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Annual Dr. Harold Alper Humanitarian Awards and Keynote Address

The Late Harold Alper, MD, Beloved Physician and Humanitarian

17th Annual Dr. Harold Alper Humanitarian Keynote Address and Awards Ceremony

The University of Tennessee College of Medicine -- Chattanooga, in conjunction with the family of the late Harold Alper, MD, and the Erlanger Foundation, will host the 17th Annual Alper Humanitarian Awards Keynote Address and Ceremony on Friday, May 3, 2024 from 7:30 --9:30 am ET in the Erlanger Probasco Auditorium.  


2024 Alper Humanitarian Award Nominees

Hannah Bowers, MD, Chief Resident, OB/GYN

Hannah Bowers, MD
Chief Resident, OB/GYN (PGY-4)


Marc Erickson, MD, Chief Fellow, Cardiovascular Disease

Marc Erickson, MD
Chief Fellow, Cardiovascular Disease (PGY-6)


Hayley Everett, MD, Chief Resident, Surgery 
Hayley Everett, MD
Chief Resident, Surgery (PGY-6)


Alyssa Ferrell, DO, Senior Resident, Internal Medicine

Alyssa Ferrell, DO
Senior Resident, Internal Medicine (PGY-3)
Read Nomination (Ferrell)


Alex Jones, MD, Chief Resident, Family Medicine

Alex Jones, MD
Chief Resident, Family Medicine (PGY-3)


Robert Kimmell, MD, Chief Resident, Plastic Surgery

Robert Kimmel, MD
Chief Resident, Plastic Surgery (PGY-8)


Colton Norton, MD, Chief Resident, Orthopaedic Surgery

Colton Norton, MD
Chief Resident, Orthopaedic Surgery (PGY-5)
Read Nomination (Norton)


Angeli Patel, MD, Chief Fellow, Gastroenterology

Angeli Patel, MD
Chief Fellow, Gastroenterology (PGY-6)


Pahola Rodriguez, MD, Senior Fellow, Pediatrics

Pahola Rodriguez, MD
Senior Fellow, Pediatrics (PL-3)


Christopher Sciarretta, MD, Chief Resident, Emergency Medicine

Christopher Sciarretta, MD
Chief Resident, Emergency Medicine 


David Thompson, MD, Chief Resident, Urology

David Thompson, MD
Chief Resident, Urology (PGY-5)


About Dr. Alper:  Dr. Harold Alper began practicing in 1947 and was named to the University of Tennessee College of Medicine faculty as Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery in 1976.    He was instrumental in founding the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Speech and Hearing Center in the early 1950’s, and he pioneered microscopic surgery and laser surgery in Chattanooga.  Dr. Alper’s community service included work as the president of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Jewish Welfare Foundation and the Jewish Community Center.

About the Award and Ceremony:  The University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, in conjunction with the Baroness Foundation at Erlanger Health System and an endowment from the family of the late Dr. Harold Alper, has established the yearly ceremony and Grand Rounds Keynote Address.  The Dr. Harold Alper Humanitarian Award is presented to a graduating Resident or Fellow at the UT College of Medicine Chattanooga who has consistently demonstrated during residency or fellowship the humanistic qualities for which the late Dr. Harold Alper was known: integrity, compassion, and community service.


The judges will review all nominations and well as the nominations and comments/stories from colleagues, other health system staff, and patients.  We have 11 nominees representing 11 of our programs.  All 11 will be recognized at the event on May 3 following the keynote address.  The judges will announce their decision on the graduating Resident or Fellow most deserving of the award at the end of the at the conclusion of the event.  

Ten nominees will receive a cash award of $1,000 each from the endowment.  The award recipient will receive a $1,500 cash award and a crystal commemorative award.  Cash awards are intended to assist the nominees and award recipient in continuing their humanistic and compassionate patient care as well as to serve the patients from our region.

About the Keynote Address:  The Alper Humanitarian Award ceremony includes a Keynote Address highlighting the importance and role of humanism in medicine. This year’s keynote address title is "Stories from a 40-Year Career in Medicine."

James Kahn, MD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine

Keynote Speaker:

James Kahn, MD

Professor Emeritus
Department of Medicine
Stanford University School of Medicine

Our guest speaker for the 2024 celebration of Dr. Alper and our graduates is James Kahn, MD.  Dr. Kahn is Professor Emeritus, Department of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine.

James Kahn, MD, has spent the past twelve years at Stanford University School of Medicine where his career activity focused on mentoring and narrative medicine. He has published his stories in JAMA, Annals of Internal Medicine, Lancet, and the Journal of Palliative Medicine. He has received mentoring awards at the University of California San Francisco and two teaching awards at Stanford University.  His topic will be "Stories from a 40-Year Career in Medicine."

Dr. Kahn graduated from University of California at Berkeley (AB in History) and then matriculated at the University of California San Francisco (MD).  He was inducted into the Gold Headed Cane Society and AOA. He was an intern at Johns Hopkins Hospital on the Osler Medical Service, returning to UCSF for his Oncology Fellowship. He joined the faculty at UCSF and accepted an appointment in the AIDS Program at San Francisco General Hospital. His initial research activities focused on three areas: antiretroviral and novel therapeutic treatments of HIV infection, understanding elements of HIV pathogenesis associated with acute HIV infection and post exposure prevention. He then concentrated on working as a team to capitalize on the data stored in electronic medical records, HIV disease modeling and using electronic medical records for outcome research. During that time, he helped to develop a mentorship program for doctoral, post-doctoral scholars and early career faculty dedicated to translational and clinical research. He was the national chair for an NIAID sponsored AIDS Clinical Trials Group study and conducted Phase 1 through Phase 3 studies. His scholarship received funding from the NIH for 24 years through a variety of mechanisms including, as the principal investigator of R01, R18, R24, R35 and K24 grants and co-investigator for R01, R18, R24 and R33 awards. Three foundations have supported his scholarly activities: the California Healthcare Foundation, the Blue Shield Foundation and the Commonwealth Foundation and he received three career awards, one from the American Cancer Society and two K24 awards from the NIH.

The UTHSC College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing education for physicians.  This presentation is approved for one hour AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ in accordance with ACCME guidelines.  If you attend the in-person session in Probasco Auditorium (May 3, 2024), you may receive CME/CEU Credit for this presentation.  You will be able to document your attendance and request CME credit via a QR Code at the event.


Feb 27, 2024