Each fall the Georgia Chapter recognizes outstanding contributions to Georgia’s children and to the Chapter via the presentation of several awards. Chapter members may nominate individuals who met award criteria by August 10 of each year. The following are the Chapter Awards, with a list of the recipients of the past 5 years included.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Awarded to Chapter member for outstanding achievement in pediatrics in past 1-3 years including patient care, teaching, research, advocacy, & Chapter service.

2007 Kathryn Cheek, MD
2008 Jay E. Berkelhamer, MD
2009 Richard Besser, MD
2010 Lynne D. Feldman, MD
2011 Norman “Chip” Harbaugh, MD
2012 William H. Dietz, MD, PhD
2013 Jose O. Rodriguez-Torres, MD
2014 Cyrus Samai, MD

YOUNG PHYSICIAN AWARD: Awarded to a Chapter member under the age of 40 who has made an outstanding contribution in pediatrics, including research, improving access to care, developing model programs for care, service to the Chapter or child advocacy.

2007 Yolanda Wimberly, MD
2008 Kathryn McLeod, MD, Melinda Willingham, MD
2009 Iris Basilio, MD, Robert Forbes, MD, Steve Hobby, MD
2010 Benjamin Spitalnick, MD, Joshua Smith, MD
2011 Michelle R. Zeanah, MD
2012 Christopher M. Young, MD
2013 C. Wesley Lindsey. MD, Dixie D. Griffin, MD
2014 Angela Highbaugh-Battle, MD, Keith Seibert, MD


FRIEND OF CHILDREN AWARD: Awarded to a non-pediatrician, for outstanding contributions to the health, development, and well-being of children in Georgia in the past year.

2007 Atlanta Journal-Constitution, HealthSTAT
2008 Sarah Ashe, VOICES for Georgia’s Children, Donald Whitney
2009 Linda Lowe, Tera Martin-Mize
2010 Joe W. Rogers, Jr., Scott Ressmeyer
2011 Donna W. Hyland, Judith A. Gay, NP
2012 John & Candy Bogardus
2013 First Lady Sandra Deal, David Cook
2014 Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, Alan Judd


LEGISLATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD: Awarded for exemplary contributions on behalf of children and pediatrics during the past state legislative session.  Awards may be made to both a House & Senate member.

2007 Representative Donna Sheldon, Senator Tim Golden
2008 Representative Judy Manning
2009 Representative Mickey Channell
2010 Senator Jack Hill
2011 Representative Larry J. “Butch” Parrish
2012 Representative Richard Smith
2013 Senator Renee Unterman
2014 Representative Larry O’Neal


FOUNDATION CHAMPION AWARD: This award, established in 2011, honors the exceptional work of a member or volunteer on behalf of the Pediatric Foundation of Georgia.

2011        James R. Soapes (Inaugural Recipient)


LEILA D. DENMARK LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: The highest award the Georgia Chapter can bestow. This is awarded to a Chapter member in recognition of the individual’s lifetime of work and contributions in pediatrics. Named in honor of pioneering pediatrician Leila Denmark, MD, one of the first female physicians in Georgia. She died at the age of 114 in April 2012.

2007 Barbara Bruner, MD
2008 Michael K. Levine, MD
2009 Charles Linder, MD
2010 R. Dwain Blackston, MD
2011 Paul M. Fernhoff, MD (Awarded Posthumously)
2012 Joseph V. Morrison, MD
2013 William P. Kanto, Jr., MD
2014 Oscar S. Spivey, MD