ATA 2014 Award Winners

The ATA President's Awards, ATA Industry Council Award and SIG & Chapter Achievement Awards are presented annually in order to recognize substantial contributions toward the advancement of telemedicine. The winners will be formally introduced at the ATA 2014 Annual Meeting, Tuesday, May 20, 2014, in Baltimore.  A full list of previous winners is available here

2014 ATA President's Awards

Individual Award for the Advancement of Telemedicine

Award supported by Jay Sanders of The Global Telemedicine Group

Ronald C. Merrell, MD, FACS

Dr. Merrell is Emeritus Professor of Surgery at Virginia Commonwealth University where he was Stuart McGuire Professor and Chairman of VCU’s Department of Surgery from 1999 to 2003. Dr. Merrell was also the Clinical Director of VCU Health Systems Telemedicine Program. Previously he was the Lampman Professor and Chairman of Surgery at Yale University School of Medicine. He was Vice Dean at the University of Texas Health Science Center Houston and Professor of Surgery at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. He obtained B.S. and M.D. degrees from the University of Alabama, which is his home state and trained in surgery and biological chemistry at Washington University in St Louis.

Dr. Merrell has had a long relationship with NASA as advisor in aerospace medicine and researcher in telemedicine. He was awarded the Public Serve medal by NASA on three occasions. He is also a frequent advisor to the Department of Defense regarding telemedicine. Dr. Merrell has established successful programs in industry and government in the field of informatics research. His innovative work in telemedicine includes early use of Internet telemedicine, sensor applications, transmission solutions and program design. His efforts in international telemedicine have led to significant programs in ten countries and extensive work in remote and hostile environments including Mt Everest, the Amazon and Africa. He has long been associated with telemedicine and surgical education programs. He is a member of the College of Fellows of the American Telemedicine Association.

As a surgical educator he has been recognized by the universities he has served and their students with many awards including the Kaiser Award at Stanford, the John McGovern award at the University of Texas Houston, and the Edward Storer Award at Yale. At Yale he also founded the Yale Surgical Society. He has over 380 publications and serves on the editorial boards of several major surgical journals. Dr Merrell was named to the Best Doctors in America list for the last decade of his practice. He is an editor-in-chief of Telemedicine and E-Health, an official journal of the American Telemedicine Association and the International Society for Telemedicine and e-Health.

Innovation in Remote Health Care

Award supported by InTouch Health

Burke Mental Health Emergency Center

The Burke Mental Health Emergency Center, working in cooperation with JSA Health Telepsychiatry, (MHEC) is the first Psychiatric Emergency Service in the world exclusively serviced by emergency telepsychiatrists. The center was created through a massive and creative strategy developed by local police, EMR, judicial courts, emergency departments, community mental health centers and advocates for the mentally Ill who saw the need for a regional and rural psychiatric emergency center.

Adapting telemedicine to emergency psychiatry has allowed access to emergency psychiatrists in a wide variety of remote locations including community psychiatric emergency centers, community mental health centers, jails, public and private schools, colleges and universities, homeless shelters, federally qualified health centers, hospital emergency departments, and even cruise ships in most oceans of the world. The MHEC has made a substantial, positive impact on the community and it demonstrates how telemedicine can save money, increase access to care, and diminish the need for hospitalizations, or incarcerations, in behavioral health emergencies.


Health Delivery Quality and Innovation

Award supported by AMD Global Telemedicine, Inc.

Center for Rural Health Innovation: MY Health-e-Schools

MY Health-e-Schools is improving access to healthcare for students in Mitchell and Yancey counties in western North Carolina through telemedicine. The technology is based on high-definition videoconferencing using specially equipped stethoscopes and cameras so that a centrally located health care provider can examine students at multiple schools without traveling. My Health-e-Schools collaborates with primary care physicians to provide many services, including addressing acute issues such as the common ear ache or stomach ache, chronic disease management, medication management, well-child check-ups, sports physicals, pediatric preventive cardiology, adolescent medicine consultations, and telepsychology / telebehavioral health.
Using telemedicine to connect patients to quality health care providers is a proven way to increase access to health services, especially in rural areas; however, the idea of a school-based telemedicine program is unique. MY Health-e-Schools allows school nurses to connect ill students with health care providers. School-based health centers have been shown to improve attendance and reduce barriers to learning. MY Health-e-Schools increases classroom attendance for students and decrease time spent away from work for the parent or care giver of the student.

2014 ATA Awards

ATA Industry Council Award

Award supported by AT&T

Roy Schoenberg, MD, MPH

President and CEO American Well Systems

Roy is co-founder and CEO of American Well where he introduced the Telehealth brokerage framework that powers its systems. Prior to founding American Well, Roy was the founder of CareKey, delivering population and health management portals for the payer market. He led CareKey from product development into the adoption of its services by more than 35 million Health Plan members. Roy continued to serve as Senior Vice President and Chief Internet Solutions Officer at TriZetto, following its acquisition of CareKey in 2006. Roy is an avid writer and speaker in the areas of medical informatics, healthcare technology and healthcare policy.  

In 2014, he served on the Federation of State Medical Board's task force that introduced the new guidelines for the use of telemedicine in medical practice. He serves on the board of the American Telemedicine Association where he continues his quest to enlist technology to extend the healthcare system into the hands of patients. Roy authored over 30 issued patents in the area of healthcare technology, holds an MD from Hebrew University and an MPH in Healthcare Management from Harvard University.

Special Interest Group & Chapter Achievement Award

Award supported by UnitedHealth Group

ATA Telemedicine Health SIG

The annual ATA SIG & Chapter Achievement Award recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions made by one of ATA’s member groups.The Telemental Health SIG has made major contributions to the advancement of telemedicine by promoting and developing practice guidelines, delivering educational content, making major contributions to the scientific literature, ensuring opportunities for collaboration, and continuing to push the boundaries in promoting reimbursement and acceptance of telemedicine into mainstream clinical practice. The Telemental Health SIG is one of the fastest growing and active member groups with over 300 participants.