UI Carver College of Medicine honors 5 with Distinguished Alumni Awards

John-HoepnerJohn Hoepner (’66 MD) has devoted his career to the quest to cure diseases that cause blindness. During nearly 30 years as chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York, he worked to establish major initiatives, including co-founding the university’s Center for Vision Research (CVR). As administrative director, his tenacious efforts to attract outstanding scientific talent and procure funding have helped to grow CVR into a self-sustaining, nationally recognized vision research group that has made important discoveries on the possible causes of retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration.

Lauren-HughesLauren Hughes (’09 MD), deputy secretary for health innovation for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, displays a commitment to the care of the underserved that is evident in the impressive list of activities and leadership positions she has compiled since earning her medical degree. In roles ranging from national president of the American Medical Student Association to her current membership on the board of directors of Family Medicine for America’s Health, she has maintained a national presence in efforts to expand access to high-quality primary care for vulnerable populations.

Albert-MintzerAlbert Mintzer (’56 MD) demonstrated unwavering dedication to his patients and long-standing service to his profession during his 41-year career as an obstetrician-gynecologist in Des Moines. He delivered thousands of babies while also helping to establish new standards in OB-GYN care, becoming one of the state’s first physicians to routinely use ultrasound and other emerging tests and procedures that improved women’s health care. He was an early advocate of prenatal education, natural childbirth methods, and allowing fathers into the delivery room. Since retiring from private practice, he has helped to train medical students and residents at the OB-GYN clinic at Broadlawns Medical Center.

Susan-NayfieldSusan Nayfield (’72 MS, ’74 MD), a faculty member and chief of the clinical research division in the Department of Aging and Geriatric Research at the University of Florida College of Medicine, has achieved distinction as a clinician, researcher, epidemiologist, program director, and administrative leader. At the Medical College of Virginia, she established her expertise in hematology, oncology, and cancer control and prevention. In 20 years at the National Institutes of Health, she served as program director of the National Cancer Institute’s Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program and later as chief of the geriatrics branch of the Geriatrics and Clinical Gerontology Program at the National Institute on Aging.

Douglas-Van-DaeleDouglas Van Daele (’96 MD, ’97 R, ’99 F, ’03 R), vice dean for clinical affairs in the UI Carver College of Medicine and executive director of UI Physicians, has emerged as a respected voice in conversations surrounding innovations in health care delivery. His appointments to administrative leadership positions came as he developed an international reputation in teaching, research, and clinical excellence in otolaryngology–head and neck surgery. He played a crucial role in the institutional transition to electronic health records, which has enhanced care coordination and outcomes research across patient populations, and was part of the nation’s first class to earn board certification in clinical informatics.