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AMA Foundation Honors Atlanta Physician for Increasing Access to Health Care in the U.S.

CHICAGO, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Joyce D. Kirkland Essien, M.D., M.B.A., of Atlanta, is a recipient of the 2008 Pride in the Profession Awards. Presented by the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation, the award is given to domestic physicians who aid underserved populations in the U.S. The AMA Foundation presents the award in association with the Pfizer Medical Humanities Initiative.

The award will be presented on Monday, March 31st, at the 2008 Excellence in Medicine Awards Ceremony preceding the AMA National Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Essien serves as the Director of the Center for Public Health Practice at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, and is a commissioned officer at the rank of Captain in the U.S. Public Health Service at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Essien currently leads a team in collaboration with the Sustainability Institute that is building and applying simulation and syndemic modeling applications to diabetes to inform cross sectoral strategy, deliberation and decision support for policy formulation and strategic interventions at national, state and local levels to reduce the present and future burden of diabetes.

Dr. Essien is co-author of The Public Health Competency Handbook - Optimizing Individual and Organizational Performance for the Public's Health. The ZAP Asthma Consortium, Inc., co- founded by Dr. Essien, is a community health worker model for community-based asthma intervention, and this program is the recipient of the Rosalyn and Jimmy Carter Partnership Award. Among her many volunteer activities, she most recently established a not-for-profit foundation for the Carver Early College School, the first small school concept implemented within the Atlanta Public School System. Summing up Dr. Essien's work, one colleague stated that "the community is Dr. Essien's patient."

"Dr. Essien works tirelessly at the systems level to address issues such as diabetes and asthma, which are epidemics in this country," said AMA Foundation President Barbara Rockett, M.D. "She works to prevent illness, particularly in those populations who bear a disproportionate burden of disease."

The Pride in the Profession Awards were created by the AMA Foundation to honor physicians who, through their service, have brought a sense of pride to the medical profession and whose actions promote the art and science of medicine and the advancement of public health.

As the philanthropic arm of the American Medical Association, the AMA Foundation is committed to advancing healthcare in America through programs in medical education, research and public health. For more information, please visit or call (312) 464-4200.

SOURCE American Medical Association
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