ACEP Recognizes Excellence in Emergency Medicine at Virtual Annual Conference

Washington, D.C.—This week the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) recognizes leaders in emergency medicine during its virtual annual meeting, ACEP20 Unconventional—the world’s largest emergency medicine conference. The awards honor excellence across a range of activities including leadership, policy, education, advocacy, and research over the past year.

John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award

This award is ACEP’s highest award and is presented for outstanding contributions to the organization. It is named after the late John G. Wiegenstein, MD, a founding member and the first president of ACEP.

David C. Seaberg, MD, CPE, FACEP

Dr. David C. Seaberg is currently the inaugural dean at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, where he is also serving as chair of emergency medicine and senior vice president of physician integration at the Erlanger Health System. He was elected to the ACEP board of directors and became president in 2011 and chair of the board in 2012. His servant leadership style led him to take on the challenge of helping US Acute Care Solutions reestablish the Summa Department of Emergency Medicine as chair and executive vice president. Prior to that, he was a research director at the University of Pittsburgh, then as residency director at the University of Florida, Jacksonville and subsequently chair of emergency medicine at the University of Florida, Gainesville.

Dr. Seaberg received his BA in chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, MO and his medical degree from the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. Between his second and third year of medical school, he completed a research fellowship and then went on to complete his emergency medicine residency at the University of Pittsburgh.

James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine Award

This award is for significant contributions to emergency medicine. The award is named after the late James D. Mills Jr., MD, second president of ACEP.

John J. Rogers, MD, CPE, FACEP

Dr. John J. Rogers currently serves as the Emergency Department Medical Director at Coliseum Northside Hospital in Macon, GA and serves as vice president on the board of directors of the Bibb County Medical Society. In addition, he is a member of the Medical Association of Georgia’s Council on Legislation and is a Delegate to the Medical Association of Georgia House of Delegates.

Dr. Rogers assumed several leadership roles in the Georgia Chapter, including chapter president. He remains on the Georgia College of Emergency Physicians board of directors. He has served on several ACEP committees and chaired the Rural and Workforce sections and founded the Telemedicine Section. He was elected to the ACEP board of directors in 2011 and served two terms.

Dr. Rogers attended The Ohio University and graduated with a degree in biology. He completed a surgical internship at the University of Iowa College of Medicine. He finished his surgical residency at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, GA.

Colin C. Rorrie Award for Excellence in Health Policy

This is award is for significant contributions to achieving ACEP’s health policy objectives, or for demonstrating outstanding skills, talent and commitment as an administrative or political leader. The award is named after Colin C. Rorrie, Jr., PhD, who served as ACEP’s executive director from 1982 to 2003.

Steven J. Stack, MD, MBA, FACEP

Dr. Steven J. Stack was appointed commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health in February 2020 and is a board-certified emergency physician.

In 2018, Dr. Stack joined The University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business as an adjunct professor where he lectures on health care policy and the mechanics of advocacy. Dr. Stack has focused experience in health information technology as well as policymaking and advocacy at the federal, state and county levels before legislative bodies and executive branch regulatory agencies. A nationally recognized advocate, he bridges bedside care with governmental policy and has served on numerous federal advisory committees for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

In 2006, he was the first emergency physician elected to the American Medical Association (AMA) board of trustees, subsequently serving as board chair and in 2015-2016 as the AMA’s youngest president since 1854. He has more than 18 years of emergency medicine administrative and clinical practice experience in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. Dr. Stack received his medical degree and completed his residency at The Ohio State University. In addition, he completed his MBA at The University of Tennessee Haslam College of Business.

Award for Outstanding Contribution in Education

This award recognizes an ACEP member who has made a significant contribution to the educational aspects of emergency medicine.

Tracy G. Sanson, MD, FACEP

Dr. Tracy G. Sanson is currently a board-certified emergency physician who practices clinically as an independent contractor and heads her own consulting firm, specializing in leadership training, personal development, faculty development, and wellness. She has held director positions in the U.S. Air Force, the University of South Florida, and TeamHealth. She was education director for the Joint Military Medical Centers Emergency Medicine program (now SAUSHEC) in San Antonio, TX, and the University of South Florida Emergency Medicine program in Tampa, FL.

She has served in several and varied leadership positions with the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), Council of Residency Directors (CORD), and ACEP. She has been a member of ACEP faculty for many years including the ACEP Teaching Fellowship and the Emergency Department Directors Academy. She is a past president of the Government Services Chapter of ACEP and has been a board of directors’ member and past chair of the Education Committee for the Florida Chapter of ACEP. Dr. Sanson completed her medical degree and emergency medicine residency training at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Award for Outstanding Contribution in Research

The award is presented to an ACEP member who has made a significant contribution to research in emergency medicine.

Alan E. Jones, MD, FACEP

Dr. Alan E. Jones is currently assistant vice-chancellor for Clinical Affairs of the University of Mississippi Medial Center Health System (UMMC). Prior that, in 2017 he was vice-chair of the Council of Clinical Chairs and in 2013 he was chair of the emergency department.

Dr. Jones has served as the executive medical director of Mississippi TelEmergency, executive medical director of the UMMC Mississippi Critical Care Organization (MiCCO) and the chief telehealth officer for the UMMC Center for Telehealth. He has been a principal investigator on an R01 and Co-PI on a UM1 and Co-I multiple R01 and U01 grants. Additionally, he has received federal funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Federal Communications Commission, Health Resources and Services Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dr. Jones completed residency and a clinical research fellowship at Carolinas Medical Center in 2001

Award for Outstanding Contribution in EMS Award

This award is for outstanding contributions of national significance or application in Emergency Medical Services. The award is not limited to ACEP members.

James M. Atkins, MD

Dr. James M. Atkins currently works as a cardiologist at Parkland Memorial Hospital and previously served as professor of internal medicine and emergency medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. For 27 years, Dr. Atkins was medical director of the paramedic system in Dallas County where he trained 6,000 basic emergency medical technicians and 5,400 paramedics with the staff he hired. He was chair of the accreditation body that accredits paramedic training programs.

Dr. Atkins is a member of the Texas EMS Hall of Honor through The Texas Department of State Health Services. He was involved with the National Heart Attack Alert Program (NHAAP) of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for the entire 12 years of the program and has chaired the Access to Care Subcommittee and the executive committee of NHAAP. This program established the goal of 60 minutes to treatment for myocardial infarction.

Dr. Atkins graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX, and performed his internship and residency in internal medicine and his subspecialty training in cardiology at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Disaster Medical Sciences Award

The award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions of national/international significance or impact to the field of disaster medicine.

Irving "Jake" Jacoby, MD, FACEP

Dr. Irving Jacoby is emeritus clinical professor of emergency medicine at University of California San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine and attending physician at the Department of Emergency Medicine and Hyperbaric Medicine Center at UCSD. He has attended in the emergency department for over 30 years and has participated in training over 100 emergency medicine residents. In his role as hospital emergency preparedness and response coordinator for UCSD Health for 30 years, he organized dozens of hospital emergency preparedness exercises and was involved in planning, evaluating, and/or coordinating over two dozen community and state disaster exercises. Dr. Jacoby is the commander of the California-4 DMAT (Disaster Medical Assistance Team) and has deployed on nearly two dozen major disasters.

In the era of COVID-19, he has deployed for quarantining missions to Omaha, NE, for one of the State Department’s Wuhan, China evacuation flights and was involved in the screening and debarkation of the Grand Princess cruise ship passengers in the port of Oakland, CA and the passenger quarantine care at Travis Air Force Base.

Dr. Jacoby is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He completed an internal medicine residency at Boston City Hospital and the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, as well as an infectious disease fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Council Meritorious Service Award

The award recognizes consistent contributions to the growth and maturation of the ACEP Council.

Michael McCrea, MD, FACEP

Dr. Michael McCrea is currently the associate program director for St. Vincent’s Hospital in Toledo, Ohio where he had previously served as a core faculty member of the Emergency Medicine Residency Program and its director of Simulation Education. He served as medical director of rural Wood County Hospital in Bowling Green, OH from 2013-14.

Dr. McCrea formally became involved with Ohio ACEP in 2010 through the chapter’s Leadership Development Academy. He is a current Ohio ACEP board member and served two terms as chapter president. He began his service to national ACEP in 2010 as an alternate councilor for the Ohio Chapter and has served as a councilor ever since, serving on both Council Reference and Steering Committees. Most recently, he was selected to lead the Task Force on Council Size in 2019. In addition to Council service, he also serves national ACEP on the State Legislative and Regulatory Committee and the Bylaws Committee.

Dr. McCrea received his medical degree from Medical College of Ohio at Toledo in 2004 and completed his emergency medicine residency at The Ohio State University in 2007.

John A. Rupke Legacy Award

This award is for outstanding lifetime contributions to ACEP. In recognition of longevity and unwavering dedication to the ACEP, the Legacy Award is given in honor of John A. Rupke, MD, one of the initial founding members of ACEP.

Peter M. Fahrney, MD, FACEP(E)

Dr. Peter M. Fahrney is considered one of the ‘founding fathers’ of emergency medicine and one of the original members of ACEP. He spent his entire 32-year career as an emergency physician at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD after serving as a SeaBee medical officer in Vietnam where he worked as a volunteer in the 3rd Marine Division MASH unit that he focused his attention on trauma and saving lives. Later, he was appointed as the command medical officer for the twelve battalions of Seabees which made up the Atlantic Command (COMCBLANT) involving the oversight of the individual battalion departments and preparing them for combat conditions.

In 1973, Dr. Fahrney was elected as the first speaker of the council and presided over the first meeting at the “Constitutional Convention” in Washington, D.C. He was also elected that year to the board of directors, where he served for two terms. During his membership in ACEP, he has served on many committees and assisted in getting the acceptance of the specialty of emergency medicine within the American Medical Association.

Pamela P. Bensen Trailblazer Award

This award is presented to a current ACEP member for seminal contributions over time to the growth of the College and to the specialty of emergency medicine. The award is named after Pamela P. Bensen, MD, a charter member of ACEP and the first woman resident in emergency medicine.

Sharon E. Mace, MD, FACEP

Dr. Sharon E. Mace has over 28 years of full-time clinical, administrative and academic emergency medicine practice and is board-certified in emergency medicine and pediatrics. She is currently the director of research and assistant director of EMS. In addition, Dr. Mace became director of Pediatric Education and Quality Improvement and director of the Observation Unit at the Cleveland Clinic.

Prior to her work at the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Mace worked in New York in various positions including emergency department director at Saratoga Springs, emergency department director of St. Mary’s Hospital, and as pediatrician and chair of the emergency department at St. Elizabeth Hospital. She started the 911 dispatch for Monroe County, was EMS medical director for Monroe and Saratoga Springs Ambulance Services and worked with Monroe Community College to establish an EMT/paramedic training program.

She attended medical school at Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, NY, and completed her pediatric medicine residency at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. After completing a pediatric cardiology fellowship, she received a grant from the American Heart Association and completed an additional two years in pediatric cardiology research.

Honorary Membership Awards

This award is for outstanding service to ACEP or to the specialty of emergency medicine.

Pat Hughes, CMP

Ms. Pat Hughes began her career at ACEP in 1988 as an accounting assistant in the finance department. She spent four years in that role until moving to the educational meetings department as planning and implementation coordinator where she worked with faculty for Scientific Assembly and other educational meetings. Later her role was expanded to include meeting planning for the Emergency Department Directors Academy. In 2003, Pat earned her CMP designation as a certified meeting professional, demonstrating her knowledge in the meetings and conventions industry.

In 2009, Ms. Hughes shifted her skills to the academic affairs department working on the Research Forum, Emergency Medicine Basic Research Skills (EMBRS), and teaching fellowship programs. She was promoted to the Academic Affairs Meetings Manager in 2014 where she remained until her retirement on July 1, 2020.

Jane Scott, ScD, MSN

Dr. Jane Scott has served as the director of the Office of Research Training in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) at the National Institutes of Health since 2005. In 2008 she created the NHLBI K12 program in emergency care research. Since then, she has managed the K12 program and worked extensively with the emergency medicine researchers at the eight training programs that have trained over 50 K12 Scholars.

After obtaining a doctorate from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Dr. Scott joined the Agency for Health Research and Quality as a program officer and developed a grant portfolio focused on acute cardiac care in prehospital, emergency department, and critical care settings. In 1995 she joined the University of Maryland   Charles "Mac" Mathias, Jr. National Study Center for Trauma and EMS., followed by serving as the research director of the Program in Trauma at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma.

Dr. Scott worked as a nurse in the Duke University emergency department from 1972-1974, and she worked for the Hillsborough, NC Volunteer EMS squad in 1974 and then in the Johns Hopkins emergency department as a nurse practitioner.

Dean Wilkerson, JD, MBA, CAE

Mr. Dean Wilkerson led ACEP as its executive director from 2004-2020 where he oversaw several legislative and health policy-related accomplishments which led to the advancement of key emergency medicine issues. In 2009, Mr. Wilkerson was named 37 on the list of Top 100 Most Influential People in Health Care by Modern Healthcare magazine. One of the most significant developments under Mr. Wilkerson’s leadership was the creation of ACEP’s Clinical Emergency Data Registry. In addition, during Mr. Wilkerson’s tenure, several clinical and practice resources were developed including the Boarding Solutions Report distributed to all member hospitals by the American Hospital Association; the Geriatric ED Accreditation Program; and the Emergency Medicine Practice Research Network.

Prior to joining ACEP, Mr. Wilkerson spent several years at Mothers Against Drunk Driving, seven of which was in the capacity of the National CEO and led the organization in reducing drunk driving deaths, assisting victims of this violent crime, and preventing underage drinking. Mr. Wilkerson earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Arkansas, an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley, and a law degree from the University of Texas, where he was an editor of the Texas Law Review.

Diane K. Bollman Chapter Advocate Award

This award is presented to a current or recent (within the past 12 months) ACEP chapter executive or chapter staff member who has made a significant contribution to advancing emergency care and the objectives of an ACEP chapter and the College. The award is named after Diane K. Bollman, who served as the executive director of the Michigan College of Emergency Physicians for 25 years and was an honorary member of ACEP.

Robert (Bob) Ramsey, CAE

Mr. Robert Ramsey was executive director of the Virginia College of Emergency Physicians (VACEP) from 2013-2019.   During his tenure, VACEP’s leadership adopted a new, cost-saving chapter business model resulting in a substantial increase in revenue. Mr. Ramsey partnered with ACEP to find ways of supporting chapters with small, part-time executive directors.  

Mr. Ramsey entered association management to fulfill his passion for helping others and has been a Certified Association Executive for 42 years. His leadership was recognized by the Virginia Society of Association Executives (Outstanding Association Executive 2018), his U.S. Navy flight class (Regimental Commander), his college (Outstanding Senior Award, Alumni Achievement Award), and his fraternity (National Achievement Award).

Community Emergency Medicine Excellence Award

Recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution in advancing emergency care and/or health care within the community in which they practice.

Adnan Hussain, MD

Dr. Adnan Hussain is an emergency physician at Amita Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, IL. He is currently serving as a Vituity medical director, emergency department chair, and helping to lead his hospital’s pandemic response as Interim Chief Medical Officer-COVID-19.

He has interests in entrepreneurship and health policy, has launched two startups and worked for the Medicare Innovation Center. He attended medical school at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and completed residency at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL.

Innovative Change in Practice Management Award

This annual award is given to an emergency physician who has developed an innovative process, solution, technology or product to solve a significant problem in the practice of emergency medicine.

Rahul Sharma, MD, MBA, FACEP

Dr. Rahul Sharma is professor and chair of the department of emergency medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. He is also the emergency physician-in chief at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. In addition, he serves as the chief and medical director for the New York-Presbyterian Emergency Medical Services Enterprise and in several other executive roles, including as a member of the New York State Board for Medicine, and as president of the New York Presbyterian Hospital Medical Board.

Dr. Sharma is a national leader in the fields of emergency medicine, health care operations, telemedicine/virtual health care, and innovation. Since 2016, he has founded and launched several telemedicine programs including the award-winning Emergency Department Telehealth Express Care and the Center for Virtual Care. Most recently, he led efforts to transform emergency medicine health care delivery in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He has been an invited guest speaker at several national and international programs, including the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Sharma was named a top 25 innovator in the healthcare industry by Modern Healthcare, as well as one of EMRA’s 45 under 45 Influencers in Emergency Medicine. Dr. Sharma received a combined MD/MBA degree in Health Management from Tufts University School of Medicine. He completed his specialty training in Emergency Medicine at New York University Medical Center, Bellevue Hospital.

Spokesperson of the Year

This annual award honors excellence in communication by emergency physicians who go above and beyond to promote ACEP’s key messages and to educate the public through print, television, radio, web or social media outlets.

Jose R. Torradas, MD, FACEP

Dr. Jose R. Torradas is a board-certified emergency physician with over 10 years of experience. In working with patients across the entire gender, racial, and socioeconomic spectrum, he has a unique insight into healthcare delivery at both the leadership and patient-doctor levels. Since 2014, Dr. Torradas has been a regular spokesperson with ACEP, spearheading efforts to expand the organization's Hispanic community engagement.  He has been a bilingual medical contributor for major outlets including CNN, Telemundo, and Univision. Over the past few months, Dr. Torradas has expanded his practice to include telemedicine evaluations including COVID-19 screening for patients, particularly migrant workers and Spanish speaking patients in hard hit areas like the central valley of California. He is an educator geared towards non-medical audiences, and recently helped develop COVID19@home, a free online toolkit for patients and their caregivers, which was featured on NBC.

A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Dr. Torradas completed his residency at North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, New York.

Dr. Thea James Social Emergency Medicine Lifetime Achievement Award

This inaugural award recognizes the contributions in incorporating social context into the structure and practice of emergency care and fostering high-quality research that translates to best practices for the application of social determinants of health at the bedside and beyond.

Thea L. James, MD, FACEP

Dr. Thea L. James is currently an associate professor of emergency medicine at Boston Medical Center/Boston University School of Medicine. She is also the associate chief medical officer, vice president of mission, and director of the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program (VIAP) at Boston Medical Center. Dr. James has chaired and served on national committees within the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) and is a member of the Boston University School of Medicine Admissions Committee.  Dr. James is chair of the licensing committee of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.

As supervising medical officer on the Boston Disaster Medical Assistance Team, under the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. James has responded to disasters in the United States and internationally. She deployed after 9/11 to New York City, after Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans in 2005, to Bam, Iran after the earthquake in 2003, and Port-Au-Prince Haiti after the earthquake of 2010. For twelve years Dr. James has traveled with colleagues and emergency medicine residents to Haiti. A graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine, James completed an emergency medicine residency at Boston City Hospital.

The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is the national medical society representing emergency medicine. Through continuing education, research, public education, and advocacy, ACEP advances emergency care on behalf of its 40,000 emergency physician members, and the more than 150 million people they treat on an annual basis. For more information, visit and

Contact: Steve Arnoff | | Twitter @EmergencyDocs

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