Taylor Receives 2012 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award

Heather Taylor, MD, a pediatrician and assistant professor in the College of Community Health Sciences, was honored with the prestigious Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award at The University of Alabama School of Medicine commencement on May 20.

Heather Taylor, MD

The award, presented by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, recognizes a faculty member who best demonstrates the foundation’s ideals of outstanding compassion in the delivery of care, respect for patients, their families and health care colleagues, as well as demonstrated clinical excellence. The Gold Foundation sponsors the annual Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Awards at 94 of the nation’s medical schools.

“This award was created to encourage the tradition of the caring doctor,” says Richard Streiffer, MD, dean of the College of Community Health Sciences. “As important as scientific knowledge and technical skills are to modern doctoring, the relationship between the practitioner and the patient remains paramount. Dr. Taylor is an outstanding example of a physician who balances the high-touch skills of effective communication, empathy and compassion with clinical excellence.”

The College of Community Health Sciences houses the Tuscaloosa branch campus of The University of Alabama School of Medicine. The main campus is located in Birmingham.

Taylor is the first female from The University of Alabama School of Medicine to receive the award, and only the second faculty member from the Tuscaloosa branch campus to do so.

“I was very surprised,” Taylor says. “I think it means the most to me knowing that it came from students. The Class of 2012 was a very smart, very accomplished and very diverse group of students and they were a fun group to teach. I have tremendous respect for who they are as individuals and I was especially honored to be recognized by them in this way.”

Recipients of the award must also demonstrate such professional behavior as being approachable and accessible to students and always welcoming opportunities for teaching and mentoring opportunities with students.

“It is particularly noteworthy for her to be recognized for this honor as a faculty member at the Tuscaloosa branch campus, as only a subset of University of Alabama School of Medicine students has regular contact with our faculty,” Streiffer says. “Clearly, she is impressive and an outstanding role model for students.” 

For further information please contact Elizabeth Hartley at the College of Community Health Sciences by calling 205-348-9109 or e-mailing her at ehartley@cchs.ua.edu