed Pelligrino|
|2004||Drs. Lorraine & Charles Kelley|
|2003||Dr. Harold & Bonnie Adolph|
|2002||Dr. Dorothy Barbo|
|2001||Dr. David & Deidre Topazian|
|2000||Dr. Robert & Carolyn Kingsbury|
|1999||Dr. Jack & Joan Hough|
|1998||Drs.Tom & Cynthia Hale|
|1997||Dr. Marvin & Mary Jane Jewell|
|1996||Dr. Robert & Marian Schindler|
|1995||Dr. Peter Boelens|
|1994||Robert & Norma Rodriguez|
|1993||Dr. John Frame|
|1992||Dr. Viggo Olsen|
|1991||Dr. William A. Johnson|
|1990||Dr. C. Everett Koop|
|1989||Dr. Ernest & Sue Steury|
|1988||Drs. David & Martha Stewart|
|1987||Dr. Norval & Dorothy Christy|
|1986||Dr. John Robert Brobeck|
|1985||Dr. Douglas & Lois Harper|
|1983||Dr. Theodora C. Johnson|
|1982||Dr. Paul Brand|
|1981||Dr. P. Kenneth Gieser|
|1980||Dr. Ralph Blocksma|
|1977||Dr. Gustav Hemwall|
|1973||Paul E. Adolph|
|1972||Dr. Ernest J. Gregory|
Educator of the Year Award
The Educator of the Year award recognizes outstanding achievement in the area of medical or dental education. In particular, recipients of this award must demonstrate:
- an ability to instill in students a desire for professional excellence, lifelong learning, ethical integrity and compassion for the suffering;
- unquestioned personal integrity and superior professional competence;
- a commitment to biblical truth and the integration of faith and practice.
PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS
|2019||William P. Cheshire, MD|
|2018||Burton W. Lee, MD|
|2017||Dr. William and Mrs. Judith Wood|
|2016||John E. Woods, MD|
|2015||Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Michelle Steffes|
|2014||James N. Thompson, MD, FACS|
|2013||Dr. Louis Carter & Anne Carter|
|2012||Dr. Bruce V. MacFadyen, Jr.|
|2011||Dr. Richard G. Topazian|
|2010||Dr. Lawrence Norton|
|2009||Dr. John D. Mellinger|
|2008||Dr. George Mikhail|
|2007||Dr. Warren A. Heffron|
|2006||Dr. John F. Kilner|
|2005||Dr. David B. Larson|
|2004||Dr. Timothy C. Pennell|
|2003||Dr. Richard Swenson & Linda Swenson|
|2002||Dr. John Patrick|
|2001||Dr. John and Janet Crouch|
|2000||Dr. Walter and Barbara Larimore|
|1999||Drs. Charles Kelley & Loraine Kelley|
|1998||Dr. Joe McIlhaney, Jr.|
|1997||Dr. Robin and Mrs. Rita Catlin|
President's Heritage Award
The President’s Heritage award, begun in 1998, is to be given to an individual who has contributed greatly to the furtherance of the objectives and goals of CMDA, and to the strength and influence of the Associations. This award is intended to be a special recognition of a specific and unique instance of service or of a pattern of service to healthcare that reflects Christian values and principles. This award may be given to a person who is or is not a member of CMDA.
PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS
|2019||Hal Habecker, Dmin|
|2017||Richard A. Swenson, MD|
|2016||John Patrick, MB, BS, MRCP, MD|
|2015||Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Sandy Keenan|
|2014||Dr. Merlynn (Lynn) and Mrs. Joan Colip|
|2013||Dr. Robert Scheidt|
|2012||Dr. Peter E. Dawson|
|2011||Dr. William P. Wilson|
|2008||Dr. William Standish Reed|
|2007||Dr. William A. Johnson|
|2006||Dr. Richard Roach|
|2004||Dr. David Dageforde|
|2003||Dr. David Hager|
|2002||Joe Gregory & John Gregory|
|2001||Rev. Marti Ensign|
|2000||Gerald & Bonnye Swim|
|1999||Don Westra, JD & Mae Westra|
Missionary of the Year Award
The Missionary of the Year award is presented each year to missionary doctors who:
- personify the qualities of a missionary; namely, a love and passion for reaching unbelievers with the gospel, an attitude of humility and service, and a courageous and persevering faith;
- demonstrate outstanding effectiveness in ministry, which may or may not be measured in terms of individuals won to the faith;
- inspire others to develop a heart for missions and to serve as full-time or short-term missionaries.
PAST AWARD RECIPIENTS
|2019||Michael G. O’Callaghan, DDS|
|2017||Dr. Ken Chapman|
|2015||Kenneth C. Hinton, MD, FAAP|
|2012||Dr. Bruce M. Dahlman|
|2011||Dr. Tim and Mrs. Muriel Teusink|
|2010||Dr. Neil O. Thompson|
|2009||Drs. Donald & Sarah Duvall|
|2008||Dr. Robert & Karon Chapman|
|2007||Dr. Bob & Beth Merki|
|2006||Dr. Margaret E. Brand|
|2005||Dr. Wallace Swanson|
|2004||Drs. Stanley & Ane Marie Topple|
|2003||Dr. Rebekah Naylor|
|2002||Dr. & Mrs. James Jewell|
|2001||Dr. William & Laura Barnett|
|2000||Dr. Daniel & Miriam Fountain|
|1999||Dr. Robert Foster & Belva Foster|
|1998||Dr. Carolyn Klaus|
|1997||Dr. Harold Paul & Bonnie Jo Adolph|
|1995||Dr. Walter Hull|
2022 CMDA Member Awards
2022 Servant of Christ Award
Alva Weir, III, MD, FACP
“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12, ESV).
Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2022 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Al Weir.
Al was raised by a Christian physician father and a Bible teaching mother in Memphis, Tennessee. He can’t remember when he gave his life to Christ but came to love Jesus deeply as a boy and continues to do so. Growing up with a physician father, Al knew he wanted to follow in his footsteps and become a doctor. He graduated from University of Tennessee Medical School, completed internal medicine residency at both Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and University of Tennessee in Memphis, and was board certified in internal medicine with certifications in hematology and oncology. He married his life-long love, Becky, in medical school. After a few years of practice, God called Al and Becky to international missions. They began serving at Eku Baptist Hospital in Eku, Nigeria in 1983, along with 5-year-old daughter Jennifer and 6-week-old daughter Catherine. Their plan for career international missions was cut short by family health issues, so they returned to the U.S. where their son Bowen was born. After a few years on the University of Tennessee faculty, Dr. Weir entered private practice, while also continuing as adjunct faculty at the medical school.
In his own words, Al said, “For most of my youth, my goal was to become a Christian doctor, like my father. When I finally got there, I realized I did not know what that meant. After a few years of practice, God called my family to foreign missions and we were able to serve Him in Nigeria for the two hardest and most fun years of my life. When we had to return for my wife’s health, I was stuck again trying to figure out what it means to be a Christian doctor. I have been on that path of discovery ever since.”
For a few years, Al felt lost without his mission life, but one morning after a long run, God clearly spoke to him and said, “I have a mission for you if you really want one. I want you to learn how to become a Christian doctor and then be one.” He took this calling seriously, and he became plugged into CMDA as a campus advisor and later as the leader of CMDA’s Memphis local council. In addition, Dr. Bill Johnson tapped Dr. Weir on the shoulder in need of an oncologist to work with him, and many others, as part of the Albanian Health Fund, an educational evangelism mission. He has now been serving with that mission for 29 years. He received an honorary doctorate from the medical university in Tirana, Albania for his educational work. More importantly, he developed many long-term relationships with faculty and students with the very deliberate goal of leading them to Christ.
Al continued to grow his involvement with CMDA and became a state representative for the House of Representatives, then a member of CMDA’s Board of Trustees and then he served as president from 2001 to 2003. In 2005, God again asked Al to focus on occupational ministry and brought him to Bristol, Tennessee to serve as CMDA’s Vice President for Campus & Community Ministries, where he served until 2008. He later served a second term as president from 2017 to 2019. During that time, he began to write a weekly devotional for CMDA that continues today. Dr. Weir has written and contributed to several books published by CMDA, including Practice by the Book with Dr. Gene Rudd, When Your Doctor Has Bad News, Decisions and Whispers, a daily devotional book for Christian healthcare professionals. He also edited The Doctor’s Bible with CMDA for Holman Publishing and contributed chapters for The Handbook of Medicine for Developing Countries.
Currently, Dr. Weir serves as professor of medicine at University of Tennessee Health Science Center, section chief for hematology and oncology at the VA Medical Center in Memphis and Program Director for the hematology and oncology fellowship at the University of Tennessee. Al and Becky will be celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary this year. When there is time, Al likes to run and read a bit, but his greatest joys are Jesus, Becky, his children and his grandchildren. His greatest sources of strength are Jesus and Becky.
In recognition of a life focused on serving God no matter where His call leads, we proudly present the 2022 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Al Weir.
2022 Educator of the Year Award
Farr Curlin, MD
“I sensed early in my medical training that something had gone wrong at the heart of our profession. I came to medical training confident that caring for those who are sick would readily fit into my vocation as a Christian. In seven years of medical school and residency training, I do not recall a medical educator ever encouraging me or my fellow trainees to consider how the substance of our faith informs the practice of medicine.”
—Farr Curlin, MD
The Educator of the Year Award is presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to using healthcare education to change the world. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to his dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2022 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Farr Curlin.
Farr Curlin is the fourth of seven children born to John and Leeba Curlin of Jackson, Tennessee. Farr was introduced to Jesus primarily through the faithful witness of his parents and grandparents, and he was baptized at an early age. He also was introduced to CMDA at a young age, because his faither John is a retired obstetrician gynecologist and a longtime CMDA member. Farr’s brother Howard, also a longtime CMDA member, is on the OB/Gyn faculty at Vanderbilt University, and Howard’s wife Michelle was once on staff at CMDA.
Farr was “baptized” twice as a North Carolina Tarheel, completing both his bachelor’s degree and his medical degree at the University of North Carolina, where he also met his wife Kimberly. Farr and Kimberly spent the first 14 years of their marriage in Chicagoland, and most of those years they were part of the community surrounding the Lawndale Christian Health Center. That community, and particularly those who were part of the church Nueva Vida La Villita, deeply shaped Farr and Kimberly. Meanwhile, their four children, David, Andrew, Caroline and Gigi were all born at the University of Chicago’s Lying-in Hospital. At the University of Chicago, Farr completed internal medicine residency and fellowships in health services research and clinical ethics. He joined the faculty in 2003 and went on to found and co-direct the University of Chicago’s Program on Medicine and Religion, while also founding, with colleagues, the annual Conference on Medicine and Religion, now in its 11th year. In 2014, Dr. Curlin accepted an offer from Duke University to become the Josiah Trent Professor of Medical Humanities in the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities and History of Medicine.
Farr’s studies of Christian tradition regarding health and medicine led him to grapple with the history of the church and its witness in the world. Since moving to North Carolina, Farr and Kimberly have been members of Church of the Apostles in Raleigh, where they appreciate being part of the Anglican tradition shared by Farr’s intellectual hero, C.S. Lewis. At Duke, Farr holds joint appointments in the School of Medicine, where he teaches medical ethics and practices hospice and palliative medicine, and also the Divinity School, where with his friend Dr. Warren Kinghorn, he co-directs the Theology, Medicine and Culture Initiative (or “TMC”). The TMC initiative offers in-depth Christian theological training for those with vocations in healthcare. The initiative has trained more than 70 fellows and now includes a hybrid track for practicing clinicians who want deeper theological training regarding medicine but cannot relocate to North Carolina.
Dr. Curlin has authored more than 130 articles and book chapters dealing with the moral and spiritual dimensions of medical practice, and he is also co-author of The Way of Medicine: Ethics and the Healing Profession (released by Notre Dame in 2021). The Way of Medicine articulates and defends an account of medicine and medical ethics meant to challenge the reigning provider of services model, in which clinicians eschew any claim to know what is good for a patient and instead offer an array of “health care services” for the sake of the patient’s subjective well-being. Through his work with this book, Farr is committed to contending for good medicine in our time.
In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2022 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Farr Curlin.
2022 Missionary of the Year Award
Dr. Harry and Mrs. Echo VanderWal
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” —Matthew 25:21, NIV
The CMDA Missionary of the Year Award exists to honor outstanding missionary healthcare professionals who give countless hours to bring healing and God’s light to those who are suffering. The missionaries we recognize each year have been instruments of God to inspire others to develop a heart for missions. It is an honor for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to present the 2022 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Harry and Mrs. Echo VanderWal.
Long before meeting each other, Harry and Echo VanderWal each sensed God’s call to serve as healthcare missionaries in Africa. Both Harry and Echo grew up in Christ-centered families, where listening for and responding to God’s voice was practiced and encouraged. For Harry, the call came at age 17. Following a love for mathematics, Harry had considered becoming a calculus professor. While browsing through the university course catalog as a college freshman, Harry saw the course offerings for the pre-med track and thought, “That makes sense. I could serve God as a doctor.” For Echo, the call came even earlier in life—in a church service at the age of 8. In that service, she had a distinct sense God was inviting her to join in what He was already doing in Africa. She shared the experience with her parents, who encouraged her to pursue that calling. In turn, she pursued a pre-med track in college, where she sought out the smartest person in the room to be her lab partner. That person was Harry.
Harry and Echo fell in love in two senses: they fell in love with the idea of serving God together, and they also fell in love with each other. The two married shortly after graduation and devoted themselves to preparing to respond to God’s call. Harry trained at Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio, specializing in internal medicine and pediatrics. Echo trained as a physician assistant at Kettering College of Medical Arts, then joined a surgical practice.
In Harry’s third year of medical school, the VanderWals welcomed triplets, Luke, Zebadiah and Jacob, to their family. With the blessing of triplets, the Vanderwals quickly learned to take challenges in stride and not worry about the little things—helpful training for eventually serving in a resource-limited country. In 2004, the VanderWals visited Eswatini, a country of just over one million people in southern Africa, for the first time. Then, as it still does today, Eswatini had the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the world. Seeing the devastation of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the VanderWals soon realized the magnitude of the health crisis could only be solved by a God-sized solution. When they returned for a second visit in 2005, God affirmed their call to Eswatini. After Harry completed his medical training, the couple and their family (then four children, with the addition of son Zion) moved to Eswatini in 2006 to serve the most isolated and underserved populations. There, they founded The Luke Commission and began growing the team. The name represents a deep conviction to treat both the medical and the spiritual, highlighting the importance of treating the whole person—body, mind and spirit—with compassionate and tender loving care.
From the earliest days of The Luke Commission, the VanderWals were advised to follow an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Working with local staff, the VanderWals began conducting mobile medical outreaches in rural and isolated communities. Local staff translated for them, offered cultural guidance and connected them to community leaders and traditional leadership structures. In 2013, God provided an opportunity to purchase a piece of property in central Eswatini, and generous donors from around the world united to raise the funds needed to purchase the property. A year later, an adjacent farm was also purchased to extend access to the largest river in Eswatini. As a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness, The Luke Commission team affectionately named the new property the Miracle Campus. Since 2013, the team has expanded its compassionate reach through the addition of 21 buildings to support increased medical and logistical capacity. Between the second and third waves of COVID-19 in Eswatini, God paved the way to build Eswatini’s first-ever oxygen production plant. At the height of the third wave in August 2021, the plant served a daily inpatient census of 138 COVID-19 inpatients, producing the equivalent of 700 cylinders of oxygen per day.
As TLC’s staff and impact grew over the years, the VanderWal family welcomed two more children, Hosanna in 2012, Gilead in 2015, and Ncamile in 2020, their daughter-in-love who married their son Luke. Today, The Luke Commission team serves patients 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year at the fixed-site Miracle Campus in central Eswatini and at hundreds of outreaches across the country each year. With more than 650 staff members, 38 departments and multi-disciplinary teams supporting on-site construction, supply chain logistics, meal preparation, medical care, engineering, systems, agriculture and hospitality, the Miracle Campus resembles a small town and serves as a hub of operations and the heartbeat of compassionate care throughout Eswatini.
Harry and Echo thank God for His invitation to serve in Eswatini, which they have called home for 16 years. For the many miracles to date and the ones yet to come, may they serve as a testament to God’s faithfulness as they seek to expand His kingdom through the ministry of compassionate medicine. In recognition of their devotion to cross-cultural service and their service as healthcare missionaries, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly presents the 2022 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Harry and Mrs. Echo VanderWal.
2022 President’s Heritage Award
Regina Frost, MD
“Our faith encompasses every aspect of our lives. My convictions, my faiths and my beliefs are much more important to me than what the government or my employer say. I have to answer to God. I will not allow them to force me to do anything that I felt was morally or ethically wrong. In fact, if they did that, I would be willing to leave medicine altogether if I had to. And that would be unfortunate, but I just cannot go against what I believe.” —Dr. Regina Frost
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2022 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Regina Frost. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.
Regina grew up in a single-parent home in Detroit, Michigan, and Detroit has been her home for her entire life. She realized at a young age that she wanted to be a doctor, and she credits that to God and His all-knowing plans for her life. Regina’s experiences as a young patient hit home for her, when she felt like she was just a number to her doctor, and it became her personal goal to treat her patients with compassion and to get to know them on a personal basis. As she grew in her faith, this became even more important to her.
Dr. Frost began her education in 1996 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, receiving a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Subsequently, she earned her medical degree at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, and then she performed her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at St. John Hospital and Medical Center also in Detroit. After beginning her career in 2008 with a medical group and in a hospital, Regina started her own private practice for women’s healthcare, while also teaching part-time at St. John Hospital and Medical Center. Furthering her experience in teaching from 2011 to 2017, Regina was a clinical assistant professor for Michigan State University in the Department of Osteopathic Surgical Specialties. In 2012, she became board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Today, she is an is an OB/Gyn with Ascension St. John Hospital in Detroit, Michigan. Regina has also been an active member of CMDA, where she is the current Chair of CMDA’s Women Physicians and Dentists in Christ, as well as a past speaker at their annual conference, and she is an elder at Detroit World Outreach Church. In addition, Dr. Frost has served abroad in mission trips to Jamaica, Brazil, Kenya and Uganda. She enjoys educating women about their health and seeing God work in the lives of her patients. She is married to Darren Clark, and they look forward to seeing how God will use them together to advance His kingdom.
In 2019, Dr. Frost was involved in a federal court case in which she was a named defendant, along with CMDA and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health and Human Services bravely released a new conscience rule enforcing existing laws that allow religious healthcare professionals to continue their important work in caring for patients without having to perform certain procedures that would be inconsistent with their beliefs or their conscience. However, several states sued to block this rule, which would have forced Dr. Frost and other healthcare professionals to either violate their conscience or end their practice. By agreeing to participate and be named a defendant in this case, Dr. Frost willingly stepped into the fray and testified in court on behalf of religious healthcare professionals nationwide. In this case, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty defended medical conscience rights so healthcare professionals just like Dr. Frost can continue their ministry providing compassionate care to their patients.
In her own words, Dr. Frost said, “I feel very uneasy and unsettled about the fact that there could be a court order that could cause me or other physicians to perform procedures such as abortions that we feel are morally wrong. That would cause me to want to leave healthcare altogether, which would be very unfortunate because I have a love for what I am doing. That’s why I am thankful for this opportunity to stand up and stand for our rights as physicians, as other healthcare professionals, and stand up for what is true.”
We are thankful for modern day Esthers just like Dr. Frost, who took a courageous stand for faith just as the biblical heroine did. In an age of increasing hostility toward believers in the healthcare arena on issues including abortion, assisted suicide, sex and gender, the faith community needs more Esthers and Daniels to stand up and speak out. In recognition of her dedicated support of CMDA and her courage in standing up for truth in the public square and in the courts to protect the right of conscience for healthcare professionals around the country, we are pleased to present the 2022 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Regina Frost.
2021 CMDA Member Awards
2021 Servant of Christ Award
Andrew Sanders, MD
“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12, ESV).
Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2021 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Andy Sanders.
Andy grew up in a U.S. Army family, and they lived in Washington, D.C., Japan and Brazil. In sixth grade, while his family was living in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, he heard the gospel from a U.S. missionary and accepted Christ as his Savior. When he attended undergraduate at the University of Maryland, he served in leadership for four years with Young Life, which is where he met his future wife Ilene. He joined the U.S. Army in 1977, the same year he graduated with his undergraduate degree. Andy and Ilene were married during his second year of medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. After graduating from medical school in 1981, he completed an internal medicine residency at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He then spent four years teaching internal medicine residents at Madigan Army Medical Center.
In 1988, he left the U.S. Army and moved to Augusta, Georgia to join an internal medicine practice with a Christian group. He was called back into service during Operation Desert Storm, and he served in Saudi Arabia as the director of the intensive care unit at the King Fahad National Hospital. After his service concluded, he returned to practicing internal medicine in Georgia. In 1992, he started Bible Study Fellowship for men in Georgia, and he continued to serve as the group’s teaching leader for 11 years. The class grew to a group of 350 men, meeting weekly to study, learn and apply God’s Word in their lives. He also served as one of the summer conference speakers for Officer’s Christian Fellowship, teaching God’s Word to military officers and spouses for one week each summer for 10 years.
Andy will say that he was fully satisfied with leading BSF, raising his family and growing his medical practice during this time in his life. However, while attending a medical conference in Boston, the Lord changed the trajectory of Andy and Ilene’s lives with one verse: Hebrews 4:1, which says, “Therefore, we must fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it” (NASB). After reading this verse, Andy found himself up most of the night, thinking, praying and writing about that verse. The concern was that, like the Israelites, he might lead his family to a nice life “in the wilderness” and miss the call to be with God, in Canaan, for the building of His kingdom in this generation. Andy returned home with a change in focus—a change from a focus on the “Christian life” to a focus on the “kingdom of God.” Andy and Ilene started a one-year monthly prayer meeting with two other couples, praying monthly for God’s kingdom and for the Lord to lead them however He desired into service with Him for the building of His kingdom. During that year, they made the decision to sell their house and prepare themselves for any new call the Lord might have upon their lives. Toward the end of the year, that call came when Andy received a life-changing email from former CMDA CEO Dr. David Stevens asking Andy to pray about coming on staff with CMDA. After much prayer and counsel, Andy left his full-time practice and left BSF in 1998, and together Andy and Ilene began their work to start a CMDA area ministry in Augusta.
In his new role with CMDA, Andy began leading mission trips with CMDA’s Global Health Outreach. Through the years, he led more than 40 teams, from established areas in Central America to new ministry areas in Moldova, Siberia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sumatra, Jordan and Nigeria. Around 2010, Andy was returning from a mission trip when he and a team member began discussing the kingdom of God. As the conversation progressed, they made the decision to prepare to go wherever God sent them. So they formed a group that would meet monthly to study missions, study the nations and pray for God to open a door and send them. After meeting for a period of two years, their prayer team was invited to travel to Bulgaria and Macedonia. While there, Macedonia’s Minister of Health requested to meet with Andy. In a formal meeting, the Minister asked Andy if he would lead a project to bring U.S. doctors of all specialties to Macedonia to help mentor their healthcare professionals. Andy and Ilene said yes to this proposal, seeing it as an open door to serve the people of Macedonia and for the Lord to advance His kingdom in Macedonia and through Macedonia to the nations. Together, Andy and Ilene lived in Macedonia for five years from 2013 to 2018, leading and building this work. During this time, more than 300 U.S. physicians visited Macedonia, as the project extended throughout hospitals and specialties in the capital city and into 12 other Macedonian cities throughout the country. Plus, it reached into all three of Macedonia’s medical schools. In 2018, after much prayer, the project leadership was turned over to Drs. Tim and Maureen Gaul, while Andy and Ilene stepped into a similar project in Serbia after seeing the Lord open new doors of opportunity to grow His kingdom through ministry to medical and dental students.
In the midst of their work in Macedonia and Serbia, Andy continued to lead the CMDA ministry in Augusta until recently in 2019. Andy and Ilene have five children and 12 grandchildren, who they enjoy spending time with when they are in the U.S. In recognition of a life focused on serving God no matter where His call leads, we proudly present the 2021 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Andy Sanders.
2021 Educator of the Year Award
C. Christopher Hook, MD, FACP
“The aim of medicine is to prevent disease and prolong life; the ideal of medicine is to eliminate the need of a physician.”
—William J. Mayo
The Educator of the Year Award is presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to using healthcare education to change the world. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to his dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2021 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. C. Christopher Hook.
Chris was born and raised in Carlinville, Illinois. His father was a civil electrical engineer and proud World War II U.S. Army veteran who taught Chris about service, justice and love for country. His mother was a schoolteacher and loving mother who instilled in Chris a love for learning and teaching. Chris graduated from Greenville College in Illinois with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and he received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. He received his training in internal medicine, hematology and medical oncology from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. During his training, Dr. Hook met a young nurse named Jodie at Sunday school, and they were married in 1987. During the first year of their marriage, Chris and Jodie both worked on the bone marrow transplant unit, but on opposite shifts. Their patients were invested in their love story, as they would leave love notes for each other on the unit. In 1990, they welcomed their first child, Andrew.
Upon completing his training, Dr. Hook joined the staff in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville in Florida. Shortly after relocating, Dr. Hook, who was in the United States Army Reserves, was activated to serve at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas during Operation Desert Storm. He resigned in 1996 as a major in the U.S. Army Reserve, Medical Corps, meaning that, yes, he did spend part of his service as “Captain Hook.” He received two Army Achievement Medals for his service during the first Gulf War. After his service in Operation Desert Storm, Dr. Hook returned to Jacksonville, where he created the Hospital Ethics Committee and Consultation Service at St. Luke’s Hospital. In 1992, Chris and Jodie welcomed their second child, Hillary. During their time in Jacksonville, their oldest child, Andrew, was diagnosed with special needs. At that time, there was limited options for pediatric care in Jacksonville, so Dr. Hook and his family moved back to Rochester, Minnesota in 1994. Their family continued growing through adoption, with Hope and Timothy.
During his time at Mayo Clinic Rochester, he founded the clinic’s Ethics Consultation Service. Additionally, he served as the first Chair of the Consultative Hematology/Non-Malignant Hematology Group of the Division of Hematology. He has also served as the Director of Ethics Education for the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine. He created the first online ethics education course and currently teaches three ethics courses for this program. Dr. Hook is also currently part of a team creating a master’s in bioethics program for Mayo Clinic. He was the founder of the Mayo Clinical Ethics Council and the Reproductive Medicine Advisory Board, and he assisted in the formation of the Transplantation Ethics Advisory Board and the Psychogenomic Ethics Advisory Board for Mayo Clinic Rochester. His work in the area of the ethics of genetic research led to an invitation to testify before the National Bioethics Advisory Commission in 1998. His experience with palliative care and end-of-life ethics led to an invitation to present a briefing to U.S. Senate staff concerning the Pain Relief Promotion Act. He was also invited to testify before the U.S. House of Representatives on the ethics of human embryonic stem cell research.
Since 2000, he has been a Senior Fellow of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity in Illinois, and he has served intermittently on CMDA’s Ethics Committee since 1994. Dr. Hook served for three years on the Secretary of Health and Human Services Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society; and he has served or is currently serving on the advisory boards for the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, the Center for Bioethics and Culture, the Center for Nanotechnology and Society, the Converging Technologies Bar Association, the Foresight Institute, the NanoEthics Group and the Center for Bioethics and Public Policy in the United Kingdom. Dr. Hook is currently a consultant in the Division of Hematology, with an appointment as a consultant in the Special Coagulation Laboratory in the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Emeritus Director of Ethics for the Mayo Clinic Office of Clinical Ethics, an associate professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester and an adjunct professor of bioethics at Trinity International University. Dr. Hook states that the greatest honor he has ever received is the love of God, his wife Jodie and his wonderful children. In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2021 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Christopher Hook.
2021 Missionary of the Year Award
Dr. Jim and Mrs. Kathy Radcliffe
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.”
—Matthew 9:35-36, ESV
The CMDA Missionary of the Year Award exists to honor outstanding missionary healthcare professionals who give countless hours to bring healing and God’s light to those who are suffering. The missionaries we recognize each year have been instruments of God to inspire others to develop a heart for missions. It is an honor for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to present the 2021 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Jim and Mrs. Kathy Radcliffe.
Dr. Jim Radcliffe grew up in a Nazarene pastor’s home in Virginia and Ohio. Kathy grew up on a farm in Xenia, Ohio, and she met Jim when they were singing together in a youth choir. They were married after graduating from Mt. Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Kathy received her bachelor’s degree in medical dietetics from Ohio State University in 1978. Next, Jim graduated from Ohio State University Medical School in 1979 and completed a residency in general surgery at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio in 1984.
Jim and Kathy both were called to missions early in life. Prior to medical school, Jim spent time serving as a missionary in Guatemala, while Kathy served in Belize, both through Youth in Mission, a program designed by the Church of Nazarene to give students practical mission experience. In 1979, while he was still in medical school, the Radcliffes traveled to Kudjip Nazarene Hospital in Papua New Guinea to serve as short-term missionaries. Back then, Kudjip was a 100-bed healthcare facility with outpatient clinics. Both of these mission trips affirmed their call to missions as a lifelong career.
Following his five years of surgery training and one year of surgical practice, the Radcliffes were appointed as missionaries to Papua New Guinea. They arrived in Papua New Guinea in 1985 with their two children, Ben and Bekah. And while living in Papua New Guinea, the Lord blessed them with four more children: Tim, Priscilla, Josiah and Lydia.
The Radcliffes made their mission field their home, spending 32 years serving as career healthcare missionaries at Kudjip Nazarene Hospital. During their years of service, they were involved in church work, women’s ministries and family ministries, in addition to Jim’s work at the hospital. When Jim was not in the operating room, he enjoyed caring for in-patients and out-patients, watching and playing sports, practicing his trumpet and speaking in the churches all around Papua New Guinea. He also was a clinical instructor for medical students and residents from the U.S., England, Australia and New Zealand who traveled to and trained at the hospital. In more recent years, the hospital has also been training medical students and residents from Papua New Guinea. This was one of the greatest joys to see doctors from Papua New Guinea catch the vision of praying with their patients and to learn to perform surgery. Kathy assisted by filling various support roles with children, women, volunteers and hospital staff.
They also loved to play lots of sports on their mission station, especially with the missionary kids. They enjoyed the nice mountains to climb and rivers to swim in along with walking their dog in the early morning. They looked forward to their fellowship time in homes in the evening and making music together.
In 1998, Jim received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities. During home assignments in the United States in 2006 and 2010, Jim served as the missionary in residence and an instructor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, his alma mater, teaching vertebrate physiology, general biology, bioethics, anatomy and other courses. And in 2007, the American Medical Association presented him with the Dr. Nathan Davis International Award in Medicine.
In December 2017, after 32 years on the mission field, Jim and Kathy retired and are now living in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Although Jim even returned to the operating room in the U.S and Kathy joined local church ministries, they agree in saying: “Papua New Guinea was our home and a wonderful place to raise our family. It was a privilege to serve the Lord through the Nazarene Health Ministries.” The hospital they left has continued to expand and extend in size and scope. In recognition of their devotion to cross-cultural service and their service as global missionaries with the Church of the Nazarene, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly presents the 2021 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Jim and Mrs. Kathy Radcliffe.
2021 President’s Heritage Award
Walt Larimore, MD
“A spiritual assessment allows us, as followers of Jesus and Christian health professionals, to find out where our patients are in their spiritual journeys. It allows us to see if God is already at work in their lives and join Him there in His work of drawing men and women to Himself.”
—Dr. Walt Larimore
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2021 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Walt Larimore. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.
Walt married Barb, his childhood sweetheart, in November 1973 before they both graduated from Louisiana State University (LSU). He received his medical degree with AOA honors from LSU School of Medicine in 1977. While in medical school, he co-founded the CMDA campus chapter at LSU with six other freshmen. Walt then completed a general practice teaching fellowship at Queen’s Hospital in Nottingham, England in 1978, followed by a residency in family medicine at Duke University Medical Center in 1981.
From 1981 to 1985, Dr. Larimore practiced in the small town of Bryson City in the rural Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Practicing in North Carolina laid the groundwork for Dr. Larimore’s journey into becoming a published author. His three bestselling Bryson City books share captivating stories of how his early years of medical practice in the Smoky Mountains shaped his practice of life and faith. In a world where the family doctor is also the emergency physician, the coroner and the obstetrician, and where wilderness medicine is part of the job, Dr. Larimore used the written word to share his experiences of learning and growing as a family physician.
Dr. Larimore and his family moved to Kissimmee, Florida in 1985, where he spent more than 15 years practicing family medicine, delivering more than 1,500 babies, training medical students and residents and serving on numerous short-term mission trips. During this time, he also served as the President of the Florida Academy of Family Physicians. From 1995 to 2000, Walt hosted more than 850 live daily episodes of “Ask the Family Doctor” on Fox Health, a national cable TV show where he interviews scores of CMDA members over the years and was awarded the prestigious Gracie Award by the American Women in Radio and Television in 2000.
In 1996, Dr. Larimore was named America’s Outstanding Family Physician Educator (the Thomas W. Johnson Award) by the American Academy of Family Physicians. And in 1999, Walt and his wife Barb were awarded CMDA’s Educators of the Year Award. During their time in Florida, he also served for more than a decade as a volunteer physician for the U.S. Olympic Committee. In 2001, Dr. Larimore and Barb moved to Colorado, where he served as Vice President and Family Physician in Residence at Focus on the Family from 2001 through 2004. He then served at Mission Medical Clinic, becoming Medical Director from 2008 to 2012.
Throughout his career, Walt continued his love of writing, and today he is the author of more than 40 books, including four novels, 30 medical textbook chapters and over 1,000 articles in a variety of medical journals and lay magazines. Walt and Barb together wrote His Brain, Her Brain: How Divinely Designed Differences Can Strengthen Your Marriage. His books have garnered a number of national awards, including three Gold Medallion Award nominations, three Silver Medallion Awards, a Retailer’s Choice Award and a Book of the Year Award from ECPA. Since 2007, Walt has written a health column, “Ask Dr. Walt,” for Today’s Christian Living magazine and “Vaccine News You Can Use” for Colorado Family Physician.
During the 1990s, Walt joined forces with Dr. William Peel to co-author The Saline Solution, an evangelism curriculum course developed with and for CMDA to train healthcare professionals to share their faith in their practice. Through interactive, live seminars hosted around the U.S. and other countries, Drs. Larimore and Peel trained thousands of healthcare professionals to discover how they can influence the spiritual health of patients and colleagues. Then, they expanded this to resources for people in secular work. Going Public with Your Faith came out in 2004, and Workplace Grace was released in 2010. In 2013, they joined forces again to release Grace Prescriptions, which was an update of this valuable CMDA curriculum that shows how to take a spiritual assessment, discuss spiritual matters, pray with patients, raise faith flags with patients and more.
Today, Dr. Larimore serves as an occupational medicine physician with UC Health in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and he serves as a visiting professor at the In His Image Family Medicine Residency Program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He currently posts a twice-a-day topical Biblical devotional called “Morning Glory, Evening Grace” and a medical and health news blog at DrWalt.com. Walt and Barb have been married for more than 47 years, and they have two adult children and two grandchildren. In recognition of his 47 years of support of CMDA and his dedication to changing hearts in healthcare, we are pleased to present the 2021 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Walt Larimore.
2020 CMDA Member Awards
2020 Servant of Christ Award
Dr. T. Bob Davis
“Praise the Lord!... Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!” (Psalm 150, ESV).
Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2020 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. T. Bob Davis.
Bob has had a personal relationship with Jesus since he was a pre-teen, which was a basis for some extraordinary spiritual encouragement and support through his church family, his community friends and his own family. His wife Janis grew up in a Christian family as well, and they were actively involved in their local church. Both enjoyed playing the piano and singing for church and community.
As natives of Alabama, T. Bob and Janis first met while he was a dental student at the University of Alabama Dental School. He graduated with his Doctorate of Dental Medicine in 1967, served as Captain in the U.S. Air Force and then married in Birmingham, Alabama in November 1969. That began their life together in Dallas, Texas, where they have lived, raised their family and joyfully served the Lord.
Having practiced dentistry for more than 53 years, T. Bob is highly respected in the dental profession, not only locally and statewide but also nationally and internationally, as noted by inclusion in fellowship in the four national and international dental honor organizations. He is one of only just over 3,000 dentists in the U.S. who have attained the distinction as Master in the Academy of General Dentistry, which represents a strong practice-long commitment to continuing dental education, quality care and leadership.
As a four-time Dallas Dentist of the Year, he has been nominated four times for Texas Dentist of the Year and served as the 2014 Texas Dentist of the Year. He has been interviewed by numerous magazines, newspapers and television shows as the spokesperson for national dental organizations, has served as Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Southwestern Baptist Seminary and was selected chairman of two dental conventions in Texas. Leadership roles include President of the Academy of Dentistry International, an honor society.
In addition to his contributions to the world of dentistry, Dr. T. Bob is a pianist extraordinaire who has traveled extensively throughout the world as a piano soloist and accompanist for large youth choirs and large dental and Southern Baptist conventions, as well as concerts of his own. His unique and flamboyant stylings are signature with the hymn and inspirational music settings. His 13 piano recordings have spanned over 50 years of concerts and have been played on radio stations throughout the U.S. and even on satellite and stations overseas. For decades he served as a pianist for First Baptist Church, Dallas, and Prestonwood Baptist Church in north Dallas.
Janis volunteered T. Bob for his first dental mission trip as a result of serving as youth sponsors on national and international youth choir concert tours. Since then, he has served as leader of dental mission trips for more than 44 years to Mexico, Nicaragua, India and Guatemala. Through these trips, he has been a mentor to more than 1,500 dental students, 500 staff and 500 dentists, giving most of them their first dental mission trip experience. The American Dental Association named him Humanitarian of the Year in 2018 (one of the top two awards annually), which was followed by being named the International College of Dentists’ Humanitarian in 2019.
Bob also served a total of 45 years as a youth worker in college/dental school and following in Dallas in both churches through the years where he was also a deacon. His support of youth singing led him to inspire a number of youth to sing their very first song, with several going on to be musicians and ministers of music. One recently retired after 25 years as a leading bass/baritone for the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York City. Supporting gospel pianists and singers and investing in others’ spiritual lives comes natural to him. Many of those he helped raise up spiritually still stay in touch seeking encouragement and prayers through the years.
Ministry through the piano medium is a natural talent given by our heavenly Father to T. Bob, a talent he has polished and refined to inspire folks young and old alike toward the love of Jesus. His signature smiling while looking at the audience and playing a dynamic worship song has endeared him to thousands in audiences in church, concert and convention settings. In fact, he has served as the pianist for CMDA’s National Convention on two occasions. His signature hymn arrangements draw people heavenward and toward a personal relationship with our heavenly Father. Despite the accolades of both the dental field and the piano world, T. Bob is just at home in the big crowds as in the small settings of one-on-one. His talent is God given while his focus is to share the Good News in his lifetime. Service to others has been a lifestyle while mentoring others has been a result. In all contacts, he seeks to radiate his faith in Jesus Christ.
Throughout his career in dentistry and ministry through music, Janis enthusiastically encouraged and supported her husband, traveling with him throughout the nation and overseas. T. Bob and Janis have three grown children and seven grandchildren, all Christlike who live within a 30-minute drive of their home. This makes for lots of opportunities to spend time with them and help mold them spiritually. Janis at several junctures in time pointed T. Bob into the next big opportunity in God’s will; a true helpmate and companion!
In recognition of a life focused on serving God no matter where His call leads, and to acknowledge his unparalleled service and leadership within CMDA, we proudly present the 2020 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. T. Bob Davis.
2019 Missionary of the Year Award
Michael G. O’Callaghan, DDS
“A mission trip is not just about using your well-honed professional skills to cure the world of its various maladies. It is not just about seeing a lot of patients and producing lots of great results. It is all about being salt and light in a dark and dying world.” – Dr. Michael O’Callaghan
The CMDA Missionary of the Year Award exists to honor outstanding missionary healthcare professionals who give countless hours to bring healing and God’s light to those who are suffering. The missionaries we recognize each year have been instruments of God to inspire others to develop a heart for missions. It is an honor for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to present the 2019 Missionary of the Year Award to Michael G. O’Callaghan, DDS.
Michael attended the University of Michigan-Dearborn for undergraduate studies, and then he went onto received his Doctors of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Detroit School of Dentistry in 1984. While he was in undergraduate school, he met Margaret, and they were married in 1979 while he was in dental school. From 1981 to 1982, Michael served as the chief resident in a general practice residency at St. Clare’s Hospital in Schenectady, New York. On their third wedding anniversary in 1982, they welcomed their first child. In 1983, Michael and Margaret moved back home to Michigan, where he founded Allegan Family Dentistry in Allegan, Michigan. He spent the next 33 years serving as the solo dentist of this family dental practice. Michael and Margaret greatly enjoyed raising their three children.
In 2006, their middle son Dan was considering a future in pediatric dentistry and asked Michael to join him on a healthcare mission trip to Haiti with CMDA’s Global Health Outreach (GHO). After that first trip, Michael fell absolutely in love with missions. In fact, during a layover in Miami, Florida as he flew home from Haiti, he called Margaret and said, “Honey, you know how we’re planning that trip to Scotland next May? Would you mind if we didn’t go and instead we go together on another mission trip?” And, in Margaret’s words, since then “it’s been missions all the time.”
Margaret has served alongside him with GHO in Nicaragua, Mexico and Indonesia. She is a vital part of their mission work through persistent prayer, releasing her husband to following the path God has set before them, and with her willingness to use their personal resources to support ministry efforts. She maintains a busy home schedule teaching the Bible to children in several churches, missional cooking in the summer and ministering to divorced children and single women.
Michael has now been on more than 30 mission trips around the world with GHO, particularly to difficult-to-access countries including Cambodia, India and Indonesia. GHO Associate Director Ron Brown said this about Dr. O’Callaghan, “Especially in closed countries, where you have to be wise and sensitive about sharing the gospel due to the government, Mike can’t help but lead people to the Lord. He has such an anointing on him, an anointing of his ability to bring people to Christ.”
In 2010, Michael began serving as a team leader on a trip to Cambodia, a country he has returned to over and over again. God has allowed Michael and his fellow GHO participants, in partnership with his national partners, to be used by God in Cambodia. As a direct result of their efforts to share the love of God with the people of Cambodia, there’s a revival happening in the country that is unlike any other country GHO serves in around the world.
On a flight home from India in 2015, he heard the still small voice of God say, “It’s time for phase two.” He clearly understood that as God’s call to leave his private practice and take the step of faith into full-time vocational service‑whatever that might look like. Today, Michael is not retired—instead, he is redirected. He spends every other month traveling around the world reaching out to India, Cambodia, Indonesia and Myanmar. During these trips, he pours into the lives of rural pastors who have limited opportunity for biblical training. He developed a 501(c)3 called Discipleship Training Institute for All Nations and wrote all the teaching materials for the program. And earlier this year, at the request of the local church, Michael and two Cambodian pastors launched the Discipleship Theological Training Institute in Cambodia, a four-year intensive theological training program for rural pastors.
Michael and Margaret just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary this year. In addition to their three children and three in-law children, they also have five grandchildren and are expecting their sixth in June. Despite long periods away from home due to his travels, Michael is a devoted and loving father and grandfather. Known to the grandchildren as “Bumpa,” he is an active grandfather who enjoys driving them around in the “Bumpa Mobile,” as well as wrestling, playing hide and seek, reading Bible stories and weaving imaginary tales with fictional characters for the grandkids during his months at home. When he recently left for another mission trip, 4-year-old granddaughter Nora told her friend, “He’s far away in Cambodia. The people there do not know very much about Jesus, so he’s telling them.”
In recognition of his devotion to cross-cultural service, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly presents the 2019 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Michael O’Callaghan.
2019 President’s Heritage Award
Hal Habecker, DMin
“The Christian physician and dentist grapples with problems which would baffle even Solomon. But One far greater than Solomon is with us. As always, unto the end of the age, He walks with us, helps us make the right decisions, and reaches out through us to heal the sick.” – Hal Habecker, DMin
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2019 President’s Heritage Award to Hal Habecker, DMin. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.
Hal was born in 1949 in Hershey, Pennsylvania where he grew up on a dairy farm. He trusted his life to Christ at the age of six. After graduating from Taylor University in 1971, a series of God stories led him to Dallas Seminary in the fall of 1973. While there, he met and married his sweetheart Vicki, a native of Dallas. He then received his master of theology from Dallas Seminary in 1978.
In their first ministry at First Baptist Church, Dallas, Hal taught the Medical-Dental Sunday School class and found himself immersed in a full-time ministry with medical and dental students, residents, faculty and physicians and dentists in practice. During this ministry, he learned of the Christian Medical Society, as the ministry was then called, through his mentor Haddon Robinson who was then part-time General Director of CMS while teaching at Dallas Seminary.
Through his friendship with Joe Bayly, who followed Dr. Robinson as General Director of CMS, Hal then transitioned from the work at First Baptist Church to a full-time ministry with CMS. He first served as a regional director for Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska, and then he served as national staff director. In 1987, Hal was appointed as the General Director, a position he held for seven years. With his experience with CMS, a love for people and for ministry, and a vision for what God could do through Christians in healthcare, Hal was the man to effectively lead the organization at the time. In 1988, Hal also received his doctorate of ministry from Denver Seminary.
Under his leadership, the organization changed its name to recognize more clearly whom the organization had represented for many years. In 1988, the Christian Medical Society became the Christian Medical & Dental Society (CMDS), with a continued focus on changing lives. The society grew and many new local chapters were formed, plus the addition of numerous regional and local conferences. In 1993, God led Hal to leave the ministry to become pastor at Dallas Bible Church. At his departure, Hal advised the Board of Trustees that a physician, not a theologian, be hired as his replacement. That recommendation was a turning point in the history of CMDA.
Hal went onto serve as senior pastor at Dallas Bible Church for more than 20 years. After completing that ministry in 2015, he launched Finishing Well Ministries, a preaching, teaching, discipling ministry to seniors in churches and senior living facilities primarily in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. In his own words, Hal’s mission today is as follows: “I am trusting God to use my gifts of encouragement and teaching to equip and motivate retiring boomers and those beyond in the prime of their life; to deepen their love for Jesus; and to use the talents and gifts God has given them to make their best contributions throughout the remaining years of their lives.”
Hal and Vicki have been married for 43 years. They have three grown children (Jennifer, Bethany and Jonathan) and six grandchildren. In recognition of his lifetime of support of CMDA and his dedication to changing hearts in healthcare, we are pleased to present the 2019 President’s Heritage Award to Hal Habecker.
2019 Educator of the Year Award
William P. Cheshire, MD
“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” (Proverbs 9:9-10, ESV).
The Educator of the Year Award is presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to using healthcare education to change the world. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to his dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2019 Educator of the Year Award to William P. Cheshire, MD.
Bill was born in Richmond, Virginia, and he was raised in a Christian family in the Anglican tradition. Inspired by a long line of ancestors who since colonial times had served with distinction in Christian ministry, Bill committed his life to Christ at age 11. Drawn to science out of a deep curiosity about God’s creation, Bill studied biochemistry at Princeton University, where he met Doris. They were married two years later in the Princeton University Chapel. While Bill completed medical school and his internship at West Virginia University, and then his neurology residency and pain fellowship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Doris served as development officer for the Children’s Hospitals at both medical centers. His training completed, Bill joined the staff of Mayo Clinic at its Florida campus in Jacksonville, where he has practiced for 27 years.
During training and afterward, the time demands of medical practice competed with Bill’s church life, which gradually dwindled. He would tell you that at this point in his life he accepted Christian doctrine intellectually, just as one learns about mathematics, physics and biology, and then puts those textbooks on the shelf and moves into a career. But God did not leave him there. In his own words, “All along my life was in His sovereign grip. He pursued me and guided me in my journey of faith in ways that continue to surprise and challenge me.”
Just as an illness brought the apostle Paul to Galatia to preach the gospel, in 1995 an illness brought a Greek missionary who serves in Paul’s footsteps overseas to Bill for medical care. Seeing that she lacked funds to remain in town, Bill and Doris invited her into their home and cared for her during the six weeks she recovered from surgery. Bill and Doris were profoundly moved by her complete trust in God during her illness, her love in Christ and her joy in the Spirit. Feeling irresistibly drawn to know God personally and to walk with Him daily, Bill recommitted his life to Christ and began a serious study of the Scriptures, which led him to come to know in his heart God’s awesome love. In Bill’s own words, “God found me, and not the other way around.”
Bill is Professor of Neurology at Mayo Clinic at its Florida campus where he specializes in autonomic disorders. In 2014 his colleagues elected him President of the Staff. Currently he chairs the Ethics Committee and leads the Program in Professionalism and Values. In recognition of his dedication to teaching medical students, residents and fellows, his department awarded him teacher of the year in 2015. Nationally, Bill is past President of the American Autonomic Society, and he chairs the Grievance Committee of the American Academy of Neurology.
The work that God is doing in Bill’s life extends to Christian bioethics. Bill is Senior Fellow at the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity, located at Trinity International University, where he received his master of arts degree in bioethics. For eight years Bill has chaired the CMDA Ethics Committee and served as Academic Dean of the Ethics Track for the CMDA National Convention. He has taught at numerous conferences nationally and internationally, including CMDA’s Continuing Medical and Dental Education Conference, which provides accredited continuing education for overseas healthcare professionals. Among Bill’s numerous published papers and book chapters is Grey Matters, the neuroethics series in the journal Ethics and Medicine. Bill has taught at church on various topics and has sung on the praise and worship team.
Throughout it all, Doris has been by his side supporting his efforts and offering encouragement and counsel. With their four wonderful children, Bill and Doris attend the Church of the Redeemer in Jacksonville, where Doris has served as Director of Adult Christian Education and Discipleship. They are grateful to God for their life journey together and for the opportunity to live their lives in ways that honor Christ and show His unquenchable love. In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2019 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. William P. Cheshire.
2019 Servant of Christ Award
Eugene G. Rudd, MD
“The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12, ESV).
Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2019 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Gene Rudd.
Dr. Rudd obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Georgia in 1973 and his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1977. He completed a categorical internship in 1978, as well as a residency in 1981 in obstetrics and gynecology at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii. Among his numerous professional and academic affiliations, he was the Director of the Maternal/Fetal Medicine program at William Beaumont Army Medical Center where he trained residents in the military.
A specialist in obstetrics/gynecology, Dr. Rudd has extensive experience as a director of a maternal-fetal medicine training program and in rural healthcare practice. He has garnered several awards, including the prestigious Gorgas Medal in 1981, which was presented to him by U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop for achievement in preventative medicine. This award recognized his groundbreaking research during his residency in establishing the efficacy of preoperative antibiotics. His findings changed the course of antibiotic use in surgery. After 12 years in the U.S. Army, he resigned his commission at the rank of Major before moving to Marion, North Carolina. He was in solo private practice in a rural region in Western North Carolina that previously had the worst perinatal statistics in the state. In the six years he practiced in this area, he was on call all but six days.
Prior to joining CMDA, Dr. Rudd served with Samaritan’s Purse and was one of the first Western physicians to enter the former Soviet Union after the Berlin Wall came down. He taught extensively in medical schools and hospitals during that time and established the Christian Medical Mission of Russia, started the first CMDA chapter in that country and obtained an institutional medical license enabling medical missionaries to get licensed until this day. He stepped off the ramp of a still moving Canadian C-130 in the midst of the Rwanda genocide and walked through the bodies of the slain to open the Central Hospital in its capital Kigali. He faced down killing teams that wanted to slay patients in their beds and was appointed medical coordinator for the city when the United Nations finally arrived on the scene. He also performed relief work in the Balkans during the Balkan Wars where he was pinned down in a ditch for over an hour by sniper fire. He also served in Belarus, Bosnia, Kazakhstan and India.
Gene joined CMDA in 1995 to work alongside his friend Dr. David Stevens, serving in the capacity known in many organizations as Chief Operating Officer. When CMDA was recognized as a “Best Christian Workplace” by Christianity Today in 2003, they described Dave and Gene’s unique relationship as a partnership that functions like co-CEOs. One of the most visible parts of Gene’s impact on the organization was the building of our headquarters, as he was the project manager for the construction. His oversight resulted in our building receiving all four awards that year from the Southern Building Association. It was the first time that had happened in their history.
As Senior Vice President, Dr. Rudd piloted the ship inside the walls of CMDA. For example, his oversight of the organization’s budgeting process enabled CMDA to grow and develop into what it is today. His wisdom and influence didn’t stop there, as his leadership of our ministry reached into every state and numerous other countries. For more than 20 years, he was on the board of the International Christian Medical & Dental Association, which networks and serves national CMDA groups in 79 countries around the world. As a spokesman for Christian healthcare professionals in America, Dr. Rudd has received national media coverage, including appearances on NBC News, National Public Radio, American Family Radio and Salem Radio Network, as well as the Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, The Washington Post and American Medical News. He has authored countless articles and co-authored Practice by the Book, a Christian doctor’s guide to living and serving. In addition, he oversaw the development of the Saline Solution and the subsequent Grace Prescriptions curriculum. He has helped train more than 200 healthcare professionals to do TV, radio and print interviews. He has personally counseled hundreds of CMDA members as they dealt with difficult practice or personal issues.
Dr. Rudd began working part-time in 2017, but he continues to be involved in numerous ways and his leadership is felt throughout the entire ministry. He still speaks across the country to student and graduate groups, and he leads some of CMDA’s international tours to Greece and Israel. He recently started CMDA Encore, a ministry for retired and semi-retired healthcare professionals to help them discern God’s will and purpose for their retirement years. And as a result of his part-time hours, Dr. Rudd is also enjoying spending more time with his wife Gay, their four children and their 10 grandchildren.
Dr. Rudd has ministered to countless healthcare professionals across the country and around the world. Many have accomplished important goals for healthcare in areas of service or policy, but Dr. Rudd is an example of one who has actually changed the culture of medicine, by personal example, by training and with tireless labor at an organizational level to produce the programs necessary for that change. The greatest investment of a man’s life is to invest his life in others to help them become all they were designed to be. With wisdom and compassion, Dr. Rudd has given of himself for those in need and been a sterling example and mentor to the next generation of healthcare professionals. In recognition of a life focused on serving God no matter where His call leads, and to acknowledge his unparalleled service and leadership within CMDA, we proudly present the 2019 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Gene Rudd.
2018 Educator of the Year Award
Burton W. Lee, MD
Award Presentation Video
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28, ESV).
The Educator of the Year Award is presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to using healthcare education to change the world. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to their dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2018 Educator of the Year Award to Burton W. Lee, MD.
Burt was born in Seoul, Korea but immigrated as a young child with his parents, who left behind everything they knew to provide better opportunities for their three sons. Burt went to church throughout his childhood, but it was not until his freshman year at UCLA that he became a committed follower of Christ through friends at a Christian fraternity. Burt met Sandy at Korean American Christian Fellowship, a group which Burt co-founded that now has chapters in several university campuses. They married after Burt’s second year at Harvard Medical School and while Sandy completed her masters of education at UCLA. During Burt’s residency and fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Sandy worked as a Research Assistant at the Harvard School of Public Health and later taught as an English teacher at the Boston Latin Academy.
During his years in Boston, Burt was actively involved with CMDA where several members met monthly to explore the possibility of using medicine to serve the poor in the inner city and abroad. A highlight for Burt and Sandy during this time was serving for three months at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. In 1998, Burt joined Southwestern Medical Clinic in Michigan, a Christian group co-founded by Dr. Robert Schindler, a former CMDA President.
Starting in 2001, Burt worked as a medical educator and a pulmonary intensivist at Medstar Washington Hospital Center and eventually rose to the position of Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Among his various roles in medical education, Burt particularly enjoyed being the course director for the fourth year medical student MICU rotation and also educating the internal medicine residents. He developed an ICU curriculum that transformed the educational experience for the students and residents for which he received the J. H. Gaskin Excellence in Teaching Award for four consecutive years.
Burt and Sandy returned to Kijabe in 2010 with their two children. From 2010 to 2016, Burt helped implement a relevant ICU curriculum for African physician trainees. He co-founded the Emergency Critical Care Clinical Officer (ECCCO) program to help bridge the high burden of illness in Sub Saharan Africa with the shortage of well-trained clinicians. During those years, Sandy taught English and later served as a college counselor at Rift Valley Academy.
Since the beginning of his medical education career, Burt has been strongly interested in evidence-based medicine. In 2012, he returned to this passion area by designing and teaching the Scientific Literacy & Numeracy Course for fourth year medical students at Georgetown. Burt now teaches this course at University of Pittsburgh and since 2015, he has been teaching biostatistics at Kabarak University in Kenya. In addition to his various roles in the U.S., Burt has been passionate about global health and supporting medical education, especially in resource-limited countries. From 2002 to 2005, he volunteered through CMDA’s Medical Education International to teach at University of Pristina in Kosovo helping their anesthesiologists’ efforts to rebuild after the civil war. Since 2006, Burt has been teaching at CMDA’s annual Continuing Medical and Dental Education Conference, which provides accredited continuing education for overseas healthcare workers. He has been a member of the planning commission, has previously served as the Dean of Medicine and, as of 2018, is now the Academic Dean for this conference.
Burt and Sandy moved back to the U.S. in 2016, and they are very thankful for their life journey so far and for the opportunity to live their lives according to their faith and what they truly value following in the footsteps of many in the CMDA community who have traveled before them. In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2018 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Burton Lee.
2018 President’s Heritage Award
Award Presentation Video
“...he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10, NIV 1984).
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2018 President’s Heritage Award to Shepherd Smith. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.
Shepherd has spent more than 30 years working on the issues of HIV/AIDS, global health and youth development, and he has been a consistent champion of the role of faith organizations and leaders in all of these arenas. Throughout this time, he has worked in the United States with policy makers at all levels, including the White House, Senate, House of Representatives, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State, USAID and the Office of Management and Budget. He has testified on Capitol Hill more than 10 times and before a dozen state legislatures on HIV/AIDS issues. Shepherd has included CMDA’s Washington Office in many meetings he has arranged with high-ranking government officials. This has allowed CMDA to be a voice for our values on international health issues, in particular issues of conscience and religious freedom. CMDA’s input in these meetings Shepherd arranged has resulted in policy changes to accommodate the conscience convictions of faith-based organizations in international health projects and has encouraged new programs and strategies to make federal international health grants programs more faith-friendly.
As the founder of both the Institute for Youth Development (IYD) and the Children’s AIDS Fund, Shepherd has dedicated his career to showing Christ’s love by limiting the total suffering from AIDS/HIV. Shepherd and his wife Anita first traveled to Africa in 1995 and have returned more than 60 times to work on AIDS prevention, treatment and care, as well as youth development and global health issues. Both IYD and the Children’s AIDS Fund have become important sources of information for the faith community, both in the United States and globally. Through these programs, he’s worked with leaders and policy makers in Africa, including Uganda’s President and Mrs. Museveni; Zambia’s President Banda and First Lady Mwanawasa; various ministers of health, youth and education; and members of Parliament. As President of the Children’s AIDS Fund, Anita has actively managed and implemented HIV/AIDS programs in the U.S. and globally throughout the last 25 years.
In 2003, Shepherd brought unity to the faith community and organized its support of PEPFAR before the program was even announced by former President George W. Bush. PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) is the largest global health initiative, and he traveled to all PEPFAR-focused countries to discuss the new program with staff, country leadership and local media. In 2008, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Washington Office Director credited Shepherd as one of three individuals most responsible for PEPFAR’s reauthorization five years after it was initiated. Since its inception, PEPFAR has been allocated more than $59 billion, and as a result, nearly eight million people worldwide have HIV treatment.
Shepherd is also active in fieldwork throughout Africa. In rural Zambia, he met with local leaders to dedicate a plot of land for a youth center; helped distribute motorcycles, chickens and goats to grandparents caring for HIV orphaned children; delivered soccer balls containing HIV prevention messages; spoke to large and small audiences about HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care; helped build capacity of local organization leaders and key staff on governance, grant compliance and program implementation; and more.
In addition, he regularly collaborates with global health leaders at the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. In 2017, Shepherd effectively impacted UNAIDS to be more faith inclusive and focus on men and boys as targets in HIV/AIDS education and prevention. In addition to his work with PEPFAR and UNAIDS, he is a consultant to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Georgetown University.
Shepherd has appeared on CNN, Fox, NBC, ABC Evening News, CBS Evening News among other TV networks and programs, as well as been interviewed by the Washington Post, the Washington Times, Christianity Today and numerous local papers, evangelical publications and radio programs across the country. Shepherd and Anita currently live in Northern Virginia, and they have three children. In recognition of his ministry focused on bringing healthcare to the world and improving the lives of millions of people, we are pleased to present the 2018 President’s Heritage Award to Shepherd Smith.
2018 Servant of Christ Award
Rick Donlon, MD
Award Presentation Video
“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV 1984).
Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2018 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Rick Donlon.
Rick’s journey as a servant of Christ has carried him to countless locations around the world, from Texas to Tennessee and from Ethiopia to India, as well as other far-reaching locations around the world. As this year’s recipient, his career in healthcare practice and ministry has been blended with a commitment to serving others through a deep commitment to God’s call on his life.
He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Texas Christian University in 1986. He then attended Louisiana State University School of Medicine and graduated with his medical degree in 1990. While he was in medical school, he became a member of CMDA and even served as his student chapter president from 1987 to 1988. After graduating, Rick then moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he completed a combined internship and residency in internal medicine and pediatrics with the University of Tennessee College of Health Sciences in 1994. Upon finishing residency, he spent a year working as a clinical instructor and physician at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis.
In 1995, Rick’s service to God’s call on his life led him to join with three other doctors in Memphis—David Pepperman, Karen Miller and Steven Besh—to found Christ Community Health Services, a faith-based, federally qualified health center serving the medically underserved in Memphis. Since opening the first health center in 1995, their mission has been to provide high quality healthcare to the underserved in the context of distinctively Christian service. They strategically enter Memphis communities that, over time, have become deficient in resources and services. Residents of these communities lack access to quality healthcare, and manageable health issues often go untreated or undiagnosed. Christ Community grew from one clinic in 1995 to seven free standing medical centers, three dental centers and a mobile van for the homeless across 10 low-income neighborhoods in Memphis. These health centers have provided over two million primary care visits for low-income Memphians.
From 1995 to 2014, Dr. Donlon held a variety of positions with Christ Community, including Medical Director for Operations, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer. During this time, he also assisted in the creation of new Christian health centers in Augusta, Georgia; Kansas City, Missouri; Birmingham, Alabama; Clarkston, Georgia; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Through the clinics, they hosted hundreds of visiting medical students from across the U.S. who were able to see their model of Christian healthcare among the poor. In addition, Rick established a health center-based family medicine residency program with the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and Methodist University Hospital for residents training specifically to practice among low-income, underserved populations. This residency program that has trained scores of committed disciple-physicians, nearly all of whom are serving the poor, either in the U.S. or among unreached people groups overseas. He has also recruited, prepared and sent long-term healthcare missionaries to Afghanistan, India, Ethiopia/Somalia, Chad, Jordan and Iraq.
In 2014, Dr. Donlon and Dr. Pepperman joined forces again to launch Resurrection Health, a similar faith-based clinic system to serve low-income residents of Memphis communities who lack primary care access. In addition to primary care, they also provided general surgery services, inpatient hospital care and more.
As a member of CMDA for more than 30 years, he has been a CMDA student retreat speaker multiple times in the Southern, Midwest and Northeast regions. He has also spoken at dozens of medical and dental school campuses. Today, Rick, his wife Laurie and their seven children live in the Binghampton neighborhood of Memphis, where he works and serves as an elder in their house church network.
In recognition of a life focused on serving God no matter where His call leads, CMDA proudly presents the 2018 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Rick Donlon.
2017 Educator of the Year Award
Dr. William and Mrs. Judith Wood
Award Presentation Video
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
The Educator of the Year Award is presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to using healthcare education to change the world. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to their dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2017 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. William and Mrs. Judith Wood.
William, known as “Bill,” and Judith, known as “Judy,” were both raised in Christian families. Bill’s father was the pastor of Harvard Avenue Bible Church in Chicago, while Judy’s father was Dr. Harold Lindsell, one of founding professors of Fuller Theological Seminary and editor of Christianity Today. As a result of the spiritual influence of their families, they both committed their lives to Christ as young children and have known the joy of His presence in their lives through faith gifted by the Holy Spirit. Bill and Judy met at Wheaton College and married as soon as Judy graduated. Two weeks later, she was teaching English to junior high students in Needham, Massachusetts, as Bill completed medical school. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1966 and then began his internship and residency in surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital. After spending several years in training at the hospital, he was the Chief Resident in Surgery in 1974. When their children began arriving, Judy stayed home to raise the kids but continued to teach women’s Bible studies. Bill also taught adult Sunday School classes at their church.
He stayed at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard for the next 15 years, serving in a variety of clinical and academic capacities including assistant surgeon, co-chief of surgical oncology, associate professor of surgery, chief of surgical oncology and more. During this time, he also served on a wide variety of committees and boards, including the faculty council at Harvard, the American Cancer Society and more. In 1991, he became Chair of the Department of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine and Chief of Surgery at Emory University Hospital. He retired as Department Chair in 2009.
Currently, Dr. Wood is the Distinguished Joseph Brown Whitehead Professor of Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine and Professor of Global Health in the Hubert Department of Global Health in the Rollins School of Public Health. Since 2012, he has also served as Academic Dean of the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeon’s 10 surgical residency programs in Africa. Dr. Wood has devoted his research efforts to oncology, first in the immunology of autoantibodies to tumor associated antigens, then in clinical trials of multimodality treatment of breast cancer.
Dr. Wood’s dedication to education and research is shown through his countless professional, board and committee assignments and appointments. He is a Senior Research Fellow of the International Prevention Research Institute of Lyon, France, and serves on the Board of Advisors of the Africa Oxford Cancer Foundation, Oxford. He has been a Governor of the American College of Surgeons, Director of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, member of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute and President of the Society of Surgical Oncology. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Oncology and the associate editor of Annals of Surgical Oncology, plus he has written more than 280 full-length scientific articles and 35 book chapters and has edited or co-edited seven books.
Throughout it all, Judy has been by his side supporting his efforts and offering encouragement and counsel. They have three grown children: Kris, a medical missionary in Uganda with her husband Mike and their four kids; Billy, a screenwriter who lives in North Carolina; and Lindsay, who lives in North Carolina with Gordon and their three boys. Bill and Judy attend Christ Church of Atlanta, where he currently serves as Senior Warden.
In his own words, Dr. Wood said, “Anything that I may have accomplished in medical education has been dropped into my lap from my gracious heavenly Father from whom comes every good gift. Any praise goes entirely to Him.” In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2017 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. William and Mrs. Judith Wood.
2017 President’s Heritage Award
Richard A. Swenson, MD
Award Presentation Video
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates
day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its
leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
—Psalm 1:1-3, ESV
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2017 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Richard Swenson. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.
Richard received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Denison University in 1970 and his medical degree from the University of Illinois School of Medicine in 1974. Following five years of private practice, in 1982 Dr. Swenson accepted a teaching position as Associate Clinical Professor within the University of Wisconsin Medical School system-Department of Family Medicine where he taught for 15 years. He currently is a full-time futurist, physician-researcher, author and educator. As a physician, his focus is “cultural medicine,” researching the intersection of health and culture. As a futurist, his emphasis is fourfold: the future of the world system, Western culture, faith and healthcare.
Dr. Swenson has traveled extensively to 60 countries, including a year of study in Europe and medical work in developing countries. He is the author of nine books, including the bestselling and award-winning Margin: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives and The Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live within Your Limits. His latest book, Contentment: The Secret of a Lasting Calm, was released in 2013.
He has written and presented widely, including both national and international settings, on the themes of margin, life balance, contentment, stress, overload, complexity, societal change, healthcare and future trends. A representative listing of presentations include a wide variety of career, professional, educational, governmental and management groups, most major church denominations and organizations, members of the United Nations, of Congress, of NASA and of the Pentagon.
Dr. Swenson has given keynote presentations to national medical conferences such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Association of Occupational Medicine and the U. S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Commander's Conference. He has given a dozen presentations at the Mayo Clinic as well as hundreds of other national, state and local medical settings. He also has researched extensively and written on the future of healthcare, helping to initiate a national multidisciplinary group examining healthcare reform and exploring new paradigms. He was presented the National Leadership Award from the Central States Occupational Medical Association for his original work on margin and overload.
He has been a member of CMDA since 1974, and he has become a well-known author and speaker who travels to a variety of CMDA conferences and meetings on a regular basis. He is a favorite speaker at many of our events throughout the year, and CMDA has published or co-published some of his books and videos. Dr. Swenson also has served as a member of the editorial board for Today’s Christian Doctor, as well as a consultant whose insights significantly shaped our ministry perspective and initiatives.
Dr. Swenson and his wife Linda live in Menomonie, Wisconsin. They have two sons, Matthew and his wife Suzie, and Adam and his wife Maureen, as well as a granddaughter, Katja Elizabeth. In recognition of his ministry of challenging and transforming our minds, we are pleased to present the 2017 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Richard Swenson.
2017 Servant of Christ Award
Dr. Ed and Mrs. Debby Read
Award Presentation Video
“It is by serving God and others that we store up heavenly treasures. Everyone gains; no one loses.”
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2017 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Ed and Mrs. Debby Read. Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. Their journey as servants of Christ carried them from Rhode Island to Pennsylvania to Virginia, as well as other far-reaching locations around the world. As this year’s recipients, their career in healthcare practice and ministry has been blended with a commitment to serving others through a deep commitment to God’s call on their lives.
Ed and Debby’s journey together began when they met and became high school sweethearts at age 15. They both attended the University of Delaware and were married in 1973 after Debby’s sophomore year of nursing school. Ed began medical school at Jefferson Medical College three days after the wedding. Debby completed her nursing degree in 1975 and worked as a pediatric nurse until they moved to Jacksonville, Florida to begin Ed’s family medicine residency training program with the U.S. Navy in 1977.
Their first child was born during the second month of Ed’s internship. It was a stressful time with a move to a new area, the demanding residency schedule and a new baby. Debby was invited by another resident’s wife to attend a women’s Bible study. Opening God’s Word for the first time with this supportive group of women was an answer to her seeking heart. She accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior and began a close walk with Him that changed her life. Ed watched the peace and joy evidenced in Debby’s changed life. Ed began attending a small group Bible study and church, and he became a believer a year later.
While Ed was in the Navy, they were stationed in Guam and Rhode Island, and they added two more children to their family. After eight years of active duty service, Ed accepted a position as an emergency room physician in Pennsylvania in 1985. God brought two more children into their family in 1991 when they adopted two half-brothers, ages 4 and 6, with special needs. Ed found ER medicine to be a fulfilling call from the Lord and was actively involved in leadership in their local church. Debby focused on nurturing and discipling their five children. She volunteered as a counselor at the local Crisis Pregnancy Center, taught childbirth classes and led the church’s women’s Bible study for 15 years.
God gave Ed and Debby a heart for healthcare marriages as they watched so many marriages end in divorce within a few years after completing residency. They felt God nudging them to begin a Bible study for couples in the medical field. God used this time with medical couples to draw their hearts to the calling of coming alongside of medical students, residents and spouses who were much earlier in their careers. Since the closest medical students and residents were two hours away, they began to fast and pray while seeking God’s leading in what He had planned for them. In 2003, they became the Area Co-Directors for CMDA’s Campus & Community Ministries in Richmond, Virginia. In their time as field staff for CMDA, they had an amazing influence on hundreds of students, residents, graduates and spouses who were involved in the local CMDA ministry in Richmond. Responding to God’s prompting and the encouragement of her Side By Side group, Debby wrote a book for medical wives called Prescription for the Doctor’s Wife. This book continues to positively impact many lives as it brings hope and healing to the unique needs of a medical marriage.
Ed and Debby had the joy and privilege of joining God in His work through CMDA in building a ministry on campus at MCV. Then, in 2013, Debby felt called by God to build a very different ministry. God gave Debby a vision to build a transitional home for those in need of housing in the rural county where they live. Ed felt called to this new ministry as well, so they spent two years praying to discern God’s will in this next step. It was difficult for them to leave their roles with CMDA, but they continue to be very involved with the ministry by attending occasional student Bible studies and serving on the Richmond Council. Ed leads a mission trip during Spring Break, while Debby leads her local Side By Side group.
God has led them on an amazing faith journey as they have founded The Journey Home in Mineral, Virginia, for those in need of a temporary place to live while they rebuild their broken lives. They hope to begin building the home this year as churches and community organizations partner alongside them. They are excited to see all the awesome things God will do through this home to transform lives. They greatly appreciate your prayers in this humbling next step.
In recognition of lives focused on serving God no matter where His call leads them, CMDA proudly presents the 2017 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Ed and Mrs. Debby Read.
2017 Missionary of the Year Award
Dr. Ken Chapman
Award Presentation Video
“And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction.”
—Matthew 9:35-36, ESV
The CMDA Missionary of the Year Award exists to honor outstanding missionary healthcare professionals who give countless hours to bring healing and God’s light to those who are suffering. The missionaries we recognize each year have been instruments of God to inspire others to develop a heart for missions. It is an honor for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to present the 2017 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Ken Chapman.
Ken grew up in a Christian home, regularly attending the church where his mother was the director of the choir and his father was an active member. He received a good spiritual foundation, but for many years he lacked assurance of salvation. Then, in his first year of dental school at the University of Texas, he met some classmates who were excited about their relationship with Christ. He knew he wanted to have that relationship, and eventually he attended a Campus Crusade seminar to learn how to share his faith. In Ken’s words, “It was as we were being taught that I came to understand that I should not depend on my feelings, but on the trustworthiness of God and His promises. It was at that time that I received assurance that Christ was in my life. That was a defining moment in my life.”
After that experience, Ken began growing in his faith. His first missions experience was between his third and fourth years of dental school when he spent six weeks in Korea working under an American missionary dentist. After graduating with his dental degree in 1974, Dr. Chapman worked in a private dental practice in Texas until 1977. In 1978, Dr. Chapman returned to the mission field when he spent seven months in Liberia working as a missionary dentist with Missionary Dentists, Inc. He joined Campus Crusade for Christ as a full-time staff member in 1979 for a two year commitment to serve in Uganda, and he has worked with them ever since.
Beginning in 1980, Dr. Chapman began working as a dentist at Mengo Anglican Hospital in Kampala, Uganda. Since then he has spent the majority of his professional career working and living in Uganda. In 1990, Ken returned to the U.S. to spend a year working as a resident in the family dentistry department at the University of Connecticut.
Ken met his wife Lynn in Kenya on a bus trip to a Campus Crusade conference in 1989. Lynn, who is a registered nurse, was working in community health evangelism in Uganda at the time. In 1992, Lynn returned to the U.S. to begin working at Campus Crusade’s international headquarters in Orlando, Florida. They were married in 1997 in Orlando, where Ken also completed graduate courses in theology at Reformed Seminary. Their daughter Brianna was born in 1999, and they then returned to Uganda as a family in 2000. They adopted their daughter Sophia in 2005 in Uganda.
Ken says CMDA has been a tremendous blessing to him, both professionally and spiritually. He began attending the annual Continuing Medical and Dental Education conferences in Kenya in the 1980s, and he has regularly attended these conferences ever since. In fact, their family doesn’t want to miss a single CMDE conference!
In recognition of their devotion to cross-cultural service, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly presents the 2017 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Ken Chapman.
2016 Educator of the Year Award
John E. Woods, MD
Award Presentation Video
“Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:9-10, NIV 2011).
The Educator of the Year Award is presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to using healthcare education to change the world. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to his dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2016 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. John Woods.
“I am the son of missionaries. The whole context of my life, however flawed and imperfect, has been as a person of faith.” These words from Dr. Woods share only a small piece of his life story in seeking to follow God and live out his faith. In 1937, John was an 8-year-old boy living with his family in Beijing when the Japanese invaded China. While many missionaries retreated, his father continued to serve as a missionary teaching at a seminary in Beijing. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, the family was confined to the missionary compound for weeks. In 1943, their family was sent to a concentration camp in China for six months. In December 1943, they were exchanged for Japanese prisoners of war and were able to return to the U.S.
Dr. Woods remembers his father’s ministry in Beijing as an impressive introduction to a life dedicated to service, outreach and healing. In 1949, he graduated from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he met and married his wife Janet. He received his medical degree from Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and then he received a PhD in surgical research from the University of Minnesota. It was early in his academic training that the mission field began to call to him. Along with their young children, the couple spent two years in Panama where he completed an internship and residency at Georgas Hospital before heading to Ecuador to serve as a healthcare missionary in a 16-bed hospital in the jungle. It was during this time in Ecuador that he had his first exposure to the discipline of plastic surgery. “A plastic surgeon came down to assist us,” he said, “and I saw what he could do with his little bag of tools. Great changes with small, efficient instruments. At that time I decided I needed more training.” In 1960, they returned to the U.S. so he could seek further education and training, and he became a fellow in general, plastic and reconstructive surgery at Mayo Graduate School in Rochester, Minnesota.
In 1969, he joined the faculty in plastic surgery and surgery at Mayo Medical School. For the next 24 years, he held many positions at Mayo, including professor of plastic surgery, head of the section of plastic surgery and vice chair of the department of surgery. He was one of the first to perform renal transplant surgery at Mayo, and he is a widely known and respected reconstructive plastic surgeon. He is currently Professor Emeritus at Mayo where he is admired by the entire staff. One of his colleagues said, “What I admire most about John is his persistent commitment to vulnerable people—in the clinic, in our community and around the world. John practices his life under humanitarian principles with an undying commitment to intellectual honesty. He is a role model for all of us who seek to care for our patients as whole people.”
Dr. Woods holds memberships in more than a dozen medical societies, has published 187 articles, 32 book chapters and 36 abstracts, and he has been honored by the Mayo Foundation with both the Distinguished Mayo Clinician and Distinguished Mayo Alumnus awards. He has been a visiting professor at a variety of schools both here in the U.S. and across the world. He has also served as faculty at CMDA’s Continuing Medical and Dental Education conferences in Kenya and Malaysia, in addition to participating in a variety of short-term healthcare mission trips to China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Niger, Colombia, Honduras, Mexico and many others. Now that he is retired, John and Janet continue to volunteer their time and talents to enrich the lives of others. Janet is a gifted musician who uses her talents to share her faith. Today, they take time to be together on mission trips to developing countries.
In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2016 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. John Woods.
2016 President’s Heritage Award
John Patrick, MB, BS, MRCP, MD
Award Presentation Video
“The world has great need of those who know what is good, are motivated to defend it and know how to do so." (Augustine College, augustinecollege.org)
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2016 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. John Patrick. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.
John received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree from the University of London & The Royal College of Physicians in 1963. That same year, he began practicing in internal medicine and gastroenterology as a house physician and surgeon at St. George’s Hospital. In 1965, he earned his Membership of the Royal College of Physicians.
John and Sally Patrick were married in 1966 while both were working in their respective hospitals in London. After they married, Dr. Patrick spent three years as a clinical research fellow in cell physiology before becoming a research fellow in Jamaica working at TMRU, the Tropical Metabolism Research Unit at the University of the West Indies. While there, he conducted extensive research into the treatment of childhood nutritional deficiency.
In 1980, they moved to Ottawa, Canada, where Dr. Patrick began serving as an associate professor of clinical nutrition in the Departments of Biochemistry and Paediatrics at the University of Ottawa. He continued to serve in that position for the next 22 years, focusing on establishing medical nutrition as a recognized specialty and developing curriculum. He also assisted with the development of appropriate training programs and treatments to help understand and eliminate childhood malnutrition in Central Africa.
In 1997, John was a founding member of Augustine College in Ottawa in response to the growing evidence that the modern university is toxic to the Christian faith. The course focuses on giving students a historical understanding of how Western civilization took shape and was deeply rooted in Judeo-Christian concepts. Nearly 20 years later, Dr. Patrick still continues to teach courses at the college on the interaction between science, medicine and faith. John and Sally are also dedicated to being advocates for those who are unable to plead their own case, particularly the unborn, disabled and severely ill. To help accomplish this, they run the Hippocratic Registry which brings together healthcare professionals and students who share a moral consensus and wish to practice Hippocratic medicine.
After retiring in 2002, Dr. Patrick began lecturing throughout the world for both CMDA and the Christian Medical and Dental Society in Canada. He is one of CMDA’s most sought-after speakers, addressing both Christian and secular groups. He is able to communicate effectively on moral issues in medicine and culture, as well as the integration of faith and science. John’s influence on the CMDA membership has been far-reaching.
In recognition of his ministry of challenging and transforming our minds, we are pleased to present the 2016 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. John Patrick.
2016 Servant of Christ Award
Bill Rambo, MD, and Lydia Engelhardt, MD
Award Presentation Video
“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me” (John 12:26, NIV 2011).
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2016 Servant of Christ Award to Drs. Bill Rambo and Lydia Engelhardt. Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. Their journey as servants of Christ carried them to numerous far-reaching locations in countries around the world. As this year’s recipients, their career in healthcare missions has been blended with a remarkable commitment to Christ through service to others.
Bill was born and raised in India where his parents served as healthcare missionaries for more than 50 years. He has fond memories of helping his dad in the hospital while he was home from boarding school, sometimes holding a flashlight as his father performed cataract surgery. Bill returned to the U.S. to attend Lafayette College in Pennsylvania. He attended medical school at the University of Pennsylvania and then completed a general surgery residency in Boston, Massachusetts with Harvard’s Fifth Surgical Service. After a research fellowship, he moved to Charleston, South Carolina to join the general surgery faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1965. He was Chief of Surgery at the school’s indigent service hospital and was very active teaching medical students and residents. Bill’s first wife was a South Carolinian, and they had four wonderful children before she passed away.
Lydia grew up outside of Boston, but she had minimal exposure to the Bible until she was in residency training. After graduating from Wellesley College in Massachusetts, Lydia attended medical school at Georgetown University, and then did her OB/Gyn residency in Charleston. It was during her third year of residency at the Medical University of South Carolina that she met Bill, who had been widowed the prior year. Lydia loves to say it was truly a match made in heaven, because she was feeling called back to God when she met Bill. She started attending Bill’s home church and found the relationship with her Savior that she had lacked since early childhood.
After completing her Ob/Gyn training, Lydia served for three years with the National Health Service in rural South Carolina, becoming the first ever OB/Gyn to deliver healthcare in that underserved rural county. After that time, she joined a private OB/Gyn practice while Bill continued on faculty at the Medical School, teaching general surgery while serving as Chief of Surgery at the medical school’s indigent hospital. During this time, Bill lectured at six of CMDA’s annual Continuing Medical and Dental Education conference for missionaries, teaching and organizing the general surgery section, both in Kenya and in Malaysia.
In 1999, after much prayer, Bill and Lydia made the decision to leave the practice of medicine in the U.S. behind, in order to begin doing what they describe as “long-term-short-term” healthcare mission work. With World Medical Mission, they’ve made 38 trips, serving in 17 different mission hospitals in 11 countries. They made repeated medical trips to Kibogora Hospital in Rwanda. Later, their daughter Dr. Louise King and her husband Dr. Caleb King answered God’s call to Rwanda as long-term healthcare missionaries. While all this was going on, their family grew up and grew! Their daughter and three sons reached adulthood, got married and have blessed Bill and Lydia with 12 wonderful grandchildren. Four of those grandchildren have grown up in Rwanda with their missionary parents, and they have been joined by an adopted Rwandan orphan.
In their own words as they reflect on their years of service to Christ, they said, “We are overwhelmed by how much we have been blessed by following God’s call overseas. We are so thankful that God provided us the opportunity to work with so many wonderful Christians, so many faithful missionaries of different nationalities and mission boards/denominations and loving and dedicated national staff wherever we went. Our Lord so generously provided us with brothers and sisters in Christ wherever we went, and our paths amazingly have crossed and re-crossed multiple times over the years. When we left our family back home, God provided wonderful Christian families with sweet children to keep us company wherever we served. Our time overseas has truly been a gift from our loving Father God to us.”
In recognition of lives focused on serving God no matter where His call leads them, CMDA proudly presents the 2016 Servant of Christ Award to Drs. Bill Rambo and Lydia Engelhardt.
2015 Educator of the Year Award
Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Michelle Steffes
Award Presentation Video
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
The Educator of the Year Award is presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to using healthcare education to change the world. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to their dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2015 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Michelle Steffes.
Bruce and Micky are natives of Lapeer, Michigan and attended the same church as children. He graduated from the University of Michigan College of Medicine in 1976 and then trained for six years in general surgery at the University of Florida. He also has a masters of business administration from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, is certified in tropical medicine by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and received a masters of arts in biblical ministry from Baptist Bible College of Pennsylvania. Micky attended Grand Rapids Baptist Bible College and finished her degree in accounting at the University of Michigan, Flint College.
Dr. Steffes has always been interested in medical education and entered medical school with the intent of becoming a surgical professor and staying in academic medicine for a lifetime. However, he was lured into private practice in 1982. Despite great success as a surgeon, he underwent a deep personal and spiritual crisis that led him to divorce, the brink of suicide and eventually changed the focus of his life. Feeling it to be God’s will, he resigned from his position of president and senior partner of his practice in 1997. He married Micky in April 1998. Their honeymoon was an around the world trip with Samaritan’s Purse, visiting mission hospitals.
Since that time, Bruce and Micky have used their surgical, business and administrative skills in hospitals and other missionary efforts in the developing world. He has spent the majority of each year since early 1998 as a volunteer physician and general surgeon in countries around the world. Since 2002, he has assisted CMDA’s Continuing Medical and Dental Education Commission in bringing current medical information to missionaries serving in developing countries. When in the U.S., Dr. Steffes served as a volunteer associate clinical professor of surgery at Duke University in order to teach residents laparoscopic surgery, as well as the Surgeon-in-Residence at Methodist University Physician Assistant Program teaching anatomy, physiology and general surgery to PA students from 1996 to 2014. In addition to being speakers for church, service groups and missionary conference in the U.S., they are also the authors of two books: Medical Missions: Get Ready, Get Set, Go! and Your Mission: Get Ready, Get Set, GO!
In 2003, Bruce was named to the commission of the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) and became the volunteer Chief Executive Officer in 2006. A commission of CMDA, PAACS is a general surgical training program for African residents in response to the great need for surgeons in Africa. Using rural mission hospitals and a cadre of volunteer surgeons and missionaries, PAACS teaches the best practices of surgery and applies them to the resource-poor environment so that high quality Christian surgeons will be produced and remain in their countries for their lifetimes. The program now has more surgical trainees than the largest general surgery program in the U.S. and is experiencing a period of rapid expansion. Bruce recently stepped down as Executive Director, but continues to serve as the Chief Medical Officer for PAACS, allowing him more time to teach and provide support for surgical educators.
Bruce said, “Disillusioned, I walked away from the field of surgical education, but God has given me the long-held dreams of my heart by allowing me to participate in the exciting ministry that is PAACS. God has used those skills and experiences from the times of my life that were darkest and has woven a tapestry that brings honor to Him. I am thrilled to be sitting at the feet of the Great Physician and watching Him change the face of surgery on an entire continent.”
In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2015 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Micky Steffes.
2015 President’s Heritage Award
Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Sandy Keenan
Award Presentation Video
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14, NIV 2011).
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2015 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Sandy Keenan. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.
Jeff received his undergraduate degree in biology from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He remained in Pennsylvania for medical school and graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1983, followed by a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee from 1984 to 1988. Dr. Keenan also completed a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan from 1988 to 1990.
Jeff and Sandy met while he was in medical school, where she was a nurse in his hometown hospital in Franklin, Pennsylvania. They married in 1986. In 1990, Jeff and Sandy returned to Tennessee, where Jeff began serving as an assistant professor in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.
In the late 1990s, CMDA approached Dr. Keenan with the idea of creating a medically-based non-profit embryo donation center as a response to the growing number of frozen human embryos in U.S. fertility clinics. That idea grew into the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville. Today, the NEDC accepts all embryos, regardless of number or grade, and stores them on site. The clinic then actively matches willing recipients with donors and conducts the actual transfers. They take care of all the medical, legal and social requirements for embryo donation and adoption, while working with an experienced adoption agency for home studies and adoption counseling. Having been involved with the organization from its founding, Dr. Keenan serves as the President and Medical Director of the NEDC. He said, “We offer life-honoring parents and prospective parents an ethical, compassionate path to bringing a new baby into the world.”
Today, the NEDC is the premier center for embryo donation and adoption in the world, serving families throughout the United States and Canada. This spring, they will celebrate their 500th birth since the NEDC’s founding in 2003. As Dr. Keenan said, “(It’s been) quite a lot of work, but the number of blessings that have resulted is incalculable.”
Sandy spent many years doing abstinence education programs in schools and now works with Jeff during embryo transfer cycles. Throughout his career, Dr. Keenan has also continued to serve on faculty at the University of Tennessee, and he continues to enjoy teaching residents and other healthcare students. He also lectures throughout the country on topics related to reproductive endocrinology and infertility, with a recent concentration on the subject of embryo donation and adoption. In addition, he has been interviewed for more than 50 television, radio and print stories, including CBS’s 60 Minutesand American Medical News.
Jeff and Sandy have four children and six grandchildren. In addition to their work with the NEDC, they have also been actively involved in their local churches and international missions. Through Jeff’s church, they helped to establish an outreach program in Haiti that has built schools and a medical clinic that has grown into a hospital. In recognition of a life devoted to serving CMDA, serving others and doing everything for the Lord’s honor, CMDA is honored to present the 2015 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Sandy Keenan.
2015 Servant of Christ Award
Dr. William and Mrs. Dorothy Ardill
Award Presentation Video
“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV 2011).
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2015 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. William and Mrs. Dorothy Ardill. Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. William and Dorothy’s journey as servants of Christ carried them to numerous far-reaching locations in countries around the world. As this year’s recipients, their career in healthcare missions has been blended with a remarkable commitment to Christ through service to others.
Dr. Ardill (Bill, as he in known to his family and friends) was born and raised in Nigeria where his parents were serving as missionaries with SIM. As far back as he can remember Bill wanted to be a missionary doctor. With the counsel of his mother, he prayed to receive Christ when he was six years old. In high school at a Christian camp in Michigan when on furlough, he made a commitment to be willing to serve the Lord as a missionary. Bill went to Ursinus College in Pennsylvania for his undergraduate degree and then to George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He joined CMDA as a medical student during that time.
During his senior year of medical school in 1980, Bill went on a two-month World Medical Missions trip to ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. He returned to Nigeria in 1983 during his residency to serve as a short-term missionary at Evangel Hospital. These experiences confirmed his call to pursue a career as a healthcare missionary. Bill completed his residency in surgery at Baylor University in 1985 and then returned to Liberia in 1986 to serve as the surgeon at ELWA Hospital.
Dorothy was raised in a Christian home and also accepted Christ as a child. Through the influence of missionaries at a Christian camp in New York, she made a commitment to serve God as a missionary. After completing her university education as a medical technologist, she went to Hong Kong and Macau where she worked in the laboratory of a small mission hospital. She also completed a master’s degree in missions at Wheaton College in Illinois. In 1987, Dorothy met Bill when she traveled to Liberia to spend the summer working at ELWA. They were married nine months later in Chicago, Illinois. They served in Liberia until 1990 when they were forced to leave because of the civil war. They lost everything they owned during the evacuation, including all their wedding presents!
Bill and Dorothy were reassigned to Jos, Nigeria in 1992. Bill was in charge of the surgical program at Evangel Hospital, and he had the opportunity to do surgery, teach residents and medical students and start a number of ministries. Dorothy initially worked in the Evangel Hospital laboratory, and then started a street children outreach and an AIDS widow outreach before going back to school and getting a master’s degree in elementary education. She taught third grade and then served as principal in the elementary school of Hillcrest School. Bill taught biblical apologetics and ethics in the high school.
Throughout the 20 years Bill served as a healthcare missionary in Nigeria, he went on alternate years to CMDA’s Continuing Medical and Dental Education conferences at Brackenhurst, Kenya, leading a team of missionary and Nigerian physicians to every conference. These were wonderful times of spiritual refreshment, encouragement, spiritual challenge and building enduring friendships with kindred spirits in the front lines of healthcare ministries in Africa. The counsel, prayers and bonds of love of so many colleagues at these conferences were oxygen for their years of ministry.
During the last years of their 20-year ministry in Nigeria, however, Bill and Dorothy’s city of Jos was under siege because of attacks and bombings by the radical Islamic terrorists Boko Haram organization. By necessity Bill became a trauma surgeon and bomb blast injury specialist. Because of the political situation in Nigeria and developments in their ministries, they believed it was time to close that chapter in their lives, leaving Nigeria in May 2012. They are now in San Diego where Bill works as a general surgeon at the VA Hospital in San Diego and teaches in the UCSD School of Medicine. Dorothy is the science teacher in a charter elementary school. Bill and Dorothy are also blessed with four children.
Through a number of difficult experiences in Nigeria, Bill and Dorothy’s faith has grown deeper and stronger as they have learned to rely on God through difficult times. As Bill said, “God uses suffering for many reasons, some of which will not be understood until eternity. He asks us to trust Him through the dark days, learn about His Son’s suffering for us through our experiences, and realize travail enables us to empathize with others who are suffering. Serving Him is what He calls us to do, whether in feast or famine, in war or peace, under persecution or prosperity.” In recognition of lives focused on serving God no matter the circumstance, CMDA proudly presents the 2015 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. William and Mrs. Dorothy Ardill.
2015 Missionary of the Year Award
Kenneth C. Hinton, MD, FAAP
Award Presentation Video
“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we
have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”
The CMDA Missionary of the Year Award exists to honor outstanding missionary healthcare professionals who give countless hours to bring healing and God’s light to those who are suffering. Time, dedication, service, courage and faith have all been involved in the efforts of this year’s recipient to bind up wounds and share the gospel. The missionaries we recognize each year have been instruments of God to inspire others to develop a heart for missions. It is an honor for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to present Dr. Kenneth C. Hinton with the 2015 Missionary of the Year Award.
Dr. Hinton was born and grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he was baptized at an early age and nurtured in First Baptist Church, his home church. He received his bachelors of science in chemistry from the University of Alabama in 1970 and then continued his studies at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. After graduating from medical school in 1974, he completed a residency in pediatrics at the Lloyd Nolan Foundation Hospital in Fairfield, Alabama. During his seven years in Birmingham, he became a charter member and later a pastoral care deacon in the Baptist Church of the Covenant near the medical center.
In 1977, Dr. Hinton began his journey to serving on the mission field. While he was in language school in Indonesia, he realized that his most satisfying ministry was teaching Scriptures to young people. In his words, “Words can’t express my gratitude to the Lord for turning this shy, attention-avoding, self-doubting baby doctor into, of all things, a teacher who discovered the absolute joy of telling ‘the old, old, stories of Jesus and His love’ to slack-jawed, goggle-eyed youth hearing them for the first time. For me, seeing those familiar stories through the lens of a culture more akin to the culture of Jesus made them come alive.
In 1979, “Dr. Ken” began putting this teaching ministry into practice while serving for 18 years as the staff pediatrician at Kediri Baptist Hospital in East Java. He was also an instructor in pediatrics and English at the Baptist School of Health Nursing in Kediri. After leaving Kediri, he spent 15 years teaching pediatrics, medical English, English speaking and reading and cross-cultural understanding at Universitas Wijaya Kusuma, a large university in Surabaya, a sprawling metropolis of four million people in East Java. During those 34 years on the mission field, he helped form new Bible groups for young seekers and believers. For believers, lessons focused on living as a disadvantaged minority reflecting and proclaiming their faith to the resistant but curious majority. From his work with seekers and new believers, he developed cross-cultural seminars and ESL Bible lessons to help colleagues share the Good News with those of the majority religion. Through modern technology and social media, “Grandpa Ken” still continues to personally mentor and counsel several young Indonesians from those years of ministry. Some of them are now pastors, lay evangelists and student leaders serving to further God’s kingdom in greater ways than Ken ever imagined.
In 2012, Dr. Hinton returned to the rural Big Sandy community in West Alabama for retirement. He continues to teach English, American (Southern) culture and the Good News to international students from Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, China, Vietnam, Korea and the Middle East through the ministries of two local churches and in three home groups. He relishes singing in the adult choir in Big Sandy Baptist Church near his home, and he is a commuting member of Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham.
In recognition of his devotion to cross-cultural service, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly presents the 2015 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Kenneth C. Hinton.
2014 Educator of the Year Award
James N. Thompson, MD, FACS
Award Presentation Video
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” —William Arthur Ward
Throughout the years of His ministry, Jesus taught us the importance of teaching others. He taught His disciples, He taught in the synagogues, He taught to the crowds, He taught in parables and He taught through His love and His actions. He was a model example for great teaching that inspires others to greatness. In education today, a great teacher follows Christ’s example to be someone who not only teaches but also invests in the lives of others. Throughout the years, the Educator of the Year Award has been presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to medical or dental education. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking the time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. They inspire others to excellence, while they themselves continue to learn. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to his dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2014 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. James Thompson.
Dr. Thompson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1966 and his medical degree at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 1971. He completed an otolaryngology residency at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and an otolaryngology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine.
Soon after completing his training, Dr. Thompson began his journey in education as an assistant professor of surgery at University of California, Irvine. In 1979, he began teaching at Bowman Gray School of Medicine, now known as Wake Forest University School of Medicine. During his tenure at Wake Forest, he served in a variety of capacities including assistant professor, associate dean and full professor. In 1994, he became dean of the School of Medicine, and then served as Wake Forest University Vice President from 1997 to 2001. Under his leadership, the medical school underwent significant curricular change integrating clinical and basic science education with the use of computer technology and problem-based learning. In 2002, he was named Dean Emeritus of the School of Medicine.
During this time, Dr. Thompson also represented the American Medical Association on the Executive Committee of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accrediting authority for medical education programs that lead to an MD degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools. He also served on the CMDA Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2005.
From 2002 to 2008, “JT” (as he is known to many friends) served as president and chief executive officer of the Federation of State Medical Boards, a non-profit association that serves as a collective voice for the 70-member allopathic and osteopathic state medical licensing and regulatory boards in the U.S. and its territories. In this role, he was the official spokesperson for the organization and represented the nation’s medical boards in public forums related to health regulatory policy. He has published numerous articles and speaks often about health and medical education policy, professional behavior of physicians and the role of regulatory authorities in preserving the integrity of the medical profession. Dr. Thompson currently serves as a senior consultant with The Hayes Group International, a full-service organizational consulting firm involved in physician leadership development, team building and healthcare coaching.
Dr. Thompson and his wife Carol live in Davidson, North Carolina. They have four married children and have been blessed with 11 grandchildren. In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2014 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. James Thompson.
2014 President’s Heritage Award
Dr. Merlynn (Lynn) and Mrs. Joan Colip
Award Presentation Video
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV 2011).
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2014 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Merlynn (Lynn) and Mrs. Joan Colip. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.
Floyd Merlynn “Lynn” Colip has been an innovator and a pioneer his entire life, characteristics passed down from his grandparents who were homesteaders in the 1800s. He was born in 1935 and raised on a farm in rural Norton County, Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas and the Kansas University Medical School. Following completing his medical degree, he completed an internship at Broadlawns Polk County Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. Lynn and Joan met at KU and were married in 1957, and Joan graduated shortly thereafter from the University of Kansas with a degree in mathematics.
In 1962, they returned to Norton County to begin a family practice in Lynn’s home county where he handled many challenging cases as a country doctor, bringing desperately needed healthcare to the area. In 1967, the Colips helped to found Valley Hope, a non-profit drug and alcohol treatment program in Norton. Since its founding, Valley Hope has grown to include nine in-patient and eight intensive out-patient treatment centers in seven states providing treatment to more than 1,000 patients each day. It is now one of the top drug rehabilitation chains in the U.S.
After retiring from active medical practice in the late 1990s, they purchased a vacation home in Woodland Park, Colorado. They recognized the urgent need for better medical care in the area, so they began working with community leaders to establish the Pikes Peak Regional Medical Center and Hospital, followed by the Critical Access Hospital.
Dr. Colip first became involved with CMDA while he was a first year medical student at the Kansas University Medical School. Together, Lynn and Joan have been involved with CMDA for many years and they have attended countless CMDA conferences and World Congresses in Switzerland, Norway, South Africa and Australia. Dr. Colip also served on the CMDA Board of Trustees and the International Christian Medical and Dental Association Board.
His inventive and pioneering spirit wasn’t limited to just medicine. He continued to work on his family farm throughout his medical career, managed a farm in Australia, started an oil exploration group and had interests in many other endeavors in this country and abroad. He certainly brought his innovative passion to CMDA. As Board Treasurer, he envisioned CMDA’s annuity and planned giving programs. After completing his board service, he continued to catalyze CMDA’s ministry by networking CMDA with other organizations, helping CMDA start its matching gifts fund drives and much more.
Their favorite activity over their 40 years of involvement with CMDA has been the Deer Valley Family Conferences in Colorado. Lynn and Joan said, “The conferences were always very meaningful, inspiring and friendship forming times for us and for our children and grandchildren.” Together, the Colips have four children, 14 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. They have been longtime active members of the Norton Christian Church where Dr. Colip has served as deacon, elder, trustee and Sunday School teacher. Joan has also served in the church’s music ministry.
In recognition of a life devoted to serving CMDA, serving others and doing everything for the Lord’s honor, CMDA is honored to present the 2014 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Merlynn (Lynn) and Mrs. Joan Colip.
2014 Servant of Christ Award
Robert F. Agnew, MD
Award Presentation Video
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 4:10-11, NIV 2011).
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2014 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Robert F. Agnew. Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. Like many of the great missionaries and evangelists of the past, Dr. Agnew’s journey as a servant of Christ carried him to numerous far-reaching locations in countries around the world. As this year’s recipient, his career in medicine and medical missions has been blended with his remarkable commitment to Christ through service to others.
Dr. Agnew (Bob, as he in known to his family and friends) was born in Chicago, Illinois into a family of two career Salvation Army officers. His parents were both ordained ministers, so their children received religious instruction from an early age. It was not until he was 16 years old and working at a summer camp that Bob put his faith in Jesus’ saving power and asked the Holy Spirit to take control of his life. A short time later, he began his educational path at the University of Chicago with a major in physics. Near the end of his first year of college, he attended a retirement ceremony for a missionary physician who spent his career in South India. This event served as a turning point in his life, convincing him that medicine was to be his life work. In fact, Bob changed his college major to pre-med the very next day. After completing his undergraduate degree, he went onto medical school at State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center at Syracuse in 1959. He married his wife Beth just two weeks prior to starting medical school, and she started nurse training at Syracuse University. During summer break after his first year of medical school, he was introduced to the Christian Medical Society by a fellow medical student. According to Dr. Agnew, this was a life-changing moment for him because he had not realized that such a group existed. Bob and Beth quickly became involved in the organization’s campus ministry, and he was president of his student chapter for one year.
Following medical school, Dr. Agnew completed a surgical internship, a surgical residency and also a cardiovascular thoracic residency before joining a multi-specialty group in Fargo, North Dakota in 1973. By this time, Bob and Beth had three daughters and were looking for a vacation that would appeal to the entire family. Having read about CMS’ family conference at Deer Valley Ranch, they attended for the first time, and it quickly became an annual summer tradition for their family. This conference had far-reaching effects on their family. During one summer at Deer Valley, a presentation on short-term missions made Bob realize he had not answered his call to missions. So he and Beth started on a new spiritual adventure in short-term missions that continued for many years. Since their first trip to La Ceiba, Honduras, they have visited 29 countries on three continents, performing surgeries and offering healthcare while spreading the love of Christ wherever they went. They also sponsored patients to journey to their clinic in North Dakota for cardiovascular procedures that could not be performed in their home countries.
In 1988, Dr. Agnew began representing CMDA on the national level, serving first as a state representative before joining the Board of Trustees in 1995 and then serving as President from 1999 to 2001. During his leadership, the organization changed its name from Christian Medical & Dental Society to Christian Medical & Dental Associations. He also acted as co-chair of the Changing Hearts Capital Campaign that led to the construction of CMDA’s National Headquarters in Bristol, Tennessee.
In recognition of a life focused on serving others and spreading the gospel of Christ through healthcare in their community, in our country and around the world, CMDA proudly presents the 2014 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Robert F. Agnew.
2013 Educator of the Year Award
Louis L. Carter, Jr., MD and Anne Carter, RN
Award Presentation Video
“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well” (Romans 12:6-7, New Living Translation).
Dr. Louis and Anne Carter have spent their lives following this instruction given in Romans by the apostle Paul: “If you are a teacher, teach well.” As they were both blessed with the ability to teach and influence others, they have spent more than 30 years teaching well for the glory of God. It is due to this dedication to educating and influencing others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2013 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Louis and Anne Carter.
Throughout the years, this award has been given to Christians who are dedicated to the area of medical or dental education. These devoted individuals provide only the best education for their students. They encompass knowledge, morality and compassion for mankind. They inspire others to excellence, while they themselves continue to learn. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith.
Louis and Anne were married in 1962. At the time, Anne was already a registered nurse while Louis was a student at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. After he graduated in 1964, they spent five months at a mission hospital in Tanzania before returning to the U.S. to complete his internship and residency in general surgery at Parkland Hospital and University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas. Between 1974 and 1996, Louis and Anne served with SIM in southern Nigeria in a rural hospital. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1981, Louis completed a plastic surgery residency at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. After serving on the plastic surgery faculty at UT Memphis for one year, Louis and Anne returned to Nigeria to serve at Evangel Hospital in Jos. In 1987, they left Nigeria to receive hand surgery training and later to teach plastic and hand surgery at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga.
In 1996, the Carters returned to full-time missionary service with SIM, not as traditional medical missionaries but in teaching for six to 12 weeks at mission hospitals around the world to teach general surgeons basic plastic and hand surgery. Louis is the only plastic and hand surgery missionary from the U.S. Because of their prior missionary service, they saw first-hand the need for this training as most missionary general surgeons have little training or experience in reconstructive surgery. As an operating room nurse, Anne also teaches the other operating room nurses and technicians at the hospitals they visit. An essential part of their ministry includes providing each hospital with books, instruments and equipment so that the host doctors may be able to continue treating their patients with these new techniques long after the Carter’s have left. They also plan return trips to each hospital to provide additional training and equipment. In the last 18 years, they have made 79 trips overseas, visiting 28 hospitals in 21 countries.
Dr. Carter most recently was involved in editing Principles of Reconstructive Surgery in Africa, an e-book on reconstructive surgery for general surgeons in Africa. A project of the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons, the book covers reconstructive problems common in Africa that aren’t mentioned in Western textbooks.
Throughout their years of service in medical education, they remain dedicated to their mission, “That the deformed may be healed and hear the Good News.” Louis and Anne’s life-long dedication to education through medical missions continues to play an integral role in meeting the needs of so many across the world. It is in recognition of this service that CMDA proudly presents the 2013 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Louis and Anne Carter.
2013 President’s Heritage Award
Robert Scheidt, MD
Award Presentation Video
“I never forget h ow God helps me, and it is therefore my last wish that everything may be to his honor.” Søren Kierkegaard
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2013 President’s Heritage Award to Robert Scheidt, MD. This award is given to an individual whose life and work support the mission of CMDA.
Robert “Bob” was born in Celina, Ohio in 1934. He was a 1956 graduate of Wheaton College and earned his medical degree from Northwestern Medical School in 1960. During the Berlin Crisis, he served in Germany as a captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for three years. After returning to the U.S., he completed his postgraduate surgical training at Northwestern University and began private practice in general surgery in his hometown of Van Wert, Ohio in 1969.
From that time until 2001, Dr. Scheidt practiced general surgery in various locations in Ohio. He was known to be a quiet and conservative man, in addition to being an excellent surgeon and physician. He loved classical music and would drive into Chicago as a season ticket holder of the Chicago Symphony to enjoy a night of music produced by a world-class orchestra. After a brief illness with cancer, he passed away on Saturday, December 14, 2012. At the time of his death, he was serving as a prison chaplain at the Lima Correction Institute. Bob is survived by his wife Sandra, four children and 10 grandchildren.
A lifetime member of CMDA, Bob joined the organization as a student during medical school and remained actively involved throughout his career. He served CMDA in many ways but will always be remembered for the year he stood in the gap during a crucial transition of leadership. He served as president of CMDA from 1993 to 1995, helping to manage the organization after the General Secretary’s resignation. His leadership left a big imprint on CMDA. According to Dr. Don Wood who served on the Board of Trustees with him, “His leadership as president was a joy to behold. He ran a good meeting, was knowledgeable and always ready with a quote or quip. He was a student and teacher of the Word of God…he poured over the Gospels to know Jesus better.”
After his term as president ended, he served as the chair of the Ethics Committee for many years. He helmed the panel of experts, helping to craft CMDA’s ethics statements and positions on various issues to ensure they were in line with Scripture. He was known for handling the process with control, candor and humor. He also served as a spokesman to various media and news outlets. In addition, Dr. Scheidt led short-term mission trips to the Dominican Republic for 20 years.
Those who knew him described Bob as a unique individual, a C.S. Lewis scholar, a lover of traditional hymns, and an avid reader. His particular fondness for Kierkegaard led him to author the anthology titled Kierkegaad the Christian. But Dr. Scheidt was most passionate about his Lord Jesus Christ. In a personal note to Dr. Wood, Bob wrote, “The best is yet to come. We’ll see each other, and we’ll all see Jesus.”
It was this constant focus on serving Jesus that Bob will be most remembered for by his family, his friends and his colleagues. In recognition of a life devoted to serving CMDA and doing everything for the Lord’s honor, CMDA is honored to posthumously present the 2013 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Robert Scheidt.
2013 Servant of Christ Award
Dr. Richard and Mrs. Millie Bransford
Award Presentation Video
“If you make any human being your model, let it be the apostle Paul. Considering him merely as a man, what noble and elevated sentiments he possessed, what undaunted courage he displayed…” John Williams, 19th century missionary
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2013 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Richard and Mrs. Millie Bransford. Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. Like many of the great missionaries and evangelists of the past, the Bransfords’ journey as servants of Christ carried them to numerous far-reaching locations in countries around the world. As this year’s recipients, their career in medical missions spans more than three decades as they blend their commitment to Christ with service to others through a remarkable dedication to excellence in medicine.
Dr. Bransford was born in Long Beach, California. He began his educational path in his home state at Compton College and completed his degree in physics at UCLA, but he soon headed to the East Coast for medical school where he married his wife Millie in 1965. Millie studied mathematics at the College of William and Mary, and was a charter member of the school’s chapter of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Richard graduated from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland in 1967. He had surgical residency positions in West Virginia and Nebraska; afterwards he served two years as a surgeon in the Air Force in Washington.
In 1975, their journey began following an international course as he and Millie traveled first to Switzerland with AIM International. While in Switzerland, they spent time trying to learn French in preparation for future work while also raising their small children. In 1976, Richard earned a degree in Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. With that training in hand, the Bransford family set their course for the mission field. It’s a life path that they have remained committed to for more than three decades.
Dr. Bransford’s work on the mission field as a career medical missionary began with surgery appointments in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoro Islands. From 1978 to 1998, they served at Kijabe Hospital in Kenya, and Richard even worked as the acting Executive Director for a period of time. While they served in Kijabe, Millie used her skills in math to work as a mathematics teacher, in addition to teaching Bible and French at several different national schools in Kenya. In 1998, Dick and Millie helped found Bethany Crippled Children’s Centre in Kijabe. He held several different positions with this new program including medical director, program director and pediatric rehabilitation surgeon. Fueled by a desire to improve the lives of African children through surgical intervention, they went on to co-found Bethany Relief and Rehabilitation International, now known as BethanyKids, in 2001. BethanyKids seeks to transform the lives of African children with surgical conditions and disabilities through pediatric surgery, rehabilitation, public education, spiritual ministry and training health professionals. Today, it now assumes responsibility for all children’s services at Kijabe Hospital and is the only accredited training center in East Africa for pediatric surgeons.
Their focus on caring for the underserved became the defining theme of their entire career as medical missionaries. In 2010, Dick was awarded AMA’s Dr. Nathan Davis International Award in Medicine and the ACS Surgical Humanitarian Award. Today, Dick and Millie continue to follow God’s path as they travel throughout locations in Africa, spreading both compassionate care and the gospel throughout their journey. To this day, Richard still continues to serve as a consultant to several hospitals throughout Africa. When discussing the organizations he has worked with or supported over the years, Dr. Bransford said, “Each was birthed with a view to glorify God, and most through the compassionate care of children and their families. Each has borne fruit for eternity. I have no doubt that each was placed in God’s hands, and each was guided carefully by Him.”
Dick and Millie have seven children, including two they adopted while living in Kenya, and 17 grandchildren. In recognition of their lives focused on traveling in the footsteps of Christ with undaunted courage to serve the underserved, CMDA proudly presents the 2013 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Richard and Mrs. Millie Bransford.
2012 Educator of the Year Award
Bruce V. MacFadyen, Jr., MD
Award Presentation Video
“Everyone comes between men’s souls and God, either as a brick wall or as a bridge. Either you are leading men to God or you are driving them away.” Canon Lindsay Dewar
Dr. Bruce MacFadyen has spent his career as a surgeon and his life as a follower of Christ focused on serving as a bridge to lead others to Christ. This emphasis on influencing and educating the next generation is one of the many reasons the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2012 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Bruce MacFadyen.
This award is presented to medical and dental professionals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to medical or dental education. They take the time to share their knowledge, compassion and Christ-like character with others. They not only motivate others to academic excellence, they inspire personal and spiritual excellence. Dr. MacFadyen embraces these commitments, and has been a significant contributor to multiple educational roles through the course of his lifetime of service in academic medicine and medical missions.
He graduated from Wheaton College in 1964, and from Hahnemann Medical College and Hospital in 1968. He completed his residency in General Surgery and started his research at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Texas Hermann and MDAnderson Hospitals, where he began his career teaching the next generation of medical students. He served as Chairman of Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia and is transitioning to Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston part time to enable him to spend a large proportion of his time teaching surgery at mission hospitals. His academic career spans more than 40 years, and he has written many articles in surgical journals, edited two surgical textbooks and served as the editor of two surgical journals. He’s also received multiple awards for his teaching excellence in addition to being considered one of America’s top surgeons.
Dr. MacFadyen was born into a Christian home and was exposed to the gospel at an early age, accepting Christ when he was eight years old. As he grew in his faith and studied God’s Word, he realized God was asking him to be totally committed to Him. He didn’t fully understand that concept until he was involved in a car fire in 1981, resulting in second-degree burns on his face and third degree burns on his dominant right hand. They were injuries that could have devastated his career as a surgeon, but instead created a fervent desire to share his faith. “I will never forget that experience,” he said. “I knew in a deep way that my hands belonged to Him.”
Since that time, Dr. MacFadyen has been using his medical skills to further the kingdom through patient relationships, mentoring students and residents and teaching on the mission field. A lifetime member of CMDA, he is a member of the Continuing Education Committee, previously was the surgical dean for the Continuing Medical & Dental Education conferences and served on the MEI Commission for many years. He is also a founding member of the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons, serving as chairman of the commission for a number of years. In this role, he helps to develop residency programs in African mission hospitals to address the challenges of healthcare and medical missions in one of the most needy parts of the world.
He continues to play a key role in educating and encouraging faculty, residents and students to use their gifts to serve as a bridge in the service of the Lord through involvement in medical missions. It is in recognition of this service that CMDA proudly presents the 2012 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Bruce MacFadyen.
2012 Missionary of the Year Award
Bruce M. Dahlman, MD
Award Presentation Video
“There is no greater joy than living a fully surrendered life.” Rev. Jacob Schmidt, Dr. Dahlman’s grandfather
The CMDA Missionary of the Year Award exists to honor outstanding missionary doctors who give countless hours to bring healing and God’s light to those who are suffering. Time, dedication, service, courage and faith have all been involved in the efforts of this year’s recipient to bind up wounds and share the gospel. The missionary we recognize has truly been an instrument of God, and continues to inspire others to develop a heart for missions. It is an honor for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to present Dr. Bruce Dahlman with the 2012 Missionary of the Year Award.
Working as a rural family doctor and a medical faculty member in the U.S. and serving as a missionary doctor, administrator and teacher in Kenya for the past two decades, Dr. Dahlman is committed to the importance of education, mentoring and discipling both at home and on the mission field. He grew up in Minnesota, was raised in a strong Christian home and learned about missions at an early age. While on a short-term missions trip to Alaska during his undergraduate education, his call to missions was confirmed. He met his future wife Kate while serving at a Christian wilderness camp during summer break from medical school, and they married in 1979. Just 10 months later, they went on their first medical missions trip to Eastern Congo. After seeing the disparity of medical resources care in Africa, Bruce chose family medicine as his specialty. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1981, and completed his family practice residency at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine in 1984. During eight years of clinical practice in Minnesota, he mentored medical students and also precepted family medicine residents. Bruce and Kate added to their family during this period, becoming parents to Erik, Ryan and Kaari.
In 1992, Dr. Dahlman transferred his skills in education to an international level when their family answered God’s call to serve at AIC Kijabe Hospital in Kenya. He began work in clinical roles, but was named medical director six months later. Since that time, his duties and positions have varied at numerous locations, including providing oversight to teaching units, writing grants, establishing a new ICU, overseeing internships, contributing to relief work efforts as a bush doctor, raising funds for local schools, providing lectures and supervisory efforts to national teaching hospitals, developing curriculum for Kenya’s first family medicine residency program and much more. He was also an integral participant in weekend outreaches among the Maasai that have multiplied into several thousand believers in a dozen churches, as well as a primary school that now serves more than 500 children. As Kate helped develop nursing programs, Bruce served in his leadership roles with energy, vision and a heart for the unreached.
Today, Bruce continues to serve cross-culturally with positions in both the U.S. and Kenya. At the University of Minnesota, he is mentoring immigrant physicians from underrepresented communities. Both Bruce and Kate also serve as AIM International Health Ministries Advisors. He serves as the Development Director for the Institute of Family Medicine, focusing on fundraising and recruiting family medicine educators to assist in East African residency teaching. He remains committed to educating and discipling nationals in East Africa, and envisions increasing collaborations between U.S. and Africa-based family medicine residencies, improving and enhancing available resources and developing a global health fellowship.
In response to learning of his selection for the CMDA Missionary of the Year Award, Dr. Dahlman wrote, “I am deeply humbled at the receipt of this invitation and honor. Our God is opening unprecedented opportunity through sacrificial missionary service to give witness…to the many tribes, peoples and languages who have yet to claim their place to ‘stand before the throne and in front of the lamb.’ Until they do, we have much work yet to do and much prayer to be offered.” In recognition of his devotion to cross-cultural service, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly presents the 2012 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Bruce Dahlman.
2012 Servant of Christ Award
Eugene Carroll Stone, MD
Award Presentation Video
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord” (Mark 9:35, NIV 1984).
Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. This year’s recipient blends commitment to Christ and service to others while demonstrating remarkable dedication to excellence in medicine. The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present Dr. Eugene Carroll Stone with the 2012 Servant of Christ Award. Dr. Stone’s wonderful testimony of faith in Christ is spiced with 56 years of practice experience and wisdom, providing the platform upon which he has influenced his colleagues, his profession and the world around him.
Dr. Stone was born in Memphis, Tennessee, where he began his educational journey leading to Wheaton College where he met Althea, his wife of the past 68 years. After two and a half years at Wheaton, he went to Boston University School of Medicine and graduated in 1946. He took his post graduate medical training in the U.S. Navy where he attended the Navy Deep Sea Diving School and the Submarine School in New London, Connecticut. A year later he qualified as a submarine surgeon, receiving the coveted Dolphin pin. At that time, he was the only junior medical officer to be so designated. During the Korean War he supervised the newly formed Navy Seals in the training and use of scuba gear.
After the war, he began a private practice of general medicine in the Boston suburb of Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, with privileges at an elite hospital with more than 300 on the medical staff, many internationally known. Eleven years later, he and Althea both felt God’s call to move south with their five children to Oxford, Mississippi, where he continued private practice. There he served on a medical staff with only 12 doctors. During his tenure in Oxford, he served in many capacities, including chief of medicine for 10 years, director of home health and hospice departments and director of the skilled nursing facility. He also instituted and chaired the ethics committee. In 1996, the Veterans Administration recruited him as the medical director of the newly built VA nursing home in Oxford, which he directed until retiring from active medical practice in 2004.
Dr. Stone became a follower of Jesus at age eight and had several major encounters with the Lord in subsequent years. Wherever he lived, he served churches in many capacities, such as deacon, trustee, Sunday school teacher and youth leader. Ordained as a pastor in 1979 by the Gulf Coast Fellowship of Covenant Churches in Mobile, Alabama, he has pastored the Covenant Church of North Mississippi since then. He was a volunteer chaplain at the Mississippi State Penitentiary for 10 years, one of only two volunteers serving Death Row. He was elected and served as president of the Oxford Ministerial Association for three years.
In 1993, Dr. Stone made his first mission trip to China, subsequently invited by the Chinese government to return. He and fellow team members formed a sponsoring organization, Servants in the Name of Christ, with Dr. Stone as president. Dr. Stone has led 10 teams of medical and dental personnel to the Sichuan province of China to teach Western methods to Chinese professionals. In 2002, he was appointed as one of only three Overseas Directors of the Sichuan Provincial Friendship Committee. Several of the physicians Dr. Stone met in Sichuan have been sent by the Sichuan government to the Oxford hospital for four to six months of training. Local CMDA members mentored these doctors in their same specialties. While in Oxford, Dr. Stone led them to Jesus Christ and baptized each of them before their return to Sichuan. Even though Dr. Stone is no longer able to physically return to China, he maintains continued contact with them.
While he was at Wheaton College, Northwestern medical students introduced Dr. Stone to the Christian Medical Society. There was no local chapter in Boston during Dr. Stone’s years in medical school or during his years of practice in Wellesley Hills, but he did belong to the national society. Dr. Stone established a chapter in Oxford where he serves as president. The chapter is considering the development of a pre-med chapter at Ole Miss.
In recognition of a life focused on being in the presence of Christ, CMDA proudly presents the 2012 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Carroll Stone.
2012 President’s Heritage Award
Peter E. Dawson, DDS
Award Presentation Video
“My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3, NIV 1984).
“I have been richly blessed by God, and I have a burning desire to do what I can to bring His message to anyone who will listen.” These words from Dr. Pete Dawson reflect the desires and wishes shared by Christians across the world, and it’s a goal we aspire to as an organization. This parallel desire to share Christ with the world is a key reason the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to award the 2012 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Pete Dawson.
This award is given to an individual whose life and work support the mission of CMDA. As this year’s recipient, Dr. Dawson holds a prominent position to influence the dental community, and he focuses on using that opportunity for God’s glory. In addition, he has been instrumental in launching CMDA’s Dental Ministries, an outreach to influence dentists to better integrate their faith into their professional and personal lives. Considered by many to be the most well-known name in the field of dentistry, Dr. Dawson’s dental career spans more than 50 years. He graduated from the Emory University School of Dentistry in 1954, and was quickly recognized as a leader in his field with the Thomas P. Hinman Medallion Award for Leadership in Dental Progress in 1964.
He is the founder and director of The Dawson Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida, a teaching center and multidisciplinary think tank in which active clinicians from all dental specialties combine their expertise in a search for better understanding of dental diagnosis and treatment. Since its establishment more than 40 years ago, dentists from around the world have attended Dr. Dawson’s seminars on “The Concept of Complete Dentistry.” He served as professor at several schools, in addition to lecturing throughout the U.S. and around the world at universities, clubs and at major dental meetings. He is the author of Evaluation, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Occlusal Problems, the all-time bestselling dental textbook.
Dr. Dawson married his wife Jodie in 1957. They had both been raised in a religiously observant home and raised their four children to follow that same path in the hope of earning their way into heaven. But through Bible studies, both Pete and Jodie came to realize that they had never fully understood the message of the cross. As a result of more than seven years of biblical study and fellowship, his faith and relationship with Jesus grew to become the central theme and purpose of his life.
That new Christ-centered purpose helped him to understand that his position of influence in the dental profession placed him in a unique situation to share his faith with others. Along with friends, he began offering retreats for dentists, boldly and openly proclaiming them to be Christian-oriented. He now incorporates his faith into his work and lectures. He said, “I know I have an audience of dentists who are ripe to hear, and I want to help in whatever way I can…to further the great work already in action at CMDA. I ask for God’s help to make me an effective and humble partner.”
As a result of his continued focus to use his faith to influence the dental community, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present Dr. Pete Dawson with the 2012 President’s Heritage Award.
2011 Educator of the Year Award
Richard G. Topazian, DDS, MBA
Award Presentation Video
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
These words from the Apostle Paul describe how Dr. Richard G. Topazian has led his life; standing firm and giving fully of himself.
The CMDA Educator of the Year Award is presented to medical and dental professionals who have demonstrated exceptionally dedication to medical or dental education. These devoted individuals have provided the high quality education to those who God places in their path. They take the time to share their knowledge, compassion, and Christ-like character with others. They not only motivate others to academic excellence, they inspire personal and spiritual excellence. It is because of such commitment that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations presents the 2011 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Richard Topazian.
Beginning with a Medical Group Missions trip to the Dominican Republic Dr. Topazian and his wife, Pauline, have participated in over 70 short-term mission projects scattered throughout the world. In addition to providing clinical care, he has provided numerous lectures to dental and medical groups. Through the years Dr. Topazian has been involved in volunteer teaching programs in Moscow, Mongolia, Kosovo, and Albania with Medical Education International, and in India, Volgograd, Russia, Trinidad and Uganda with Health Volunteers Overseas. In more recent years, his work has frequently involved repair of cleft lip and cleft palate. He has taught many surgeons, both nationals and missionaries in the techniques of cleft surgery. Many of his projects included dental students and/or oral surgery residents. Whether in the lecture hall, the clinic, the operatory, or meeting informally, Dr. Topazian was always teaching.
Dr. Topazian is a graduate of the Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He was trained in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia General Hospital. He and Pauline served as missionaries at the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore, India for four years. There he taught medical students and established a general dentistry residency program. Upon returning to the United States he began an academic career first, at the University of Kentucky, and then as Chair at the Medical College of Georgia. Later he served as Chair of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Connecticut. He now is professor emeritus of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
As member since 1958, Dr. Topazian has been a regular participant in CMDA’s mission programs; most recently, Medical Education International and Continuing Medical & Dental Education Commission (CMDE). In addition to faculty participation, he developed the CMDE Dental program for missionaries.
In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2011 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Richard Topazian.
2011 Missionary of the Year Award
Dr. Tim and Mrs. Muriel Teusink
Award Presentation Video
"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:39
The CMDA Missionary of the Year award is presented to those who personify a love and passion for living out and sharing the Gospel, an attitude of humility and service, and a courageous and persevering faith; those who demonstrate outstanding effectiveness in ministry; and those who inspire others to develop a heart for missions. That Dr. Tim and Mrs. Muriel Teusink qualify on all counts is undeniable. Their love for the underserved was demonstrated before they met, and has continued throughout their married life. Not surprisingly, both of their grown children are interested in international ministry.
Dr. Teusink chose “Family Medicine” as his specialty with additional training in surgery and tropical medicine, entering the Medical Assistance Program International Fellowship in India during his senior year of both medical school and Family Medicine Residency. Muriel received her B. Ed. in Secondary Education from the University of Calgary in 1971, and served as an educational missionary in Haiti from 1976-83 overseeing the sponsorship projects in the schools and beginning a professional development program for teachers. She and Tim were married in 1983, having met in Haiti. At that time, she joined him in leading teams to rural Haiti; an endeavor he began in 1982. In between these tours, Dr. Teusink was an emergency physician at Central Memorial Hospital in Toppenish, Washington.
The Teusinks completed two terms of service with Free Methodist World Missions at Kibogora Hospital in Rwanda in 1993. During this time, Mrs. Teusink worked in the hospital finance division and as mission hostess while raising their two children, a son born in 1985 and a daughter born in 1987. Following their service in Rwanda, Dr. Teusink served short-term at Raleigh Fitkin Hospital in Manzini, Swaziland and again at Kibogora Hospital.
Going to Ethiopia in August 2000 with Free Methodist World Missions, in November 2002 the Teusink’s joined SIM (Serving in Mission) in Ethiopia, where Dr. Teusink has been director of SIM-Ethiopia’s HIV/AIDS Prevention & Care Ministries. His primary focus is theological education, particularly a biblical perspective on sexuality and marriage. He works with two national churches that serve 42 million members, and teaches at four theological colleges. He is particularly interested in encouraging transformational, holistic, sustainable community development in HIV/AIDS prevention and care through the church, working across denominational lines.
Muriel is the teacher/librarian at Bingham Academy, a K-12 school for missionary children and others. She received her post-graduate diploma in School Libraries from the University of Alberta in 2007. She is involved with Bible Study Fellowship and the International Women’s Club in Addis Ababa.
In response to learning of their selection for the CMDA Missionary of the Year Award Dr. Teusink wrote, “We are humbled and honored to [be chosen for] this award. It is particularly meaningful having been so blessed by my association with CMS/CMDA since 1975. At every stage of my career, CMDA has been an integral part of the journey, and if this award can be a means to glorify God and emphasize how He has blessed our ministry through CMDA, we would be pleased.”
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to bestow the 2011 Missionary of the Year Award on Dr. Tim and Muriel Teusink.
2011 Servant of Christ Award
James D. Smith, MD
Award Presentation Video
"If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Mark 9:35
Teaching and healing have been lifelong passions of our 2011 Servant of Christ Award recipient, Dr. James Smith. The Servant of Christ Award was created in 1972 by the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to honor those whose careers exemplify a commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. Dr. Smith is such a man. He is Professor Emeritus from Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Smith’s medical career began in 1965 when he graduated from the University of Iowa Medical School. After his internship he served as a physician in Kenya for the Peace Corps. He completed his residency in otolaryngology in 1973 at the University of Iowa Since 1973, Dr. Smith has been on the faculty at Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland Oregon as well as Otolaryngology Consultant at the Veteran’s Hospital in Portland.
His heart for missions and teaching led Dr. Smith to serve as a Visiting Professor and Senior Consultant in Otolaryngology for the National University Hospital in Singapore, a position he held from 1997 through 2006. He was also a Visiting Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology at the Beijing Children’s Hospital in China in 2007 and 2009. Dr. Smith first became a member of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations in 1984 when he was asked to be part of the teaching faculty for the Continuing Medical and Dental Education conference in Kenya. The relationship has been a lasting one, with Dr. Smith becoming a member of the CMDE Commission. In 2003 he became the chairman of the COIMEA Commission, which was later changed to Medical Education International (MEI). Over the years, Dr. Smith’s passion for medical missions has not wavered. He takes three to five mission trips each year, leading MEI teams to several different countries. He is Chairman of the Board of ComCare, a Christian international non-profit organization that provides solar powered hearing aids and services for less developed countries.
This distinguished medical professional has been recognized many times for his dedication and tireless service, most notably in 2007 when he received the Stephen Gray Humanitarian Award, from the Society of Ear, Nose and Throat Advances in Children (SENTAC) and again in 2008 when he was named by the American Academy of Otolaryngology for the Distinguished Service Award for Humanitarian Services. His services “have benefited countless patients, students and colleagues.” CMDA is delighted to add the Servant of Christ Award to Dr. James Smith’s list of honors. We pray that the world will continue to benefit from his inexhaustible medical skills as well as his generous spirit for many years to come.
2011 President’s Heritage Award
William P. Wilson, MD
Award Presentation Video
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.... His delight is in the law of the Lord.... He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:1-3
Dr. William P. Wilson’s life exemplifies CMDA’s mission to glorify God by motivating, educating and equipping Christian doctors and students. His service to God began in 1949 as a Resident in Psychiatry at Duke Medical Center, and has continued for 62 years. Today he is still serving as Distinguished Professor of Counseling at Carolina Evangelical Divinity School, and Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Wilson has followed at least three career paths; one as a practicing psychiatrist, one as a professor of psychiatry, and one as the author of at least 168 publications including articles in prestigious medical journals, books, and audiovisual materials.
His career in psychiatric medicine began with an internship at the Gorgas Hospital in Panama, continued with a residency at Duke Medical Center (becoming Chief Resident in Psychiatry), and culminated as Head of the Laboratories of Clinical Neurophysiology at Duke Medical Center. His teaching career, which overlapped his medical career, began at Duke University in 1955 and progressed through the University of Texas at Galveston, and continues today by directing the Institute of Christian Growth and the Life Way Mental Health Associates, both in Burlington, NC. Dr. Wilson believes and teaches that Christianity has a role in psychiatry. This is evidenced by the nomination letter we received from one of his former students. Linda Flower wrote, “I met Dr. Wilson when I was taking an away rotation called ‘Christian Psychiatry.’ In fact, he took me with him to a CMDA meeting. He mentored both David Larson and Paul Meier, and has continued to disciple many individuals through the Institute for Christian Growth.”
In addition to this overwhelming body of work, Dr. Wilson enjoyed a successful marriage to Elizabeth, with whom he reared five children. In this aspect of his life, he served as president of the Parent/Teacher Association in two schools, was a scout leader for both a cub pack and a troop, commanded a boating safety organization, and served seven terms on various church boards. He was president of the United Methodist Church Renewal Services, and director of Good News, a forum for scriptural Christianity in Methodism.
Dr. Wilson’s work with a variety of mission agencies has allowed him to lecture from a Christian perspective on mental health issues in five African counties, three Asian countries, and five European countries. That his Christianity is expressed in his work is evidenced by the names of just a few of his publications: “Mental Health Benefits of Religious Salvation,” “Utilization of Christian Beliefs in Psychotherapy,” and “The Ethics of Sharing Religious Faith in Psychotherapy.” His audio series called “A Christian Legacy in Psychiatry,” co-produced with four other physicians, has been advertised on the pages of Today’s Christian Doctor.
For his impressive body of work, for his exemplary standard as a Christian physician, professor, writer, lecturer, husband, father, church and community leader, Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present Dr. William P. Wilson with the 2011 President’s Heritage Award.
2010 Educator of the Year Award
Lawrence Norton, MD
Award Presentation Video
"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it." Thomas Fuller
Wisdom is a gift from God, given to those who devote themselves to Him. Thankfully, there are people that recognize their gift and take it to the ends of the earth so that others can light their candles from it. This describes the winner of the 2010 Educator of the Year Award. The CMDA Educator of the Year Award is presented to medical professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to medical or dental education. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to those who God places in their path. They take the time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion with others. They inspire others to not only academic excellence, but personal and spiritual excellence as well. It is because of such dedication that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations presents the 2010 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Larry Norton.
Dr. Norton is a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, in New York City.. He trained in general surgery at the University of Colorado and the University of Kentucky. After residency, Dr. Norton served as a medical missionary in Assam, India, for five years. He then entered academic surgery becoming a Professor and Vice-Chairman at both the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Dr. Norton is a member of many professional societies including the American College of Surgeons. He has edited three surgical textbooks and has published over 160 articles and chapters. Since retiring in 1997, Dr. Norton has made 35 visits to 19 medical schools and ten mission hospitals in 17 developing countries on four continents. Most of these trips have involved local missionaries with the hope of encouraging them and opening new doors to witnessing by lecturing in nearby medical schools and hospitals.
As a CMDA member, Dr. Norton has taught in ten Continuing Medical and Dental (CMDE) Conferences in Africa and Asia and has participated in more than a dozen Medical Education International (MEI) projects overseas including seven trips to Mongolia. He served on the CMDE Commission and on the MEI Advisory Board.
Colleagues describe Dr. Norton as an enthusiastic and excellent teacher in mission situations with an unusual sensitivity in cross-cultural settings. In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2010 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Larry Norton.
2010 Missionary of the Year Award
Neil O. Thompson, MD
Award Presentation Video
“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.” John Keith Falconer
In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus teaches that we are to be the light of the world. Our light is not to be hidden; rather, our light and good deeds should lead others to praise God. We praise God because of this year’s Missionary of the Year, Dr. Neil Thompson. This Missionary of the Year Award exists to honor outstanding missionary doctors who give of themselves to bring healing and the light of the Gospel to those who are suffering. Such has been the life of Dr. Thompson. He served as a missionary surgeon in Thailand from 1979 to 2001, bringing high quality surgical care and spiritual hope to people in great need. In recognition of Dr. Neil Thompson’s ministry of light, hope and, healing, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is pleased to present him with the 2010 Missionary of the Year Award.
Dr. Thompson grew up in New Jersey and was influenced by many godly mentors as a child. He was especially influenced by the Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship Urbana Missions conference while a college student, and through an elective at Manorom Christian Hospital (MCH) in central Thailand. Dr. Thompson received his education from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and his general surgery residency at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. He joined CMDA in 1968.
Neil returned to Thailand in 1978 and served as a missionary surgeon at MCH including service as Hospital Director from 1998 – 2000. Under his leadership, the hospital had a ministry focused on staff development, high quality medical care, evangelism, and church planting. Dr. Thompson has been the U. S. Director of OMF International, formerly the China Inland Mission and Overseas Missionary Fellowship, since 2001. While difficult to leave medicine and Thailand, his embraced God’s call for him to mobilize professionals to see God glorified through establishing indigenous, biblical church movements in East Asia.
Dr. Thompson and his wife Wannee live in Littleton, Colorado with their two sons, Nathan and Kevin. For his faithfulness in representing Christ and letting his light shine, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly present the 2010 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Neil O. Thompson.
2010 Servant of Christ Award
David Thompson, MD
Award Presentation Video
“Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:23
The life of Dr. David Thompson is marked by dedication and sacrifice. After a traumatic childhood experience David asked God to allow him to become someone who could serve the sick and dying, and share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ. So began the life of a Servant of Christ.
The Servant of Christ award was established in 1972 to honor those whose careers have blended well the attributes of a commitment to Christ and service to others; those who have demonstrated a remarkable dedication to excellence in the field of missions, research, patient care or medical ethics. In recognition of such a man, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations seeks to honor Dr. David Thompson with the 2010 Servant of Christ Award.
After spending his childhood on the mission field in Cambodia, Dr. Thompson attended the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. There he became active in CMDA. He served for three years as the student president for the CMDA chapter.
In 1977 Dr. Thompson and his wife accepted a call by the Christian & Missionary Alliance to establish new medical work in central Africa. In 1981 he returned to the states to complete a general surgery residency at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. The Thompsons then returned to Africa.
In the years since, along with his wife and colleagues, Dr. Thompson transformed a small dispensary into a 120-bed, full-service hospital. In caring for tens of thousands of patients, more than 7,000 have entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Their team is also involved in churches planting.
In 1996, Dr. Thompson helped establish the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS). As one of the ministries of CMDA, PAACS is dedicated to establishing surgical training programs for African doctors at existing Christian hospitals. Dr. Thompson also serves as the Medical Director of Bongolo Hospital, the Chief of Surgery, and the PAACS Director for Africa.
Dr. Thompson has authored three books: On Call -- his testimony/biography; Beyond the Mist -- the story of the beginning of the church in south Gabon; and The Hand on My Scalpel -- a collection of stories from his work. A fourth book on the theology of mercy based on what he has learned in 30 years of serving is currently in writing.
For his life of service, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to honor Dr. Thompson with the 2010 Servant of Christ Award.
2010 President’s Heritage Award
Teresa Collett, J.D.
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher power. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Roman 13:1
The President’s Heritage Award is given to an individual whose life and work has supported the mission of Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). This year’s recipient has been a valuable legal advocate in CMDA’s efforts to protect human life. For her labor to defend and define the law for medical professionals and patients, both here and around the world, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to award Professor Teresa Collett with the 2010 President’s Heritage Award.
Teresa Collett graduated with honors from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. There she began her teaching career as a visiting professor. Since 2003 she has been Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, MN. In addition to teaching bioethics and constitutional law, Professor Collett serves as director of the Prolife Advocacy Center.
As special attorney general, Professor Collett fought to keep the Oklahoma law requiring ultrasounds before abortions. Recently she served as special attorney general for the State of Kansas, defending that state’s reporting law related to statutory rape. She has represented CMDA in an appellate case related to abortion. As a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court, she has represented the governors of Minnesota and North Dakota as amici curiae, as well as the Illinois State Medical Society in defending partial-birth abortion bans.
As an elected member of the American Law Institute, Professor Collett has testified before committees of the United States House of Representative and the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittees on the Constitution, as well as numerous legislative committees in the state. She often represents CMDA and many other groups in appellate cases.
As her skills and effort have influenced many laws and lawmakers to honor life, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly presents Teresa Collett with the 2010 President’s Heritage Award.
2009 Educator of the Year Award
John D. Mellinger, MD
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105
In addition to spiritual light needed to guide our journey, Jesus taught us the importance of going the extra mile. In education, that translates into someone who not only teaches but who is also willing to mentor, investing his life into the lives of others. The CMDA Educator of the Year Award is presented to medical professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to medical or dental education. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to those who God places in their path. They take the time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. They inspire others to not only academic excellence, but personal and spiritual excellence as well. It is because of such dedication that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations presents the 2009 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. John Mellinger.
Dr. Mellinger is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. He completed a General Surgery Internship at the University of Washington and a General Surgery Residency at Blodgett Memorial Medical Center/St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He subsequently completed Fellowships in Surgical Endoscopy and Surgical Education Research, and while in fellowship, earned the first prize in the SAGES Resident/Fellow Research Competition. While serving our country for 4 years in the US Air Force, Dr. Mellinger was a staff surgeon as well as Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery and Assistant Program Director for the Wright State University General Surgery Residency. Dr. Mellinger is currently the Program Director for the General Surgical Residency, Professor of Surgery, and Chief of Gastrointestinal Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia.
Having been a CMDA member for nearly 30 years, Dr. Mellinger serves on the Commission for Medical & Dental Education as Academic Dean, and on the advisory council for the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons. He has presented 18 times at the Continuing Medical Education Conferences in Kenya and Thailand since 2002. His teaching in surgery and medical education has been acclaimed in these venues.
Dr. Mellinger’s contributions in medical teaching and research have also been recognized in universities over the last two decades. He has received multiple Outstanding Teacher Awards, including from Wright State University, Michigan State University/Grand Rapids Campus, the Medical College of Georgia, and the Association for Surgical Education. He received the Best Doctors in America Award in 2007, 2008, and 2009. He serves in leadership and board roles with several national surgical and educational organizations. In addition to writing numerous abstracts, poster and video presentations, Dr. Mellinger has contributed to 28 peer-reviewed publications, 14 review articles, and written 17 book chapters.
Colleagues describe Dr. Mellinger’s leadership as academically excellent, pedagogically creative, personally warm, and spiritually sensitive. His deep faith permeates all of his life and serves as an inspiration to colleagues and students who admire and seek to emulate his gentle spirit and his outstanding professional achievements.
In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2009 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. John Mellinger.
2009 Missionary of the Year Award
Donald Duvall, MD, and Sarah Duvall, MD
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. – Rescue the Perishing by Fannie Crosby
The challenge of this lovely hymn has been fulfilled by the recipients of the 2009 Missionary of the Year Award. This award is presented to missionary doctors whose lives demonstrate a passion for reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They served on the mission field for over 32 years, investing their lives in preaching the Word, practicing, and teaching medicine. In addition to their personal efforts, they have inspired others to develop a passion for the Great Commission. In recognition of lives well spent, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is pleased to present Drs. Donald and Sarah Duvall with the 2009 Missionary of the Year Award.
In 1973, Drs. Sarah Eddleman Duvall and Donald Graham Duvall began their journey teaching the people of Indonesia about the love of God. As missionary doctors and parents to three young children, their lives were filled with many responsibilities and demands, but none as important to them as sharing Christ and growing in the Faith. With more than three decades of full-time medical missions the Duvalls created a legacy of exemplary service.
The daughter of a missionary, Sarah was born in Tiberias, Palestine while her parents were serving in Nazereth. Donald’s roots began in Lexington, KY where he received scholastic honors and was an exceptional basketball player. Later, both he and Sarah attended Georgetown Baptist College in Georgetown, KY and were married in 1961. While Donald attended the Tulane University School of Medicine, Sarah attended LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. Donald completed an Internship and General Surgery Residency in the U.S. Public Health Hospital in New Orleans and was Assistant Chief of Surgery. Sarah (interned at the Baptist Hospital in New Orleans) received her OB/Gyn training at the University of Louisville finishing her final year at St. Paul Ramsey Hospital.
Shortly after receiving their training, the Duvalls set out for Indonesia. Both served at the Kediri Baptist Hospital, Donald as general surgeon, later becoming the Director of the Hospital and Sarah, in addition to her work in obstetrics and gynecology, home schooled their three children. As members of the Setia Bakti Baptist Church in Kediri, Sarah established a young people’s choir and led them in Bible studies. Don served as a deacon in the church, preached often in the mother church, as well as the missions of the church.
Donald worked tirelessly in a general surgery. As common among medical missionaries, his responsibilities included orthopedics, urology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, trauma, radiology, oncology, and intensive care. Donald also taught anatomy, physiology, and general surgery at the Kediri Baptist Hospital. He designed and oversaw the construction of an X-ray facility and other construction projects. Sarah also taught midwives and nurses in the nursing school as well as trained Indonesian physicians in obstetrics and gynecology.
Through the Duvalls’ service at the Kediri hospital, new churches were established, thus multiplying their outreach to the lost. For their faithfulness in representing Christ to the people of Indonesia, The Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly present this 2009 Missionary of the Year Award to Drs. Sarah and Donald Duvall.
2009 Servant of Christ Award
Robert D. Orr, MD, CM
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.” (2 Timothy 2:24 NIV).
A servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome. Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong. This year, in recognition of a man who has modeled Christ in serving others, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations seeks to honor Dr. Robert Orr with the 2009 Servant of Christ Award.
Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers have blended well the attributes of a commitment to Christ and service to others, and those who have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to excellence in the field of missions, research, patient care or medical ethics.
Dr. Robert Orr is Professor of Bioethics at Loma Linda University and Director of Clinical Ethics at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He has co-authored two books, co-edited three others, contributed 11 book chapters, and over 100 articles related to clinical ethics, the ethics consultation process, and issues in terminal care. Dr. Orr has given lectures on these topics in 30 states and on six continents. He chaired the Council on Ethical Affairs for the California Medical Association, and was Vice President of the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities. He has been on the Advisory Board of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity since its founding in 1994. In 2006, Dr. Orr served as the first Scholar in Residence at the Kilns, the restored home of C.S. Lewis in Oxford, England while completing a first draft of his forthcoming book, Medical Ethics and the Faith Factor (Eerdmans, 2009).
Dr. Orr received his M.D., C.M. from McGill University in 1966, did residency training in family medicine, and then engaged in the private practice of family medicine in Vermont for 18 years where he was named Vermont Family Doctor of the Year in 1989. A growing interest and involvement in medical ethics led him to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago (1989-1990). From 1990-2000, he was the Director of Clinical Ethics and Professor of Family Medicine at Loma Linda University in southern California. The American Medical Association honored Dr. Orr in 1999 when they gave him the Isaac Hayes & John Bell Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism. In 2000 he returned to Vermont as Director of Ethics at Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He retired from the hospital position in 2006 but continued to lecture, teach and write about clinical ethics and end-of-life care. This past summer, he returned to Loma Linda University to train a group of clinical ethics consultants.
Dr. Orr has been active in the Christian Medical & Dental Associations since 1968, serving on the Ethics Committee (chairman 1991-94) and on the Board of Trustees, lecturing frequently and mentoring medical students. In addition, he has participated in numerous CMDA outreach programs including Medical Group Mission, Commission On International Medical Educational Affairs (now Medical Education International).
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to honor Dr. Orr with the 2009 Servant of Christ Award.