November 1997

Media Contacts: Sarah Goodwin, 404/727-3366 - sgoodwi@emory.edu
Kathi Ovnic, 404/727-9371 - covnic@emory.edu

Alan Stoudemire, M.D., professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Emory University School of Medicine, is the recipient of the Thomas P. Hackett Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine.

A scientific presentation will be delivered for Dr. Stoudemire as part of the awards ceremony at the Academy's annual meeting in San Diego, Calif., in November. The Academy is the largest physician organization in the United States devoted to the psychological and emotional care of patients with medical illnesses.

According to the Academy's Executive Director, Evelyne A. Hallberg, the award is intended to acknowledge "...An individual whose concern for others, warmth, humor and commitment to excellence would best recall Tom (Hackett)'s vibrant spirit; an individual whose gifts as a teacher, particularly at the bedside, are best characterized as 'inspiring'; an individual whose intellectual curiosity has generated innovative research at the interface of psychiatry and medicine -- a 'trailblazer'; an individual who has provided leadership across a range of tasks for the field of consultation psychiatry."

The award comes at a challenging time in Dr. Stoudemire's life. He currently is on medical leave from Emory, battling with metastatic melanoma. As has been typical in his life, he has used this time to complete his 11th book, entitled Idols of the Tribe: Searching for the Mythic Truth in Christianity, this one an examination of the psychological and mythological aspects of religion and the capacity of human beings to triumph over tragedy and make meaningful the tragedies we face. What he misses, he says, is the daily contact with his patients and students.

Dr. Stoudemire's passion for teaching is well known to the 1,000+ medical students he has taught in the classroom and the residents he has supervised in clinical and hospital settings. He was named Teacher of the Year by the Association of Academic Psychiatrists (1995) and Best Behavioral Science Lecturer at Emory (1989-90 and 1996-97), and was a recipient of the Nancy C.A. Roeske Certificate of Recognition for Excellence in Medical Student Education by the American Psychiatric Association (1992). Devoted to his patients (and visa-versa), Dr. Stoudemire twice has been listed among The Best Doctors in America (Woodward/White Inc., Aiken, S.C., 1993, 1994) and four times received the Physicians Recognition Award from the American Medical Association (1983, 1986, 1989, 1997). He has served on the board of trustees of Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association (1995-97).

Dr. Stoudemire's research has been extensive, and has focused heavily on medical psychiatry -- that interface between medicine and psychiatry that occurs when a patient requires simultaneous treatment for a physical illness and mental health condition. He has published leading texts on medical psychiatry and written numerous book chapters and journal articles on design of designated medical-psychiatric units in clinical settings. Dr. Stoudemire also is recognized as an authority on mental health in older persons, including depression in patients with Alzheimer's disease. He has strongly endorsed treatment of depression in persons with dementia to improve quality of life and reduce agitated behavior. He has published peer-reviewed papers on myriad other psychiatric topics, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and how it affects the heart; he reported that after depression is treated with ECT, memory improves in older adults.

Dr. Stoudemire has been chief of Clinical Services for Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University Hospital and The Emory Clinic; director of the Medical-Psychiatric Unit at Emory University Hospital; and chief of the Division of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and director of medical student education, both for the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. A North Carolina native, Dr. Stoudemire graduated cum laude with a bachelor's of arts and received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He completed an internship in internal medicine, neurology and emergency medicine as well as a psychiatric residency from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. He received a Mellon Foundation fellowship to study clinical epidemiology at Duke University. Dr. Stoudemire lives with his wife of 22 years, Sue Sprunt Stoudemire, and his children, Anna Louise, 16, and William Sprunt, 13, in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.


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