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Dr. Elisabeth Heath receives Golden Heart Award by WSU SOM Student Senate

Elisabeth Heath, M.D., director of Prostate Cancer Research at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center, has been recognized by the Wayne State University School of Medicine (WSU SOM) Student Senate with a Golden Heart Award for her dedication to students, academics, community service and leadership.

She, along with two other individuals, received the honor during the annual Student Gala on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Motor City Casino Hotel in Detroit. The senate also honored Tracey Eady and Brian Shafa.

The Golden Heart Awards are presented annually to a faculty member, a staff member and a student. Dr. Heath, who also serves as member of the Genitourinary Oncology Multidisciplinary Team at Karmanos and associate professor of Oncology at WSU SOM, received the faculty member award.

The award recognizes the professor or clinician who continuously strives to help students reach the highest academic excellence and inspires students to become better clinicians in area communities.

Dr. Heath is “not only a mentor but also a role model for students in their future endeavors,” said Andy Isaacson, executive board president for the senate. “Whether she is advising the Gold Humanism Honor Society, working with the Hematology/Oncologic Peer Education Group or serving as a guest speaker for the HuMed Cocurricular program, she undoubtedly goes above and beyond the call of duty to assist students."

Numerous students nominated Dr. Heath, who joined Wayne State University in 2003. One of the nominees wrote: “She is constantly teaching, not only the art of medicine, but the art of life. She addresses issues many physicians do not: quality of life, patient happiness and living with disease.”

Another student called Dr. Heath, “the most dynamic woman I have had the honor to witness in action. Every week in her clinic, learning by her example and listening to her care for her patients, inspiring hope and courage for them during the hard times, and interpreting medicine beyond the charts and labs, she ensured that I left every clinic visit with a rejuvenated sense of wonder about medicine.”

Dr. Heath, who previously was on the faculty at Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore, was just as involved with students there.

“Medical students represent our future,” she said. “Investing time and energy to engage and teach them at an early stage of their training how to be a caring and motivated physician is critical. One day these students will be the experts in the country. My goal is to make sure they don't lose sight of caring for the whole patient.

“Wayne State medical students are among the best and the brightest in the country,” she added. “It is a privilege for me to teach them the art and science of medicine. Receiving this award from outstanding and caring Wayne State University medical students is an incredible honor. I look forward to continuing teaching and encouraging students to care for the whole patient.”
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