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American College of Physicians – Connecticut Chapter recognizes local physicians

By American College of Physicians – Connecticut Chapter

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Physicians living and practicing in Cheshire, Fairfield, Guilford, Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, West Hartford and Woodbridge received the Connecticut Chapter of the American College of Physicians’ highest awards for distinguished service to their patients and their profession at the chapter’s annual meeting Friday in Southington. ACP represents more than 2,300 physicians, medical students and residents practicing internal medicine (primary care for adults) and its subspecialties across the state.

The George F. Thornton Teaching Award is named after the previous Chapter Governor and pre-eminent teacher who was Chairman of Medicine at Waterbury Hospital. It is given annually to physicians in recognition of outstanding contributions to medical education and of excellence in clinical teaching and motivational impact on students, residents and colleagues. The Chapter presented the 2012 George F. Thornton Teaching Award to three recipients: Auguste H. Fortin VI, MD, MPH, FACP; Cyrus Kapadia, MD, FACP; and Eric Mazur, MD, MACP.

Auguste H. Fortin, VI, MD, MPH, FACP of New Haven is well-known to students at the Yale School of Medicine where he is director of psychosocial curriculum for the Primary Care Internal Medicine Residency Program, an associate professor of medicine, and the director of communication skills education. Dr. Fortin has special interest in doctor-patient communication, the meaning in medicine, mindfulness and professional burnout prevention. Dr. Fortin also teaches sessions at the ACP national meeting on physical diagnosis and patient interviewing strategies.

Cyrus R. Kapadia, MD, FACP of Guilford studied under some of medicine’s leading lights at the Yale School of Medicine and became a full professor there in 1992. As a gastroenterologist, he was instrumental in the development of techniques to identify pre-cancerous changes in the colon. At Yale and its West Haven V.A. campus since 1974, Dr. Kapadia demonstrated his belief that caring for patients is a joy and the opportunity to excite medical students and residents a privilege. The recipient of several teaching awards at Yale, Dr. Kapadia considers the stewardship of the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Yale-New Haven Hospital from 1998-2011 as the most rewarding years of his career.

Eric M. Mazur, MD, MACP of Norwalk has been teaching his colleagues since the moment he was able, as a fourth-year medical student; he has been nominated for awards for doing so since his days in fellowship. A native of Fairfield, Dr. Mazur is a hematologist/oncologist who helped found the Brown University Integrated Hematology/Oncology Fellowship Program. He is an associate clinical professor of medicine at Yale and vice president and chief medical officer at Norwalk Hospital. Dr. Mazur is a past governor of the Connecticut ACP Chapter and has served on and led various committees within the organization.

“Each of our Thornton Teaching Award winners has shown great teaching skill and commitment to teaching at both the medical student as well as residency level,” said Chapter Governor Robert M. McLean, MD. “Dr. Fortin has become nationally known for his teaching of patient-interviewing techniques and strategies. Dr. Kapadia was renowned for years as one of the kindest and most caring clinicians at Yale and the West Haven V.A. Hospital, and he then carried forward these attributes into his role as the medical residency program director at Yale-New Haven Hospital for over a decade. Dr. Mazur, in his leadership of this ACP chapter, departments of medicine, and now a hospital, has continually emphasized the importance of teaching both at the bedside and at an organizational level.”

The Chapter's Laureate Award winners are long-standing and loyal supporters of the organization who have rendered distinguished service to the chapter and community and have upheld the high ideals and professional standards for which the ACP is known. The 2012 Laureate Award is presented to Stephen P. O’Mahony, MD, FACP and Keith vom Eigen, MD, FACP.

A graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Stephen P. O’Mahony, MD, FACP of Fairfield launched one of the state’s first hospitalist programs at Norwalk Hospital in 1999. Shortly thereafter, he began to use his expertise in computer engineering to integrate best practices and patient safety into clinical care through intelligent technology, decision support and education. In addition to his dual roles today as the hospital’s chief information officer and a hospitalist caring for patients there, Dr. O’Mahony is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at Yale, serves on the ACP’s Governor’s Council, the Connecticut Hospital Association’s Committee on Patient Care Quality and volunteers at the Americares Free Clinic in Norwalk.

Keith A. vom Eigen, MD, PhD, MPH, FACP of West Hartford works to promote the ACP agenda through physician advocacy and legislative efforts. A graduate of the Yale School of Medicine, he represents the chapter on committees and task forces, working with other medical organizations. Dr. vom Eigen completed a PhD in anthropology during medical school and residency, authoring dissertation research comprised of an ethnographic analysis of the health-care system and its utilization in rural Jamaica. He practices and teaches internal medicine to medical students and residents at the UConn School of Medicine at the Burgdorf Health Center in the North End of Hartford.

“In addition to years of committed service to our ACP chapter, both of our Laureate Award winners are also known for excellence in patient care and commitment to improving our health-care system to better serve our patients: for Dr. vom Eigen as an internist at an inner-city outpatient clinic and for Dr. O'Mahony as a hospitalist physician and as a chief quality officer of a hospital,” said Dr. McLean.

For the Connecticut Chapter’s Volunteerism and Community Service Award winner, Richard Kayne, MD of Woodbridge, engagement had deeply personal roots. His son, a survivor of osteosarcoma, attended Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in 1995.

Starting the next year – and every year since - Dr. Kayne, a graduate of the Yale School of Medicine whose practice is in Cheshire, volunteered as a counselor for the camp in Ashford. He became a member of the Board of Directors of the flagship camp in 2002. Each year, 20,000 children and family members now experience the program’s “different kind of healing” there and in more than 20 hospitals and sites throughout the Northeast free of charge. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp has grown to become a global network of camps and programs serving nearly 400,000 children in 50 countries around the world.

“Dr. Kayne's endless energy for his work with the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is admirable and something we all should emulate,” said Chapter Governor Dr. McLean.

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