2015 MedicalMissions.org Physician of the Year Honorees
Presented by LocumTenens.com, the MedicalMissions.org Physician of the Year Award honors physicians who donate their time to help underserved patients in the United States and abroad gain access to critically-needed healthcare services. Each honoree with receive $10,000 to donate to the medical missions-related charity of his or her choice.
International Service Honoree
Dr. Elizabeth Drum
Dr. Elizabeth Drum is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pediatric Anesthesiology by the American Board of Anesthesiology. She has participated in 23 total medical mission trips, including trips to Haiti, India, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa. She has made 12 trips to Ethiopia, a country with less than a dozen anesthesiologists in practice. Her focus on these trips is to not only treat patients, but also to build a local network of care by instructing local providers on modern anesthesiology standards. Working with Cure International, Dr. Drum recruits other physicians and healthcare providers for trips, gathers needed medical supplies and raises funds to support the organization’s mission work, regularly spending up to 10 hours per week organizing upcoming trips. As a member of the Global Humanitarian Outreach committee of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Dr. Drum proposed and has since built a scholarship program through the Society that will enable U.S. anesthesiology residents to spend a month in Ethiopia working at the Cure International Hospital teaching local anesthesia providers. She is credentialed with the National Disaster Medical System, part of the Department of Health and Human Services of the U.S. government and serves on the Society for Pediatric Anesthesia Committee on International Education and Service.
Domestic Service Honoree
Dr. Kris Johnson
Dr. Kris Alan Johnson, a family practice physician, serves as a Medical Director for the Veterans Health Administration (VA) in Denver. His specialty at the VA is taking care of recently-discharged combat war veterans and their very specific, individual needs. He began volunteering with the ACS Community Lift mobile clinic in Denver in 2001. This program offers compassionate support to families in crisis and/or on the brink of homelessness. Since then, he’s become a reliable weekly volunteer, donating time to perform skin cancer removals and other minor surgical procedures, as well as seeing patients every Tuesday evening after finishing his duties at the VA. In addition to seeing patients at the clinic, he has also personally purchased medications for patients who couldn’t afford them and regularly passes out bus passes to ensure patients can make follow-up appointments. He has served as the Medical Director of the ACS clinic since 2004. “Dr. J”, as he is known around the clinic, serves as a mentor to pre-med, medical and nursing students volunteering at the clinic. To ensure that ACS Community Lift patients have access to specialty care, he has personally recruited other specialists to volunteer and donate care. Every year, he underwrites the organization’s annual 4th of July barbeque which feeds more than 150 underprivileged people.