Wednesday, March 1, 2017

AMA Honors Texas Senator with Distinguished Service Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Medical Association (AMA) presented Texas State Sen. Kirk Watson with the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. Watson was selected for the AMA’s top government service award for asserting his community vision for health care and economic prosperity, most notably for leading the successful effort at the University of Texas Austin to build a new medical school from the ground up.

“Sen. Watson laid out a groundbreaking ‘10 Goals in 10 Years’ initiative for Austin, which included a comprehensive plan to bring a state-of-the-art medical school to the University of Texas in Austin,” said AMA Board Chair Patrice A. Harris, M.D. “Just five years later, the Dell Medical School opened its doors to the first class of 50 students in 2016. Through his bold vision and hard work, Sen. Watson is not just inspiring great change in Austin, but helping shape the landscape of medicine and medical schools well into the future.”

As part of his “10 Goals in 10 Years” initiative, Sen. Watson also put forth a vision to develop laboratories and other facilities for public and private research, provide needed psychiatric care and facilities, make Austin a center for comprehensive cancer care, and build a modern teaching hospital. The hospital – the Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas – will open this year.

Watson is one of 10 honorees chosen this year to receive the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. The award, named for the founding father of the AMA, 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.

“For more than a quarter century of the Nathan Davis Awards, the AMA has sought to salute government officials who go above and beyond the call of duty to improve public health,” said Dr. Harris. “Award winners have come from every branch of government service and are a testament to the important role public officials play in creating and implementing health policy that benefits Americans.”

Sen. Watson was presented with the award last night at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. as part of the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference.

The American Medical Association is the premier national organization dedicated to empowering the nation’s physicians to continually provide safer, higher quality, and more efficient care to patients and communities. For more than 165 years the AMA has been unwavering in its commitment to using its unique position and knowledge to shape a healthier future for America. For more information, visit 

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