MARCH 15, 2006 | Medical peers from across the nation selected Bart Barlogie, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), as a National Physician of the Year in the first awards given by the organization responsible for the annual America’s Top Doctors publication.
Receiving awards in other categories are Michael E. DeBakey, M.D., a pioneer in the field of cardiovascular surgery; and Princess Yasmin Aga Khan, daughter of the late actress Rita Hayworth for her work toward finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.
Barlogie and two other physicians received the award for clinical excellence from Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. during a ceremony March 15 at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. Honored with Barlogie are Marilyn Bull, M.D., of Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, and Michael J. Zinner, M.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.
The physician of the year recipients were selected from nominations submitted by physicians profiled in America’s Top Doctors.
“It is truly an honor for our campus and our state to have one of our physicians chosen to receive this first annual award for clinical excellence from all the doctors in the country,” said UAMS Chancellor I. Dodd Wilson, M.D.
Barlogie is one of the world’s leading experts in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma, one of the least curable cancers. Research led by Barlogie at the MIRT has more than doubled the annual survival rate of a myeloma patient upon diagnosis from three years to seven years and beyond.
Nearly 60 percent of newly diagnosed myeloma patients at the MIRT between 1995 and 2001 survived at least five years compared to about 34 percent reported to the National Cancer Institute through its SEER program for the same time period.
“I am thrilled by this recognition by my fellow physicians and Castle Connolly for our continuing work at the Myeloma Institute to find a cure for multiple myeloma,” said Barlogie, who in 2004 received the Robert A. Kyle Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Myeloma Foundation in recognition of his 20-year career in the treatment of multiple myeloma.
Myeloma is a type of cancer that involves plasma cells – white blood cells that produce antibodies. When plasma cells become cancerous, they reproduce uncontrollably and crowd out healthy red and white blood cells, preventing them from fighting infection and carrying oxygen throughout the body. Bone destruction is a common manifestation of myeloma. The malignant cells also produce a type of protein that can cause kidney failure.
In 2004, the NCI announced its third five-year renewal – for nearly $18 million – of grant support for the MIRT. Those funds are earmarked for ongoing translational research at the MIRT, the first facility in the world created specifically to study and treat this rare form of cancer.
Castle Connolly honored DeBakey with a lifetime achievement award. DeBakey’s accomplishments include his work in cardiovascular surgery, creation of the roller pump as well as the Dacron and Dacron-velour artificial arteries, developing the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals concepts for the military, and serving as an advisor for the President of the United States.
Aga Khan, founder of the Rita Hayworth Galas, received the National Health Leadership Award for her 25 years of work seeking to cure Alzheimer’s disease. The event was hosted by Max Gomez, M.D., of NBC Television and Jordan J. Cohen, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Physicians profiled in the Castle Connolly publication America’s Top Doctors and other guides were selected following an extensive nomination, research and screening process, which involves soliciting nominations from tens of thousands of doctors across the United States each year. Those same Castle Connolly “Top Doctors” were involved in the nomination process to identify the recipients for the Castle Connolly awards for clinical excellence.