2017 UCAOA Award Recipients
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Outstanding Achievement Award

Bruce Irwin, MD

Bruce Irwin, MD, chief executive officer and founder of American Family Care (AFC), has demonstrated a long standing commitment to advancing urgent care medicine. Opening one of the first urgent care clinics in the U.S., he has grown his network to include nearly 200 clinics and 500 in-network physicians, caring for two million patients a year, as AFC has grown to become one of the nation’s largest privately held healthcare providers.

With the success of AFC, Dr. Irwin has grown to be a leading philanthropist for health-related issues including: volunteer leadership roles and providing significant financial support to causes such as The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The American Heart Association and The Arthritis Foundation.

Dr. Irwin also recently served as a Co-Chair of The Alabama Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s “Light the Night Walk”. 

Humanitarian Award

John Koehler, MD

John Koehler, MD, has an esteemed reputation for his humanitarian work in the international community. A strong supporter of the Circle of Love Foundation, Dr. Koehler has worked in Cambodia where he treated patients in need of medical care and met and engaged with local medical students acting as translators. This resulted in Dr. Koehler being invited to be a visiting professor at the International University and the University of Puthisastra and a residency program in Phenom, Penh. Dr. Koehler previously spent 12 consecutive years in Thailand with the Circle of Love Foundation providing free medical care to Thai and Laotian patients.


In addition to the Circle of Love Foundation work, Dr. Koehler, along with two partners, built a hospital in Ongole, Andra Pradesh State, India. Dr. Koehler has also raised money to support 300 widows in Laos, provided funding for 30 educational scholarships and micro loans for poor farmers to buy livestock – programs that are funded annually.


Community Service Award

Lake After Hours/Lake Urgent Care

After serious, damaging floods hit the Baton Rouge, La. area in August 2016, Lake After Hours and Lake Urgent Care initiated a “We’re Here for You” campaign in order to help meet the community’s healthcare needs in this time of crisis. Despite some clinics experiencing flooding of more than four feet of water, Lake After Hours’ volunteer team of administrative, clinical and medical providers worked in the 100 degree post-flood heat to feed, treat and comfort displaced residents.

With many cell towers down, Lake After Hours and Lake Urgent Care informed residents about clinic openings and closings, operational hours, tetanus shot information and school/road closures on Facebook. Additionally, Lake After Hours’ medical leadership team appeared on local TV and radio to direct residents where to seek treatment for flood-related and other health issues, as well as to provide tips for safe flood cleanup.

Quality & Safety Award

Antibiotic Resistance Action Center (ARAC) at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University

ARAC was created to preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics by engaging in research, advocacy, and science-based policy. No other academic organization in the U.S. pairs original research with strategic communication and policy strategies to advance solutions to combat antibiotic resistance.

ARAC and UCAOA are currently working to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in outpatient settings. This is an enormous opportunity in battling antibiotic resistance, as urgent care centers see an estimated 85 million patients per year. ARAC and UCAOA, with funding from Merck, will create and implement an educational awareness campaign to reach consumers and reduce patient demands for unnecessary antibiotics. Developed materials will be available to consumers online, to patients in urgent care centers and will also be targeted at those searching for health advice – continuing ARAC’s goal of decreasing consumer demand for antibiotics when they are not necessary.


In addition to this work, ARAC has conducted extensive research linking meat and poultry products to urinary tract infections in people. This research is in the final stages of completion, with results expected to be groundbreaking. 

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