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SIU Faculty, Student Receive Humanism, Teaching Awards

May 25, 2017

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine honored several faculty members and students during its 2017 commencement on Saturday, May 20, at the University of Illinois at Springfield.

Assistant Professor, Sabha Ganai, MD, PhD, director of gastrointestinal oncology at Simmons Cancer Institute at SIU received the 2017 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award, presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation. Jordan Lange, MD, Class of 2017, received the student humanism award. The awards are given annually to a faculty member and graduating student who demonstrate compassion, respect for patients and families, and clinical excellence.  

Ganai’s student nominator was struck by her commitment to helping patients understand their diagnosis and treatment options. “Her ability to convey important information in a patient, kind and educational manner is unparalleled. She is committed to showing empathy at all times. She teaches how to be empathetic by role modeling.”  

Lange’s nominator wrote he “is one of the most warmhearted and caring classmates I could ever imagine.”  

Numerous other honors were presented at the commencement ceremonies. J. Kevin Dorsey, MD, PhD, dean emeritus and professor of medical education, received the 2017 Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching, an award given by the graduating class. Dorsey is a 1978 alumnus of SIU School of Medicine. Sean Murray, MD, Chair of the Class of 2017, noted Dorsey’s memorable teachings on empathy. “It’s likely his teachings will have the greatest impact on our careers.”

The Class of 2017 also honored instructor Natalie Viscomi as the Teacher of the Year for her efforts during their first year of instruction on SIU’s downstate campus. 

The class also honored two faculty members with roles during the commencement ceremony. John Mellinger, MD, professor of surgery, hooded the graduates. Andrew Varney, MD, professor of internal medicine, read the Hippocratic Oath.

Professor and Chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine Janet Albers, MD, Class of 1987, received the Distinguished Alumna award.

SIU School of Medicine’s mission is to assist the people of central and southern Illinois in meeting their health care needs through education, patient care, research and service to the community. Established in 1970, the medical school is based in Carbondale and Springfield and is specifically oriented to educating new physicians prepared to practice in Illinois communities. Since 1975, 2,818 physicians have earned SIU medical degrees.

To view the 2017 commencement, visit YouTube.

Sabha Ganai, MD, PhDJordan LangeDorsey

Photo Caption (Left to Right): Sabha Ganai, MD, Phd, Jordan Lange, MD and J. Kevin Dorsey, MD, PhD