June 4, 2014
SIU Med School Names Ed Paul Its Distinguished Alumnus
Dr. Ed Paul received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2014 from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. A graduate of the class of 1981, Paul is director of medical education at Yuma Regional Medical Center in Yuma, Ariz., and a clinical associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine.
The award from the School’s Alumni Society Board of Governors recognizes outstanding contributions to medicine and distinguished service to humankind. It was presented at SIU’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 17, in Springfield.
Dr. Paul has received many awards, most recently the Arizona Family Physician of the Year in 2012 and a recent appointment to the Arizona Medical Board. He is a member of the Advisory Council for The National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) and helped create the first MLP in Tucson, Arizona. He has been board certified in Family Medicine during his career in residency education and his particular interests include patient-centered primary care models for small communities, health care in underserved and rural populations, and fostering innovation in graduate medical education programs in community hospitals. He has been an active member of the board of the Arizona Academy of Family Physicians for many years and has recently served as Legislative Task Force Chair.
A nominator recommended Paul for his groundbreaking efforts to develop Arizona’s first medical-legal partnership, the Tucson Family Advocacy Program. Through his leadership and commitment, “health-care providers and lawyers are working together to improve the health and well-being of patients and their families.” The program provides free legal services to low-income patients at a family medicine residency clinic and teaches health-care providers how to become more effective advocates for their patients.
Another nominator championed Paul’s abilities as a medical organizer at Yuma Regional Medical Center. “He has done a fabulous job transforming a large, community-based, non-teaching hospital into one that in 2013 welcomed its first class of six family medicine residents. Ed overcame much political and personal pressure and converted many opponents of developing teaching programs at the hospital (including many physicians) into proponents and true advocates for medical education. He became the catalyst for the transformation of the entire hospital community and has done so with humility and grace.”
At the commencement, Dr. Paul said, “One thing that has never changed for me is that I consider it a privilege to be a physician, both to my patients and in teaching residents. As physicians, I believe that we have a contract with society to always strive to do the right thing for the patient, in the best interest of the patient. Doing that effectively and taking into account the whole person, including social determinants that impact their health, is a worthy challenge.”
Paul completed a family practice residency in Phoenix, Ariz., in 1984, followed by a faculty development fellowship at the University of Arizona in Tuscon (1987). He earned his medical degree at SIU School of Medicine (1981) and master’s and bachelor’s degrees at Illinois State University in Bloomington (1978, 1976).
Paul is a native of Pittsburgh, Pa. He and his wife, Mary Cranny-Paul, are parents of three daughters, Maggie, Janet and Laura.