University of Rochester President Named Academy's First Honorary Member
University of Rochester President Joel Seligman has been named one of five recipients of the Award of Merit of the Rochester Academy of Medicine, and he also has been named the first Honorary Member in the Academy's 108-year history. Academy of Medicine Executive Director Dr. Hechmat Tabechian said that the organization's bylaws have always allowed the election of honorary members, but the honor was being bestowed this year for the first time ever.
"I have been in Rochester for a half century and have seen wonderful connections between the University of Rochester and its community in that time," Tabechian said. "But those bonds have become so much stronger in the last three years, and we wanted to celebrate that progress with this distinction for President Seligman."
The Merit Awards are given each year to three to five individuals "in recognition of outstanding service to the medical profession or to the community." The other four recipients of the Merit Award for 2008 are: Dr. Richard E. Fullerton; Dr. Webster H. Pilcher; and Dr. Ronald Rabinowitz, all of the University of Rochester; and Dr. Hobart A. Lerner of Rochester. In addition, the University of Rochester's Dr. Arthur J. Moss received the Academy's Albert David Kaiser Medal.
Tabechian also noted that since the Academy was established in 1900, hundreds of physicians have received the Merit Award for their contributions to the medical profession. But only 15 non-physicians have received it for their contributions to the community. In addition to Seligman, some of those honored for community service in recent years include philanthropist Catherine Carlson, Paychex CEO B. Thomas Golisano, former Rochester Mayor William Johnson, and Congresswoman Louise Slaughter.
The Rochester Academy of Medicine provides continuing medical education for the medical community and sponsors grants and awards for medical students, interns, residents, and physicians. It also coordinates programs for health care in the community and sponsors medical and scientific programs. It is one of only two organizations in Rochester authorized to provide credit for Continuing Medical Education.