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President's Awards Breakfast recognizes telemedicine's finest

It was a morning amongst the telemedicine stars at Tuesday's Awards Breakfast and Plenary supported by GlobalMed. The breakfast began with a small serenade by an actual doctor duo, with a snippet of their 18-year-old musical, "Damaged Care." To the tune of well-known Disney hits, the team performed satirical songs mimicking the current state of U.S. health affairs including one in particular, titled, "Take Our Test.”

The ATA Annual President's Awards for Advancement of Telemedicine ceremony immediately followed, hosted appropriately by ATA President Edward Brown, M.D. Jay Sanders, M.D., ATA President Emeritus, presented the Individual Award to Ronald C. Merrell, M.D., FACS.  Dr. Merrell has an extensive and impressive list of accomplishments, of which include his tenure as a NASA advisor in aerospace medicine and researcher in telemedicine.

Following the Individual Award, ATA CEO John Linkous snuck his way on stage to present the Individual Leadership Award. Dr. Jay Sanders, unexpectedly, found himself in a dual role, not only as a presenter, but as an award recipient. Linkous referred to Dr. Sanders as, "the father of telemedicine." Sanders thanked all those who guided him in his telehealth career including all those in the field who have, "made his professor's dream come true."

The Award for Health Care Delivery Quality and Innovation then followed, which was presented by AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc. The Center for Rural Health Innovation: MY Health-e-schools was this year's winner. Driven by Executive Director Amanda Martin and Medical Director Dr. Steve North, the team delivers school-based healthcare to some of North Carolina's most rural areas.

ATA President-Elect, Yulun Wang presented the Innovation for Remote Health Care Award to this year's recipient Burke Mental Health Emergency Center. The Burke team successfully created the first 24-7 emergency telepsychiatry unit to serve the community of Lufkin, Texas.

The SIG & Chapter Achievement Award went to the Telemental Health SIG. Supported by UnitedHealth Group, the award was presented to Carolyn Turvey, Ph.D., SIG Chair, and Elizabeth Brooks, Ph.D., SIG Vice Chair.

Roy Schoenberg, M.D., MPH, received the Industry Council Award, supported by AT&T. Dr. Schoenberg is the co-founder and CEO of American Well and introduced the telehealth brokerage framework that powers it systems. Both humbled and honored he said, “Telemedicine is a palpable force driving the [healthcare] industry...we will soon see people no longer seeking medicine, but rather it will be woven into the fabric of their lives.”

The finalists for the ePosters were the last to be announced, in which the presenter pointed out the finalists composed of all women and which she observed to be, "the future of telemedicine." more

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