U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Gainesville, was honored Tuesday night with the American Medical Association’s top government service award. Also honored at the event were U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
"This award honors Rep. Deal’s dedication to finding innovative solutions to complex health care challenges," said Dr. Joseph M. Heyman, president of the AMA. "He has been a leading voice for physicians in our efforts to improve health care quality and transparency, and has found new ways to help consumers make better-educated health care decisions."
The award, the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service, was created 20 years ago and is named for the founder of the AMA. It recognizes elected and career officials in federal, state or municipal service whose outstanding contributions have promoted the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.
"I am honored to receive this distinguished award and very humbled by it," Deal said in accepting the award. "As you know, health care is a very complex industry but I remind myself daily of what my first employer and law partner, the late Bob Andrews of Gainesville, told me when he gave me my first job: ‘Make the system work.’ We should focus on making the health care system work as we move forward as a nation."
Deal was nominated for the award by the College of American Pathologists, a member of the AMA federation. Among those on hand for the presentation was Gainesville ophthalmologist Dr. Jack Chapman, the immediate past president of the Medical Association of Georgia.
The award was presented by documentary host and broadcast journalist Bill Kurtis at an awards dinner Tuesday in Washington as part of the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference.