Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Physician, Student Receive State Honors
Dean Steven L. Berk, M.D., and student Justin Berk were recognized by the Texas Medical Association for their outstanding service.
Written by Suzanna Cisneros
The Texas Medical Association (TMA) recently honored two people from TTUHSC with prestigious awards at the TMA House of Delegates.
C. Frank Webber, M.D., Award
Steven L. Berk, M.D.
Steven L. Berk, M.D., executive vice president, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, was named this year’s C. Frank Webber, M.D., Award recipient.
Each year the TMA Medical Student Section honors a Texas physician for outstanding service to the section and its members. Berk was honored for his continuous support through recognition of student efforts and eagerness to promote student involvement in organized medicine.
President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., said Berk’s commitment to medical students is outstanding.
“Dr. Berk does an outstanding job with our students, not only with their education but by directing their talents and time to make significant contributions to our community through their outreach,” Mitchell said. “From the Student-Run Free Clinic, to School of Medicine health fairs and community events that bring awareness to health care issues, his support of these students is worthy of this honor.”
Berk also works to involve students in their community and in organized medicine. He has co-chaired the March of Dimes March for Babies, helped students promote the Lubbock City Lights charity gala, and lends financial assistance for students to participate in TMA and American Medical Association conferences and student chapters.
Berk’s superior teaching and service to medical students has earned him several awards, including 10 James H. Quillen College of Medicine’s Teacher of the Year awards, both East Tennessee State University’s and TTUHSC’s Distinguished Service Award, and the 2012 Boston University Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2011, Berk’s book, Anatomy of a Kidnapping, his firsthand account of surviving an abduction, won the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year award.
Created in 1987, the C. Frank Webber, M.D., Award is named after the late Texas family physician and educator C. Frank Webber, M.D., former dean of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Webber’s efforts prompted the development of the strong student organization within TMA.
Medical Student of the Year
Justin Berk, second-year medical student, received the TMA Medical Student of the Year Award. This award is given annually to the Texas medical student exemplifying outstanding service to the TMA Medical Student Section.
TMA stated, “Justin Berk is a champion of local health care needs, a mentor to other students, and an integral member of the TMA chapter. Justin mobilized many students to participate in shaping health care policy by organizing newsletters to address current issues in health care policy, pamphlets and lunch lectures.
“In addition, Justin was deputized by the local election office to register voters for the 2012 election; the subsequent event registered more than 100 students. Under Justin’s leadership existing TMA events like ‘Be Wise Immunize’ were integrated into the School of Medicine Free Clinic expanding our community footprint.”
TMA created the Medical Student Section in the late 1970s to gain a student perspective among members and provide future physicians with a voice in TMA policy. This organized membership section helps focus attention on issues unique to Texas students and provides a forum for students to communicate with each other.
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School of Medicine
Since 1969, the School of Medicine has graduated more than 3,000 physicians. The school aims to provide quality lab space, recruit creative, innovative research faculty, and develop graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for lifelong careers in medical research.
Today, more than 20 percent of the practicing physicians in West Texas have graduated from the School of Medicine or its residency programs.
Beginning in 1969 as Texas Tech University School of Medicine, TTUHSC now is a six-school university with campuses in Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa.
TTUHSC has trained more than 20,000 health care professionals, and meets the health care needs of more than 2.5 million people in the 108 counties including those in the Texas Panhandle and eastern New Mexico.