Chapter Awards

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 of each year. The following are the Chapter Awards, with a list of the recipients of the past 10 years included. We did not give awards in 2020.

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.

2010 Lynne D. Feldman, MD
2011 Norman “Chip” Harbaugh, MD
2012 William H. Dietz, MD, PhD
2013 Jose O. Rodrigues-Torres, MD
2014 Cyrus Samai, MD
2015 Dixie Griffin, MD
2016 Melinda Willingham, MD
2017 Anna Kuo, MD
2018 Amy Hardin, MD
2019 Kids Docs on Wheels
2021 Sally Goza, MD
2022 Tarayn Fairlie, 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.

2010 Benjamin Spitalnick, MD & Joshua Smith, MD
2011 Michelle R. Zeanah, MD
2012 Christopher M. Yound, MD
2013 C. Wesley Lindsey, MD & Dixie D. Griffin, MD
2014 Angela Highbaugh-Battle, MD & Keith Seibert, MD
2015 Yameika Head, MD
2016 Jennifer Collier-Madon, MD
2017 Melissa Boekhaus, MD
2018 Leah Helton, MD & Jonathan Popler
2019 Katherine Duncan, MD & Sylvia Washington, MD
2021 David O’Banion, MD
2022 Allison Rose, 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.

2010 Joe W. Rogers, Jr. & Scott Ressmeyer
2011 Donna W. Hyland, MD & Judith A. Gay, NP
2012 John & Candy Bogardus
2013 First Lady Sandra Deal & David Cook
2014 Brenda Fitzgerald, MD & Alan Judd
2015 Cynthia Lee, LPC & Peter & Holly Ranney
2016 Governor Nathan Deal
2017 Clark Howard
2018 Kayla Lewis
2019 Beverly Knight Olson
2021 Kisner Foundation
2022 Jennifer Poulos, Psy.D.


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.

2010 Senator Jack Hill
2011 Representative Larry J. “Butch” Parrish
2012 Representative Richard Smith
2013 Senator Renee Unterman
2014 Representative Larry O’Neal
2015 Representative Jan Jones & Senator Dean Burke
2016 Representative Terry England & Senator Dean Burke
2017 Representative Katie Dempsey
2018 Representative John Carson
2019 Representative Sharon Cooper
2021 Senator Kay Kirkpatrick & Rep. Teri Anulewicz
2022 Senator Michelle Au, MD


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)


COVID Healthcare Hero AWARD: Established 2021

2021        Jane Wilkov, MD; Evan Anderson, MD; & Stephen Thacker, MD


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.

2010 R. Dwain Blackston, MD
2011 Paul M. Fernhoff, MD
2012 Joseph V. Morrison, MD
2013 William P. Kanto, Jr., MD
2014 Oscar S. Spivey, MD
2015 Elma M. Steves, MD
2016 Joseph Snitzer, MD
2017 William Sexson, MD
2018 Doris M. Greenberg, MD
2019 Harry Keyserling, MD
2021 Wendell Todd, MD
2022 Gary Freed, DO