Jerris Hedges, Dean of the University of Hawai`i John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM), has been named the 2013 Physician of the Year by the Hawai`i Medical Association.
Dr. Hedges received the award Saturday, October 19, at the HMA’s Ola Pone Ike (Health is Knowledge”) Gala at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort.
Dr. Hedges, an Emergency Physician, assumed leadership at JABSOM in 2008. During every year of his tenure, U.S. News and World Report has ranked the JABSOM as one of the “Best Medical Schools” in America. For the past nine years in a row, U.H. medical students have scored above average in U.S. Medical Licensing Exams. In FY 2013, faculty increased their external funding awards by 28%, bringing into Hawai`i more than $58 million, the second-highest amount among schools at UH Mānoa. Dean Hedges’ ability to collaborate and build relationships is praised by his colleagues within the university and the medical community.
“As the leader of the John A Burns School of Medicine, Dean Jerris Hedges has made immense contributions to Hawai`i and has built strong collaborations among health-related units and activities throughout the State,” said Interim UH President David Lassner. “On behalf of the entire UH System, I applaud Jerris’ dedication and commitment to developing first-rate physicians to serve all our islands and his personal compassion and service as a healer and teacher.”
Ninety percent of the MD students at JABSOM are Hawai`i residents. The school is the leading source of physicians practicing in the state. In 2013, nearly 80% of the physicians identified as “The Best Doctors in Hawai’i” were alumni or faculty of the UH medical school.
“We thank the Hawai‘i Medical Association for recognizing Dean Jerris Hedges with its Physician of the Year award,” said UH Mānoa Chancellor Tom Apple. “His steadfast leadership of the John A. Burns School of Medicine transcends the academic rigors of training the next generation of physicians. Besides being an inspiring role model for his students, Dean Hedges is also a dedicated, tireless builder of positive relationships involving JABSOM, the greater medical community and the entire state.”
During his tenure, Dean Hedges increased the class size in the MD program, something medical providers describe as vitally important. He has also helped state leaders grasp the magnitude of a growing physician shortage in Hawai`i. The Hawai`i Physician Workforce Assessment at JABSOM shows a current deficit of 700 physicians, based on what the state should have to adequately cover its population.
“We truly admire and appreciate Dean Hedges’ work in helping to provide The Queen’s Medical Center with quality physicians from the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM),” said Art Ushijima, President & CEO of The Queen’s Health Systems. “These graduates afford our families and loved ones with the utmost excellence of care. Under his leadership over the past five years, the size of JABSOM classes were increased and a State Loan Repayment Program was started to help make medical school possible for many physicians. Our warmest congratulations to Dean Hedges for his invaluable support.”
At the ceremony, Sen. Josh Green, MD (D-Kona) was named “Legislator of the Year”; Irwin Schatz, MD received the President’s Award, Dr. Russell Stodd received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Walton Shimm, MD was sworn into office as 2014 HMA President, succeeding Stephen Kemble, MD.