Karen S. Guice, M.D., MPP, U.S. Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, and Principal Deputy Director, TRICARE Management Activity, was named UNM School of Medicine’s Khatali Distinguished Alumnus this month. Guice, who received her medical degree from UNM in 1977, assists in the development of strategies and priorities to achieve the health mission of the Military Health System, while participating in formulating, developing, overseeing, and advocating the policies of the Secretary of Defense.

Khatali, Navajo for Medicine Man, is the School of Medicine’s Alumni Association established in 1973 to improve alumni participation, support current and prospective medical students and house staff, recognize achievements of alumni, and fundraise to support SOM. Khatali supports medical students, provides house staff and alumni with activities, and offers awards, scholarships, emergency loans and other special initiatives.

Guice, who acts as a liaison for various offices within Office of Secretary of Defense, the Military Departments, Congress, and other Executive Branch agencies, has earned a long list of New Mexico and national accomplishments, including:

• Received the Outstanding Alumna Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at New Mexico State University in 1993.

•  Selection as a 1997-1998 Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow.

• Service as a staff member of the Senate Committee on Labor from 1998-1999, and as the Director of Fellowship Services at the American College of Surgeons (1999-2001).

• Serving as Deputy Director for the President’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors (Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala, co-chairs, 2007).

•  Service on NIH Study Sections and EMSC grant review panels.

• Selection as President of the Association of Academic Surgery in 1993.

• Recipient of the Association of Women Surgeons Distinguished Member Award in 1999 and the W.W. Coon Surgical Residents Award for Teaching Excellence at the University of Michigan in 1988.

•  Recipient of Outstanding Achievement award from the office of the Secretary of Defense in 2007 for her work on the President’s Commission.

•  Recipient of Commendation from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2009.

“The UNM School of Medicine gave me a solid foundation,” said Guice at the Khatali Awards dinner. “I’ve had many opportunities in my career because I said, ‘yes’. Through those experiences I always learned and grew as a professional. So when you have the chance, say ‘yes.’ You too will learn and grow.” UNM School of Medicine Khatali Distinguished Alumnus recipients over the past five years include:

2011 – Ernest T. Takafuji, M.D. ’71

2010 – Robert F. Melendez, M.D. ’00

2009 – Michael E. Kilpatrick, M.D. ’69

2008 – Margot H. Green, M.D. ’68; and Kathleen S. Kagan, M.D. ’68

2007 – Wilmer L. Sibbitt, Jr., M.D. ’77

For more information about the UNM School of Medicine’s Khatali Alumni Association, visithttp://hsc.unm.edu/som/development/khatali.shtml.
Contact: Luke Frank, 272-3322