HSC Department of UNM Family and Community Medicine Healthcare History Book Wins State Award

A healthcare history book created by a core team from the UNM Health Sciences Department of Family and Community Medicine has won a prestigious 2011 Heritage Preservation Award from the State of New Mexico.

The award-winning work,Modern Medicine in New Mexico: The State Medical Society From 1949 to 2009,was published in May, 2010 by the New Mexico Medical Society (NMMS).

The book is a narrative and oral history capturing the impact and involvement of the NMMS on state health, medical innovation, and policy leadership in New Mexico since the end of World War II, including the creation of UNM’s School of Medicine.

On April 14th, the Historic Preservation Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs announced that the NMMS book had been honored with its award as the State’s 2011 Heritage Publication.

“Your recent publication, Modern Medicine in New Mexico, fills a gap in preserving an important part of New Mexico history,” said Rick Hendricks, vice-chairman of the State’s Cultural Properties Review Committee (CPRC), in his Awards Letter. “It provides information to the public that was not previously known.”

The special recognition bestowed on the NMMS book represents a relatively singular honor, according to the CPRC. Normally, the State’s Heritage Preservation Awards are given almost exclusively for the physical restoration of important archaeological and architectural sites around New Mexico.

On May 13th, three individuals associated with FCM–Dr. Daniel Derksen,M.D. professor within the Family and Community Medicine department, Marketing and Outreach Officer Paul Akmajian, and contributing writer Michael Joe Dupont–were be honored at a formal Awards Ceremony in Santa Fe for their work on the NMMS book.

Dr. Derksen initiated the history project in August, 2008, when he began his term as NMMS President. Derksen supervised Dupont and Akmajian over the following 18 months as the 300-page book took shape.

Dupont combed NMMS archives and conducted over 50 extended interviews with past and current NMMS leadersto compile the text. Akmajian then sprinkled 60 years of photographs (including almost 300 separate images) across its pages, and directed the book’s layout and assembly.

Upon completion, the NMMS distributed copies of the book to its more than 3,000 members. The finished work was so well-received that UNM Press decided to offer the volume through its Catalog as its first-ever Book-On-Demand and E-Book, so that it could be made more widely available to historians, libraries and the general public. Book ordering begins in July.

The May 13th ceremony at Santa Fe’s Scottish Rite Center is the 39th Annual Edition of the New Mexico Heritage Preservation Awards. Department of Cultural Affairs Secretary Veronica Gonzales will present individual awards to Derksen, Akmajian, Dupont and NMMS Executive Director Randy Marshall, while photographs from their book are projected onto a giant screen on the Center’s stage.


Contact: Cindy Foster, 272-3322