2015 ACMS Physician and Community Awards

Join us Saturday, March 5, 2016 as we celebrate our Physician and Community Award winners at the ACMS Foundation Gala.



Nathaniel Bedford Primary Care Award – Robert H. Potter, Jr., MD
Ralph C. Wilde Leadership Award – James P. Bradley, MD
Physician Volunteer Award – James A. Betler, DO
Richard E. Deitrick Humanity In Medicine Award – Fred H. Rubin, MD


Benjamin Rush Community Organization Award – Bridge To Hope
Andrew S. Fisher, MD


NATHANIEL BEDFORD PRIMARY CARE AWARD  –  Recognizes a primary care physician for exemplary, compassionate, comprehensive and dedicated care of their patients.



Family Medicine.  Member of ACMS since 1983.

Medical School:  UPMC School of Medicine 1982


“Dr. Potter has served the North Hills community as primary care physician since 1985.  He is the school physician for North Hills and North Allegheny School district, and has rarely missed a varsity football game.  He continues home visits when needed and serves as medical director of Celtic Hospice.


He has traveled to Honduras as member of Bakerstown Presbyterian Church Mission Team since 2006 and provided medical care to the families underserved in Honduras.


Dr. Potter is a Preceptor for the University of Pittsburgh medical students and P.A. students from St. Francis College and Duquesne University.” (from the nomination by Karen Schagel, MD)




RALPH C. WILDE LEADERSHIP AWARD  – Recognizes a physician who demonstrates exceptional skill in clinical care of patients and dedication to the ideals of the medical profession as teacher or profession leader.



Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine.  Member of ACMS since 1990.

Georgetown University School of Medicine 1982.


“Dr. James Bradley is a globally recognized Board-certified Orthopedic surgeon and leader in sports medicine research and treatments.  An educator and innovator, he has contributed advancements in surgical techniques and patents for medical devices.  Dr. Bradley continues to support sports medicine education and research currently as a Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.  He encourages and mentors orthopedic surgeons in their fellowships, imparting valuable medical knowledge, experience and surgical techniques.  Dr. Bradley has been published in 150 peer reviewed articles for medical journals, textbook chapters and guest lecturer presentations.


Dr. Bradley is a very thorough physician who dedicates a lot of time to learning a patient’s story, carefully evaluating the patient’s physical state, and finally connecting his findings to what the diagnostic testing revels.  Because he seeks to provide excellent care for every patient, many patients have gone out of their way to write reviews about their treatment.  These reviews resulted in one of the most treasured awards Dr. Bradley has received, “The Most Compassionate Doctor.”


Dr. Bradley has been a leader in Sports Medicine for 30 years.  He has done research and publications in the field and is recognized as a world expert.  He has worked with Steelers as their team doctor for 32 years and is past president of the NFL team physicians group.”  (from the nomination by Lawrence John, MD)



PHYSICIAN VOLUNTEER AWARD  –  Recognizes a physician for the donation of their time or talents for charitable, clinical, educational or community service activities, domestically or internationally.



Radiation Oncology, Internal Medicine.  Member of ACMS since 1999.

LeCom School of Medicine – 2002


“As a radiation oncologist and internal medicine physician at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cancer Institute, Dr. Betler saw many patients whose cancers could have been prevented or detected earlier if they had undergone routine screening tests.


He wanted to create a one-stop shop where patients could get a variety of screenings done, at a location close to home, regardless of their insurance provider.  In the fall of 2014, he coordinated a free health screening and cancer education program at Jefferson Hospital, with screenings for cervical, breast, colorectal, prostate, lung, head an neck, and skin cancer.  It was so successful that Dr. Betler began working with physicians and administration at the AHN Cancer Institute to arrange for similar community screenings.


After four screening events at Jefferson Hospital, Wexford Health & Wellness Pavilion, Allegheny Valley Hospital (Pittsburgh Mills) and West Penn Hospital, 1,366 cancer screenings were performed and 262 abnormalities were found that needed to be treated or referred for further examination.  The screenings are all being performed by AHN health professionals who are volunteering their time at no cost to the patients.


Patient surveys show a high rate of satisfaction and appreciation for the program.  Additional free community cancer screenings are scheduled through the region and will remain an annual service to the community.


Dr. Betler should be applauded for his initiative in organizing such a far-reaching and impactful program.  (from the nomination by David Parda, MD)



RICHARD E. DEITRICK HUMANITY IN MEDICINE AWARD  –  Honors a physician who has improved the lives of patients by caring for them with integrity, honesty, and respect of their human dignity, and serves as a role model for other physicians.



Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine.   Member of ACMS since 1987.

Department of Medicine – UPMC Shadyside

Medical School:  Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine – 1975.


“Trained as a general internist, Dr. Rubin developed an interest in care of the elderly in the late 1970’s, before the establishment of formal programs in geriatric medicine.  Based at Massachusetts General Hospital, he participated in the pioneering work that created the new subspecialty.  In 1983 he sat for the Geriatrics board examination in Canada, becoming the first board-certified geriatrician in the United States.  In 1988, when the ABIM created a new Certificate of Added Qualification in Geriatrics, he was the first group to sit for the examination and has recertified every ten years subsequently.


In 1987 he was recruited to Shadyside Hospital to become the founding chief of a new division of Geriatric Medicine. He created the Senior Care Institute which has become a large outpatient practice dedicated to innovative care of the elderly, teaching, and clinical research.  The practice incorporates nurse practitioners, social workers, mental health professionals, and pharmacists.  There are close linkages to community resources such as nursing home, home care agencies and hospice.  Dr. Rubin also created an ACGME accredited fellowship training program in Geriatric Medicine.


He partnered with a handful of other geriatricians in the Pittsburgh area to create the Pennsylvania Geriatrics Society, western division, the Update in Geriatric Medicine annual CME course, which has become the largest CME event in Pittsburgh, and the Town Meeting for Seniors.  He is currently president of the Geriatrics Society.


In 1991 he was appointed Chairman of the Department of Medicine by the Board of Trustees of Shadyside Hospital, a position he holds today.  Under his leadership, the department has grown to over 500 physicians and 100 ancillary personnel, which account for over half of all annual admissions to Shadyside.  He has devoted many hours to developing rigorous credentialing criteria, quality monitoring systems and enhanced patient care.


Based on his long-standing commitment to improving care for hospitalized elders, in 2001 he created Shadyside’s Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP).  HELP is the largest and most successful delirium reduction program in the world and regularly hosts site visits from across the United States.


As a teacher, Dr. Rubin has been involved in teaching of medical students, residents, fellows and other health professionals throughout his career.  At Mass General, he was part of the core faculty of the Primary Care internal medicine residency program.  He wrote a brochure for trainees on how to conduct a home visit.  At Shadyside he is also part of the core faculty of the Internal Medicine residency and developed both an outpatient and an inpatient rotation in Geriatric Medicine.


A clinician at heart, Dr. Rubin still maintains an active practice, follows his patients when they become hospitalized, and even makes house calls.  Dr. Rubin has established a record of accomplishments within the medical community that makes him an exemplary physician worthy of the Wilde Leadership Award.” (from the nomination by Shuja Hassan, MD)


BENJAMIN RUSH INDIVIDUAL AWARD  –  Recognizes an individual who is not a practicing healthcare professional, who devotes time, skills or resources to assisting others and contributes to the advancement of healthcare.



“Since its inception in 2007, the STAR Center at Allegheny Health Network has educated more than 70,000 people, from physicians to EMS personnel, to high school students, with the most advanced medical simulation techniques available.  The STAR Center’s very existence is due in large part to the initiative, perserverance and determination of Donamarie Wilfong, Corporate Vice President of Interprofessional Education at Allegheny Health Network.


Dr. Wilfong and her husband, Dr. Donald Wilfong, got their first glimpse of medical simulation while attending a conference in New York.  Upon their return home, Dr. Wilfong began researching and writing grants; and, in 2006, received a $500,000 grant from the Highmark Foundation and STAR (Simulation, Teaching and Research Center) was born.


Under Dr. Wilfong’s guidance, the STAR Center has continually grown.  The EMS community, students at Community College of Allegheny County, Chatham University, LaRoche College and the Pittsburgh Public Schools, have all taken advantage of STAR’s state-of-the-art training, competency testing and skills review.


The Growth of STAR in an eight-year time period is remarkable, and stems from Dr. Wilfong’s vision and steadfast leadership.  Her dedication sparked the creation of an invaluable resource for healthcare providers in the wider community. (from the nomination by Stephanie Waite)




BENJAMIN RUSH COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION AWARD  –  Recognizes a company, institution, organization or agency that is successfully addressing a community health issue.



“The Bridge to Hope is a remarkable support group for those impacted by the addiction of a loved one.  In existence since 1999, the all-volunteer group has served over 3,000 local families and has been at the forefront of grassroots advocacy for understanding and treating the disease of addiction within the context of the family.


The mission of Bridge to Hope is to provide a refuge for the families of those affected by substance abuse and addiction.  They provide encouragement, support, reinforcement, empathy and education.   Every human life is precious and worth saving.  One of the most important elements in a person’s recovery from addiction is an informed family and community whose support is unwavering in the face of daunting challenges.


Educating the Community:  On April 1, 2015, the group sponsored an Overdose Prevention Class with free Naloxone Training and Distribution, the first for the public in northern Allegheny County.   “The Conundrum of Marijuana” was a conference held in September, 2014.  Members created a DVD that serves as an instructional video for groups wishing to form in other areas of the state and country.  The Bridge to Hope is concerned not only for its own group of members, but for the community, the state and society at large, and has continually demonstrated this commitment by holding special annual family educational conference, offering special outside industry-related speakers at the weekly meetings, and hold an annual Vigil of Hope to support those currently in recovery and remember those that have lost their battle.


The Bridge to Hope is an asset to Allegheny County.  It is innovative and an example for others.  Through their efforts, lives have been saved; families have been mended.” (from the nomination by Fay Morgan)



Memorial Citation

The Awards Committee recommends that a special citation by presented to the family of Andrew S. Fisher, MD.  Dr. Fisher became active as a medical student representative and continued his involvement as a resident and member of the Young Physicians Section.  Dr. Fisher, an internist, died tragically in an automobile accident while seeking to assist others.  (December 2013)

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Allegheny County Medical Society
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Pittsburgh, PA  15212
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