OHSU Emergency Medicine Physician Receives One of the Most Prestigious Awards in His Field

12/17/03    Portland, Ore.

American College of Emergency Physicians recognizes John Moorhead, M.D., with leadership award.

The American College of Emergency Physicians awarded John Moorhead, M.D., professor of emergency medicine in the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine, with one of its most prestigious awards, the John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award. The ACEP is the oldest and largest emergency medicine organization in the country and represents more than 22,000 members.

Moorhead received the award at the October 2003 ACEP's annual conference in Boston, Mass. The award is presented to a current or past national ACEP leader for outstanding contributions to the college. It is named after John G. Wiegenstein, M.D., founding member and first president of ACEP.

"This is very gratifying to be rewarded for all our years of dedication to emergency medicine and our patients. The ACEP is a wonderful organization that is totally devoted to serving patients and emergency medicine physicians," said Moorhead, also an emergency medicine physician at OHSU Hospital and Doernbecher Children's Hospital, and professor of public health and preventive medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. The award was hand-delivered by Wiegenstein himself, a founding father of the field of emergency medicine. "He is a true gentleman and visionary. It was an honor to receive the award from him."

The ACEP recognized Moorhead's many contributions to the organization, including serving on the ACEP Board of Directors from 1993 to 2000 and as college president from 1998 to 1999. During his term on the board, Moorhead greatly increased the role of emergency medicine residents in ACEP by appointing resident members to each ACEP committee. He also created the residency visit program, ensuring that board members visit each emergency medicine residency training program at least once during a resident's training so young physicians can discuss emergency medicine issues with ACEP leaders.

Jerris Hedges, M.D., M.S., professor and chairman of emergency medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine, noted the importance of this award. "John Moorhead has devoted his life to advancing the practice of emergency medicine and emergency physicians through his contributions to medical organizations on a local, regional, state and national basis. This recognition is outstanding and reiterates the impact that OHSU's Department of Emergency Medicine has had on the field."

Moorhead started his career at OHSU in 1978, establishing and directing the OHSU School of Medicine's Emergency Medicine Residency Program, one of the first in the country. Residents are physicians who specialize in various fields of medicine after completing medical school. The program started with three residents the first year and now trains 24 residents each year. Training sites include OHSU Hospital, the Portland Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, Providence St. Vincent's Hospital and Legacy Emanuel Hospital. The combined patient volume at these sites exceeds 150,000 patient visits a year.

In April 1991 Moorhead became chairman of the medical school's first Department of Emergency Medicine.

Every day in OHSU's Emergency Department this nationally recognized leader feels honored. "When a resident says to me, I'm so glad you're here today, that is a terrific thrill. It may seem trivial compared to national awards, but that's what is most satisfying to me," said Moorhead.

Moorhead is the president-elect of the Oregon Medical Association (OMA). He also has served two terms as secretary-treasurer for the organization. The OMA provides leadership for the medical community, advancing medical education and serving as an advocate for both physicians and patients. When he becomes president of the OMA next year he plans to expand the involvement of residents into the broader field of medicine and public health care.

Moorhead recently was selected to chair the American Medical Association's Emergency Medicine Section Council. He also serves on the editorial board of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Moorhead was born in Toronto, Canada, and received his medical degree from Queens University Medical School in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated from the emergency medicine residency program at Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal.

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