2016 UCAOA Award Recipients
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The 2016 Award Recipients were honored during the inaugural Bright Stars of Urgent Care: Past, Present & Future, a Foundation Celebration, held during the 2016 Spring Convention on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, from 6:30 to 9pm. Proceeds from this event benefited the Urgent Care Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization dedicated to enhancing the role, purpose and awareness of urgent care medicine through research, education, clinical and practice management leadership, and innovation. View, download and share photos from the evening by clicking here.

To celebrate urgent care's past, present and future, the event adopted a popular form of expression called "the six-word story." Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, who claimed he could write a story in six words or less, the six-word story is a means of communication that succinctly tells a story in six words or less. 

Advocacy Award: Nathan Newman, MD, FAAFP
Set goals, do the work...success! -Dr. Nathan Newman

Nathan Newman, MD, FAAFP, immediate past-president of UCAOA, has been awarded the UCAOA 2016 Advocacy Award, which is given to an individual or organization for legislative or regulatory advocacy on a state or national level.

During Dr. Newman’s tenure as president of UCAOA, he drove an agenda of board participation through committee work. He oversaw the Legislative Committee’s transition into the Health and Public Policy Committee – which advocated for the support of influencers in Washington, D.C. This push resulted in the search and selection of Summit Healthcare Consulting, an organization that has supported Health and Public Policy Committee activities for the past two and a half years. Also of note, Dr. Newman is the recipient of the 2015 American Academy of Family Physicians Robert Graham Award for the Nation’s Family Physician Executive of the Year.

“It is a great honor to represent the urgent care industry, as it is such an important part of all of our communities’ healthcare delivery systems,” said Dr. Newman.

Community Service Award: Max Lebow, MD, MPH, MBA, FACEP, FACPM
First seek to understand, then execute. -Dr. Max Lebow

Max Lebow, MD, MPH, MBA, FACEP, FACPM, president and medical director of Reliant Immediate Care Medical Group in Los Angeles, has been named the recipient of the 2016 Community Service Award for his dedicated contribution to improvement of public health and well-being.

The Community Service Award is presented to an individual who has made a positive impact on the community through volunteer medical contribution. The award was presented at last night’s inaugural Bright Stars of Urgent Care: Past, Present & Future, a Foundation Celebration event.

A few years ago, Dr. Lebow treated several patients with disabilities who had been passengers at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), which is located in close proximity to Reliant Immediate Care Urgent Care Center. Dr. Lebow came to understand the great difficulties encountered by passengers with disabilities when traveling, especially by air. Working with the LAX Americans with Disabilities Act and Travelers with Autism Committees, and mobilizing the resources of Reliant Urgent Care, Dr. Lebow made many positive contributions, especially educating those in the transportation industry and local community leaders about travelers with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA). He also been recognized by the City of Los Angeles for his work in improving access for those with disabilities.

“Thank you to the Urgent Care Association of America for choosing me for the 2016 Community Service Award. I am both honored and humbled to be associated with such a fine organization that has become the voice of urgent care medicine in the U.S.,” said Dr. Lebow. “I also would like to congratulate all the other 2016 UCAOA award recipients and recognize their contributions to promoting urgent care.”

Under Dr. Lebow’s leadership, Reliant Immediate Care has made community service an important part of the organization’s mission.

Humanitarian Award: Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care
MERCY comes, life returns; it’s morning! -Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care, Dr. Ellen Lawson 
Honorable Mention: The Omer Yembe Foundation


Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care – a not-for-profit urgent care company based in Asheville, N.C. – has won the 2016 Humanitarian Award for the staff’s dedicated philanthropy work. The Humanitarian Award recognizes substantial volunteer contributions that are medically-related and have a positive impact on a national or international cause.

Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care's (SOMUC) Mercy for Haiti project began in 2010 following the deadly 7.0 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 316,000 and injured more than 300,000 additional people on the island nation. SOMUC’s Team Mercy made it their mission to provide health care to the people of Haiti, sending medical supplies and teams of volunteers to treat those affected by the earthquake.

The project initially provided medical care to those critically injured in the earthquake, but Team Mercy continued to work with the same physicians for six years, going back with teams four times each year to provide treatment for prevalent illnesses, many of which are caused by malnutrition and poor living conditions. This May, Team Mercy will make their fourteenth trip to Haiti, working alongside their Haitian colleagues to treat approximately 1,000 patients over a five day period.

“The staff of Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care is honored to receive the 2016 Urgent Care Association of America Humanitarian Award for our mission work,” said Sisters of Mercy Urgent Care Medical Director Ellen Lawson, M.D. “When the devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, we felt the call to serve as emergency disaster relief because we could be the hearts, hands and feet of mercy on the ground in Haiti.”

In addition to the Mercy for Haiti project, each year SOMUC provides more than $500,000 in charitable and uncompensated medical care to their local communities in North Carolina.

“Pope Francis has declared this year as the Jubilee Year of Mercy, so the timing of this award has special meaning for us,” said Dr. Lawson.

Outstanding Achievement Award: Peter Lamelas, MD, MBA, FACEP
Kindled with dreams, fueled with passion. -Dr. Peter Lamelas

Peter Lamelas, MD, MBA, FACEP – chief executive officer and chief medical officer of MD Now Urgent Care Centers, located in the West Palm Beach, Florida area – has been awarded the 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award. Dr. Lamelas joins an esteemed group of five previous Outstanding Achievement Award winners, each of whom was recognized for his or her own significant achievements in the field of urgent care medicine.

Dr. Lamelas has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to advancing urgent care medicine and UCAOA. He served two terms on the UCAOA Board, is past chairman of the UCAOA Legislative Committee, and a member of the UCAOA Accreditation and Certification and Health & Public Policy Committees – all while working tirelessly to ensure south Florida residents have access to quality, cost-effective urgent care services by founding MD Now Urgent Care Centers, which now has 26 locations.

"I am honored to have received this prestigious recognition from my colleagues in urgent care medicine. I owe my success to my wife, family, friends and trusted staff at MD Now Urgent Care. What began as a dream, I fueled with passion, and together we created a highly successful urgent care company while helping to nurture and grow the urgent care industry," said Dr. Lamelas.

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