Institute of Medicine honors former UF, Shands leader for outstanding service

The Institute of Medicine, an organization that provides health policy advice to the nation’s leaders, this weekend honored former University of Florida Vice President for Health Affairs David R. Challoner, M.D., for outstanding service.

Challoner, also a former chairman of the board of Shands at UF, received the Walsh McDermott Medal for distinguished service over an extended period at the IOM’s 40th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

“This is an honor for me because the IOM has become so special,” Challoner said. “While doing my professional ‘volunteer’ work over the years, the Institute of Medicine has developed extraordinary public credibility. Leaders in both the legislative and executive branches of government depend on it for impartial, evidence-based answers to policy questions related to medicine or medical science. When there is a controversial issue, they can refer it to the IOM without reservations and say, ‘study this, and give us your recommendations.’ That track record keeps growing stronger and stronger.”

The IOM provides health police advice under a congressional charter granted to the National Academy of Sciences.

Challoner chaired IOM’s membership committee during its governance discussions with the National Academy of Sciences, strengthening relations between the two organizations. He began his relationship with the IOM and the National Research Council as a visiting scholar in 1973. During his tenure as IOM foreign secretary, he served as an IOM council member and ex officio council member. He continues to serve as an expert in international medicine and science and is recognized for critical contributions while serving on the Research Council’s governing board and the report review committee.

“Challoner’s intelligence, warmth, charm, good judgment and consummate diplomacy are among the personal characteristics that have made him a trusted resource over the past 30 years,” according to a statement from the IOM.

Challoner graduated from Lawrence College in Appleton, Wis., in 1956. He received his medical degree cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 1961, having taken a year’s leave of absence as a research fellow in the department of biochemistry at Cambridge University in England.

His postgraduate training included an internship and residency in internal medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, a chief medical residency and endocrinology fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle and research training as a research associate at the National Heart Institute in Bethesda.

His first academic appointment in 1967 was at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he rose to the rank of professor of internal medicine. He subsequently served as dean and professor of medicine at the St. Louis University School of Medicine from 1975 to 1982, before becoming UF’s vice president for health affairs and chairman of the Shands board of directors.

His scientific career has included research in endocrinology and metabolism resulting in more than 30 scientific publications. His clinical specialty is in internal medicine with a subspecialty interest in endocrinology.

His honors have included election to Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honorary; the American Society for Clinical Investigation; and the Association of American physicians. He was awarded the Harvard Medical Alumni Award in 1961 and the Lawrence University Distinguished Alumni Award in 1987. He was the recipient of the American Medical Association’s Dr. William Beaumont Award in 1982 for “outstanding contributions to the profession of medicine by a physician under the age of 50.”

He has held leadership positions in many national organizations, including the Association of American Medical Colleges, where he holds Distinguished Service Membership, the American Medical Association, where he served as chairman of the Section on Medical Schools, and the American Federation for Clinical Research, for which he served as president. After he was elected a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, he served as chairman of the membership committee and the governing council.

He was appointed by President Reagan to chair the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science from 1988-90. He served on the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, on the National Academies’ umbrella Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy, and on the Governing Board of the National Research Council.

He married Jacqueline Anderson in 1958 and they have three children, David, Laura and Britt, and seven grandchildren.