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Prestigious Kaiser Medal Awarded to Dr. William J. Hall

URMC Physician Tapped for Rochester Academy of Medicine Honor

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

William J. Hall, M.D., Paul Fine Professor of Medicine, Oncology and Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center and director of the Center for Healthy Aging, was awarded the Albert David Kaiser Medal by the Rochester Academy of Medicine at its annual meeting in May.

The medal – the Academy’s highest honor – was presented to Hall for over 30 years of distinguished service and contributions to the medical community as a clinician, teacher and leader in medical progress.  The award was initiated in 1939 to recognize the work of Rochester pediatrician Albert H. Kaiser, M.D.

A cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan School of Medicine, Hall completed his internal medicine residency at Yale University, where he served as chief resident. He arrived in Rochester in 1971 as one of the first fellows in a newly created Pulmonary Disease Unit at the Medical Center, after which he helped develop a comprehensive pulmonary and clinical research program in both Medicine and Pediatrics.  His aptitude and enthusiasm for teaching were evident early in his career.  He was selected twice by medical school graduates for the Keith Miner Ford Award for excellence in teaching.

In 1983, Hall was appointed professor of medicine and physician-in-chief of the Department of Medicine at Rochester General Hospital, where he developed special interest in aging, the care of older adults, and the emerging discipline of geriatrics.  He helped create innovative programs for the care of older adults including a specialized inpatient unit and the creation of a comprehensive community-based care program as an alternative to nursing homes for the frail elderly.

Hall returned to the Department of Medicine at Strong Memorial Hospital in 1992, with the goal of enhancing its geriatric program.  Under his direction, these programs have grown steadily in influence and reputation.  Hall led the development of a comprehensive plan of medical education in geriatrics involving students, residents, fellows and community physicians and played a major role in developing a plan for geriatric services at Strong Health’s Highland Hospital, now known as the Center for Healthy Aging.  This Center includes a specialized inpatient unit at Highland as well as a geriatrics primary care practice.  Hall also founded the Center for Lifetime Wellness, a fully equipped fitness and wellness resource based at Monroe Community Hospital that serves over 500 people over the age of 50.  This Center’s outreach programs reach over 600 adults in minority communities with comparable services.

Recognized nationally and internationally for his work in geriatrics, he is a frequent speaker locally and across the country, strongly committed to preventive health and successful aging.  Hall earned the Jahnigen Memorial Award from the American Geriatrics Society for his outstanding contributions to education in the field of geriatrics.

In 2001, Hall served as president of the American College of Physicians, the largest medical subspecialty organization in the world.  During his term, he championed the College’s advocacy regarding universal access to health care and represented the organization internationally, earning him fellowship in 12 internal medicine organizations in Europe, Latin America and Asia.  He has served as a member of its Board of Governors representing Upstate New York and was appointed to its Board of Regents.  The Upstate chapter awarded Hall their Laureate award in 2001 and in 2002 he received a Mastership in the College.

For his community involvement, Hall has been recognized with the Health Care Award of the Rochester Chamber of Commerce, a Certificate of Merit from the Rochester Academy of Medicine, and the Gold Medal Award from the Alumni Society of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Other University of Rochester Medical Center faculty members recognized at the Academy’s annual meeting were: William Bayer, M.D., Family Medicine, Geriatric Award in honor of Carter and T. Franklin Williams; and Awards of Merit were presented to Caroline B. Hall, M.D., professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Christopher H. Hodgman, M.D., clinical professor of Pediatrics and professor emeritus of Psychiatry.

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