SOM alumni honored for excellence in medicine

School of Medicine alumni received three of the School’s and University’s most prestigious alumni honors in recognition of their outstanding achievements in medicine.

Catherine Spong, M.D., ’91, received the UMKC Alumni Association’s 2012 Alumna of the Year Award. The SOM recognized Mary Anne Jackson, M.D., ’78, with the 2012 E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award. Alexander Norbash, M.D., ’86, received the 2012 UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Achievement Award.

The University recognized Spong and Norbash among the 2012 Alumni Award recipients at the Alumni Awards Celebration on April 26 at the Westin Crown Center. The awards recognize university-wide alumns who have achieved eminence in their professional field, made contributions to education, science, the arts or human welfare of national or international significance, or rendered outstanding service to the community.

Spong, chief of pregnancy and perinatology at the National Institutes of Health since 1996, is recognized by her peers as one of the most influential women in obstetrics and gynecology today. She works at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development and oversees nearly $100 million in research grants related to maternal fetal medicine, neonatology and obstetrics.

Norbash is chairman and professor of radiology at Boston University, which appointed him Assistant Dean for Diversity and Multicultural Affairs in 2011. An interventional neuroradiologist, his clinical work includes the endovascular treatment of aneurysms, strokes, and other chronic issues. His research has led to the development of new tools now in use for neurologic therapies. He founded the Endovascular Neurosurgical and Interventional Neuroradiology practices at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where he was director of diagnostic and interventional radiology prior to joining Boston University.

Jackson, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and a professor of pediatrics at the School of Medicine, received the Take Wing Award on May 23 and called it an honor to join the distinguished list of previous Take Wing winners. The Take Wing Award is given to a graduate who has demonstrated excellence in his or her chosen field and exceeded the expectations of peers in the practice of medicine, academic medicine or research. A nationally renowned expert in pediatrics and infectious diseases, she serves on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Red Book Committee on Infectious Diseases.

The 2013 award winners will be announced at the end of September 2012.

Annual Award Nominations Deadlines 

The School of Medicine and the UMKC Alumni Association present a number of awards each year to outstanding alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their chosen field of activity and/or service to their community. The awards submission deadline is March 1. Annual awards include the following:

  • E. Grey Dimond, M.D., Take Wing Award
  • UMKC School of Medicine Alumni Achievement Award
  • UMKC Alumnus of the Year Award
  • UMKC Bill French Alumni Service Award
  • UMKC Defying the Odds Alumni Award
  • UMKC Legacy Award
  • UMKC Spotlight Award

For information and nomination criteria for the Take Wing Award, please click here. For a complete list of UMKC Alumni Awards and their criteria, please visit and click on Alumni Awards.


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