IUSM honors four alumni at 2016 Medical Alumni Weekend

June 9, 2016

The Indiana University School of Medicine honored the 2016 recipients of four alumni awards during the 69thAnnual Strawberry Shortcake Luncheon on May 21.

The IU School of Medicine Alumni Assocation hosts the Medical Alumni Weekend each year as a way to reuinte classes and recognize distinguished alumni. | Photo By IU School of Medicine

The luncheon, which was part of the program of this year’s Alumni Weekend, was hosted by the IU School of Medicine Alumni Association, and roughly 280 people attended.  Photos from the weekend are available on the IU School of Medicine's Flickr page.

Distinguished Alumni Award

David Nahrwold, M.D., ’60, received the school’s Distinguished Alumni Award, which has been presented since 1970, and recognizes alumni who bring honor to the school through their professional work and extraordinary service to IU. Dr. Nahrworld spent the better part of two decades overseeing a thriving surgical practice and serving as chairman of the Department of Surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Additionally, Dr. Nahrwold acted as president and CEO of the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation and served as interim director of the American College of Surgeons. He is counted among the ranks of numerous national and international professional organizations, including serving as president for the Central Surgical Association, the Society of Surgery for the Alimentary Tract, and the U.S. chapter of the U.S. International College of Gastrointestinal Surgeons. He also served in posts with the National Institutes of Health and as a member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

“If this award validates anything, it validates that I was fortunate to get into the right medical school,” Dr. Nahrwold said. “It validates that our faculty taught me to do the right things, that my family supported me in doing those things, and that this association of alumni and this medical school values the right things.”

Early Career Achievement Award

Dr. Jerome Adams, M.D., ’02, was presented with the Early Career Achievement Award, which singles out graduates who make a quick mark in medicine. Dr. Adams is currently commissioner for the Indiana Department of Health. In the first 18 months of his appointment, Dr. Adams oversaw the department’s efforts to tackle a HIV outbreak in Scott County, along with ramped up efforts to lower the state’s infant mortality rate.

Additionally, Dr. Adams is anesthesiologist at Eskenazi Hospital and an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesia at the School of Medicine. He serves as chairman of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee at Eskenazi, and leads the Professional Diversity Committee for the American Society of Anesthesiologists.

“This award isn’t so much a testament to my accomplishments as it to the great people -- many of whom are in this room -- who supported me over the years,” Dr. Adams said.

Glenn W. Irwin Distinguished Faculty Award

The ceremony also honored the contribution of Stephen J. Jay, M.D., ’66, with the Glenn W. Irwin Distinguished Faculty Award, which has been presented for nearly three decades to educators who demonstrate a passion for educating students, collaborating with peers, and pushing the boundaries of research.

Dr. Jay is a pioneer in the field of public health and best known for his advocacy on smoking cessation. Over three decades at the School of Medicine, he rose from assistant professor to head the Division of Pulmonology, served as dean for Continuing Education and, eventually, founding chair for the Fairbanks School of Health. The Indiana Department of Health and American Lung Association have lauded Dr. Jay for his advocacy work, and he received the Auberbach Award for his efforts to prevent and control lung disease in Indiana.

Dr. Jay also held leadership positions with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, the American Lung Association of Indiana, the Association for Hospital Medical Education, Healthy Indy Partnership, and Improving Kids’ Environment.

“Dr. Irwin’s presence inspired all of us as students who associated with him to aspire to be a more complete physician,” Jay said. “I’m humbled to receive this award in his name.The quality of students today, the quality of faculty mentors, and the quality of their teachers bodes well for the school in the 21stcentury.”

Community Physician Award

Finally, George W. Sorrells, M.D., ’62, was the inaugural recipient of the Community Physician Award. For more than five decades, the pediatrician has practiced primary care in rural Bedford, where call included nights, weekends, and holidays. Over the years, his practice has evolved from Bedford Regional Medical Center to a staff role at Southern Indiana Pediatrics, where he has worked since 2012.

He has continually given back to the IU School of Medicine as a member of the Dean’s Council and J.O. Ritchey Society, serving as the planned-giving groups chairman since 2008. He is also a member of the 1820 Society and Arbutus Society.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be receiving this award,” he said. “Patients are our friends. It’s been a great trip these past 51 years. I’m often asked when I’m going to retire, and I haven’t exactly answered. I get to do every day what I want to do. There’s no greater profession than practicing medicine, and no greater honor to an individual to give a feeling of wellness to a fellow human being.”

The IU School of Medicine Alumni Association represents all graduates and former trainees who completed residencies and fellowships at the School of Medicine. For more information about the association and how you can get involved, please visit the IUSM Alumni Association website or contact Ryan Bowman, director of Alumni Relations, at rsbowman@iu.edu.