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Dr. James 'Red' Duke Receives 2008 Thurman Award
James H. "Red" Duke, Jr., M.D., holder of the John B. Holmes Professorship in the Clinical Sciences at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, has received the 2008 General Maxwell Thurman Award for his work in the use of advanced technologies to improve emergency medical care.
Col. Ronald K. Poropatich, M.D., a senior clinical advisor at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command's Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, presented the award to Duke April 6 at the annual meeting of the American Telemedicine Association in Seattle. The U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command award is given to a national leader who has made a substantial contribution toward the advancement of telemedicine and related medical technologies in order to improve patient care. It honors the late Gen. Maxwell Reid Thurman, who championed the advancement of lifesaving medical technologies within the U.S. Army.
Duke, founder and medical director of Life Flight at Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center, was commended for his work as one of the principal architects of the U.S. Army's DREAMS (Disaster Relief and Emergency Medical Services), which integrates real-time video processing and wireless communications technology to link remote medical experts with trauma and disaster victims for triage. This technology was used to help patients who were stranded in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, and it was utilized again to assist victims of Hurricane Rita who were injured in rural areas of Texas and Louisiana.
Duke is the second UT faculty member in recent years to be presented the General Maxwell Thurman Award. S. Ward Casscells, M.D., Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, was the vice president for biotechnology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston when he received the award for his work with DREAMS in 2004.
"Dr. Duke is recognized as an international leader in trauma and medical education," said Richard Andrassy, M.D., chairman of the Department of Surgery, the Denton A. Cooley, M.D., Chair in Surgery and the Jack H. Mayfield, M.D. Distinguished University Chair. "He has made tremendous contributions first to the development of Life Flight and now to advanced telecommunications. This expedites and upgrades the care of patients in the field and forward military maneuvers. That both Dr. Duke and Dr. Casscells, as professors at UT Medical School at Houston, have received the Thurman Award for the efforts on the DREAM project is an outstanding tribute recognizing their important contributions."
By Meredith Raine, Institutional Advancement
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