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CU School of Medicine Honors Alumni

 

5/23/2018

AURORA, Colo.  – The University of Colorado School of Medicine is honoring four distinguished alumni at alumni reunion events this week.

The awardees are:

  • George A. Lopez, MD ’73, Distinguished Achievement Award
  • Wagner Schorr, MD ’63, Distinguished Service Award
  • Linda L. Williams, MD ’84, a Denver-area psychiatrist, has received the Silver and Gold Award
  • M. Robert Yakely, MD, who completed his residency at CU after graduating with a medical degree from The Ohio State University in 1966, Alumni Association Humanitarian Award

George A. Lopez, MD, Earns Distinguished Achievement Award for Medical Innovations 

George A. Lopez, MD, an internist and a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Medicine, has received the school’s Distinguished Achievement Award for work benefiting the community, the practice of medicine and the provision of health care, and the Alumni Association and the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Lopez graduated from the CU School of Medicine in 1973. 

Lopez is well known for inventing infusion therapy devices to enhance and save lives at the point of care. For example, the ClickLock device alleviates the risks related to IV needle dislodgment, which could affect not only patients but also the healthcare workers concerned with the transmission of diseases due to needle sticks. The innovation led Lopez to found and serve as CEO of ICU Medical, a leading manufacturer of safe medical connectors, custom medical products and critical care devices. 

Other inventions include the Clave family of needle-free vascular access devices and the ChemoClave system, which allows pharmacists and nurses to safely mix and administer drugs used to treat cancer patients. 

Within the infusion therapy marketplace, Lopez’s inventions are still considered “best in class” and his presence and legacy are still a force in the medical device industry. As he worked to create the standard of care in infusion therapy for patients and providers, Lopez also has been on a personal quest to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. 

In addition to his achievements in medicine, Lopez holds records in free immersion and variable ballast diving. An accomplished spear fisherman, in 2004 he held the world record for catching the largest black marlin ever caught: 269.4 pounds. (Lopez accomplished the feat without scuba gear.) 

Lopez retired as CEO of ICU Medical in 2014 and still serves on its Board of Directors. Under his leadership, the company has broadened its footprint in hospitals with products designed for use in ORs and ICUs. 

CU School of Medicine Alumni Association Honors Wagner Schorr, MD, for Distinguished Service 

Wagner Schorr, MD has received the CU School of Medicine’s Distinguished Service Award for his work in nephrology and service to the medical community. 

Schorr has served in numerous leadership positions here and in the United Kingdom. After graduating from the CU School of Medicine in 1963, Dr. Schorr trained with Dr. Thomas Starzl, the world leader in transplant medicine at the University of Colorado; Dr. Schorr then traveled to the UK to introduce kidney transplant there. While in the UK, he served as senior registrar of the Renal Unit of the Royal Victoria Infirmary. 

Here in Colorado, Schorr served as president of the Medical Advisory Board of the National Kidney Foundation; as the co-founder of the Colorado Organ Recovery Systems (now the Donor Alliance); as medical director and consultant of HCA/HealthOne; and president of the Colorado Society of Nephrology. Schorr also has served on the Boards of HealthOne and the Gates Regenerative Medicine Center. 

Schorr served as Chief of Medicine at Presbyterian Medical Center in Denver and is a clinical professor of medicine at the CU School of Medicine. 

Schorr is the immediate past president of the Medical Alumni Association and has served on the School of Medicine’s Admissions Committee for more than 20 years. He and his wife, Annalee Schorr, established the Schorr Family Medical Scholarship Fund, which has committed $20,000 per year for five years. 

In 2017, Schorr received the CU School of Medicine’s Florence Rena Sabin award for exceptional contributions to the Anschutz Medical Campus and the health of the citizens of Colorado. 

Linda L. Williams, MD, Receives Top Award from CU School of Medicine Alumni Association 

Linda L. Williams, MD, a Denver-area psychiatrist, has received the Silver and Gold Award from the CU School of Medicine Alumni Association. The top award recognizes humanitarianism, citizenship, professionalism, outstanding service to the community, and contributions to the art and science of medicine. 

Williams was a registered nurse before graduating from the University of Denver (1981), the CU School of Medicine (1984), and a CU residency in Family Medicine at Poudre Valley Hospital (1989). She was a Primary Care Physician in the Denver area for 18 years and an Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine. Williams completed a second residency in Adult Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School - Massachusetts General Hospital in 2011.  As part of her training, she elected to work at the Southeast Asian Community Clinic serving highly traumatized, low-income, non-English speaking survivors of the Pol Pot genocide. 

Williams has served in numerous leadership positions.  She was Colorado Medical Director of Docs Who Care, a group of physicians and other health care providers dedicated to helping sustain and support rural community hospitals in the state. Williams also was National Medical Director for a privately funded research project on neuroplasticity and the cerebellum, and as the Interim Director of the KID Foundation, focused on children with sensory processing disorder and their families. 

She has dedicated much of her professional skill to humanitarian endeavors both in the U.S. and in many other countries. She was a nurse in the aftermath of the historic 1974 Xenia, Ohio tornado. As an MD, Williams responded to other areas hit by horrific disasters—Thailand following the 2004 tsunami and Haiti in the wake of the 2010 earthquake. 

Williams’ interest in international volunteerism was fueled by her work and travels with Up with People, first as a nurse and later as their International Medical Director. They honored her with the James E. McLennan Everyday Hero Award. She has been involved with healthcare outreach to aborigines in the mountains of Taiwan, a Peruvian indigenous tribe on the Amazon, and remote villagers in Cambodia as well as in many other countries. 

In Denver, Williams helped seek out and counsel victims of sex trafficking and provide food to the homeless as part of the Miracle on 19th Street project. She has been an advisor regarding adoption and foster care, and currently serves as a consultant for international nonprofits regarding mental health screening for applicants, management of mental health emergencies overseas, and psychiatric care for workers after their return home. 

In 2016, Williams, along with a colleague, helped establish the Kenneth Atkinson, MD Memorial Scholarship Fund, at CU School of Medicine, which provides a Presidential full-tuition scholarship to an incoming CU medical student and to a fourth-year medical student pursuing a primary care career in a rural area. The scholarship is named in honor of a 1977 School of Medicine graduate who rushed to render medical aid to a victim of a domestic dispute in his neighborhood. As Dr. Atkinson attempted to provide care, he was shot and killed. 

Williams currently practices Adult Psychiatry in Highlands Ranch, Colo. 

M. Robert Yakely, MD, Receives Humanitarian Award from CU School of Medicine Alumni Association 

M. Robert Yakely, MD, who completed his residency in urology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine after earning his medical degree from The Ohio State University in 1966, has received the CU School of Medicine’s Alumni Association Humanitarian Award. The award recognizes lifelong service to society, extraordinary service to the community, and leadership through global or local service. 

Aside from his many hours dedicated to leadership in organized medicine here in Colorado, Yakely also is responsible for establishing prostate cancer screening on the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. While he and his wife Rosemary were visiting there in 1996, they had reason to visit a medical clinic. When the doctor there learned that Yakely was a urologist, he asked if he’d be willing to see some patients who had late-stage prostate cancer. It was apparent that the doctors at the clinic were only able to detect the disease in its late stages. 

The only urologists were in Puerto Rico, so the family doctors in Tortola felt they had to be sure the patient had cancer before they could refer them to Puerto Rico, due to the expense. 

Yakely expressed an interest in helping the people of Tortola, and within a few weeks, the head of the British Virgin Islands Red Cross told Yakely she would provide what he’d need to establish screening. During the first year of the screening process, 50 patients were screened. By 2007, 1,500 men were screened. Because of their work, Yakely and his wife, Rosemary, were made honorary citizens of the British Virgin Islands. 

Locally, Yakely is president of the Colorado Medical Society, on which he has served in numerous capacities since 1980. He had a private practice in the Denver metro area for 23 years, after which he was co-director of the Rocky Mountain Kidney Stone Center for 17 years. Yakely also has served on the Board of Directors of the Clear Creek Valley Medical Society and as president of the Rocky Mountain Urologic Society. 

Yakely also was chairman of the West Side Urology Department at Lutheran and St. Anthony’s Hospitals, serving three terms from 1993-1995.