Distinguished Humanitarian Award

2013 Distinguished Humanitarian Award -Karen Buchi, MD

buchi2013Karen Buchi (SOM Class of 1984) joined the University of Utah Department of Pediatrics in 1990. A firm believer in the University’s responsibility to the community, she helped establish South Main Clinic, a prenatal and pediatric clinic that cares for underserved families throughout the Salt Lake Valley. In order to launch the clinic, Dr. Buchi worked with a coalition including the Salt Lake County Health Department, the University Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Pediatrics, and the College of Nursing. In addition to providing high-quality care, the clinic is a rigorous teaching facility for residents and students, who receive both medical training and a commitment to service from Dr. Buchi and other faculty.

As the pediatric medical director of the clinic, Dr. Buchi continued her strategy of engaging community resources to provide a wide range of care. She established a lay health promoter program by partnering with Holy Cross Ministries, developed a pharmacy program to help families afford medication, led the creation of a specialized prenatal clinic for substance-abusing women, and brought the Teen Mother/Teen Health Clinic to South Main. Through her commitment to serve and her talent for collaborative leadership, Dr. Buchi brought the University into the community.

2012 Distinguished Humanitarian Award Recipients
Mansoor S. Emam, M.D., '90 and Thomas D. Rees, M.D., '48

Distinguished Humanitarian Award Recipient -Mansoor S. Emam, M.D., '90

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Dr. Mansoor Emam graduated from the University Of Utah School Of Medicine in 1990. He completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Yale University’s Norwalk Hospital in 1991 where he was elected “Intern of the Year” by his peers.  He returned to Utah and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at the LDS Hospital, where he also served as Chief Medical Resident in 1993-1994. Mansoor joined the Utah Emergency Physicians in 1994 and has worked as an Emergency Department Physician at the Intermountain Healthcare Urban Central Region hospitals. He is a Diplomat of American College of Physicians & Fellows, American College of Emergency Physicians.

In 2005, Dr. Emam was named the Emergency Room Physician of the Year by the Utah Department of Health.  He served as Chairman of Cottonwood Hospital from 2000 to 2005, when he step down to join his longtime friend and Utah philanthropist, Khosrow Semnani and colleague and fellow humanitarian, Jane Powers, R.N. to co-found the Maliheh Free Clinic.  He was the clinic’s medical director until 2008. He then co-founded the Hope Clinic in June 2010, in memory of his patient and dear friend, John Edward Holmes. It’s beautiful facility was built and initially funded by the Holmes & Roberts families, as well as by dr. Emam’s close friend and confidant, Al Rafati.  In January of 2012 the Hope clinic received a generous million dollar donation from Dr. Emam’s patient, Fred Farago.  This generous gran’s endowment will help to fund the clinic for the indefinite future.  Both clinics serve the underserved and uninsured patients in the greater Salt Lake Valley. Dr. Emam has served on Intermountain Healthcare, UCR Board of Trustees since 2005, as well as the American College of physicians, Utah chapter board.  He was named Hero of Emergency Medicine by the American College of Medicine, Compassionate Hero by the American Red Cross, given the Hero of Medicine Award by the Utah Medical Association and received the Community Service Award from the American College of Physicians. He continues to work part time, as an emergency department attending physician at Intermountain Medical Center, as the volunteer medical director of The Hope Clinic and as the assistant medical director and physician advisor for Intermountain Healthcare’s Urban Central Region. 

2012 Distinguished Humanitarian Award Recipient - Thomas D. Rees, M.D., '48

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Thomas D. Rees, M.D. was born and raised in Utah, the son of a university professor and a second generation descendent of Mormon pioneers.  After graduating from the University of Utah Medical School and completing seven years of residency and fellowship training at Cornell Medical Center, Yale University Medical School and as a Mark’s Fellow in Plastic Surgery at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Great Britain, he began a distinguished forty-three year career in New York as a practicing plastic surgeon, educator, author and innovator in his field.

He is a Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at New York University School of Medicine, Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Manhattan, Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, and served for many years as senior surgeon at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at New York University Medical Center. He is a past president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and a former Director and Vice Chairman of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

He has been a frequent lecturer at medical institutions, symposia, and forums all over the world and is the author of more than 140 medical articles and six medical texts including the two-volume Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, (W.B Saunders Co.), a classic for surgeons in training. He is also the author of Daktari, his memoirs as a founder and surgeon to the world-renowned Flying Doctors Service of East Africa, and its umbrella organization, The African Medical and Research Foundation. This organization is known for its innovative programs in preventive medicine, community health care, and health education as well as sponsoring a continuous program of plastic surgery for 55 years in eight countries in Africa.  It is the largest non-governmental health development organization based in Africa.

For twenty-five years, Dr. Rees along with Drs. Sherrell Aston and Dan Baker, have organized and chaired a yearly Symposium on Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in New York City. These symposia have featured a faculty composed of surgeons of different disciplines and are attended by surgeons from all over the world.

Since his retirement from active surgery, he has become a sculptor of African animals and people. His work is shown at the Shidoni Gallery and the Gerry Peters Gallery in Santa Fe. He has been an avid horseman, skier, and aviator, and is still a fly fisherman.