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UW School of Medicine and Public Health student honored with Houghton Award

Release Date: April 21, 2011
Contact: Lisa Hildebrand - 608.442.3765 lisa.hildebrand@wismed.org

Madison, Wis. (April 21, 2011) – Ben Durkee, PhD, a student at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, was named as a recipient of the Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation’s prestigious 2011 Houghton Award during the Wisconsin Medical Society’s Annual Meeting on April 8.

A fourth-year medical student, Durkee was nominated by Patricia DeMarse, assistant dean at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. “Ben’s academic performance has been excellent and his involvement in extra-curricular activities impressive,” DeMarse said in her nomination, noting that he completed his doctorate degree in medical physics while beginning medical school.

Durkee has served as an American Medical Association (AMA) regional delegate and as a team leader on the AMA-Medical Student Section Reference Committee. His volunteer activities include Habitat for Humanity and the Multiple Sclerosis 150 Bike Tour. He is a two-time finisher of the Ironman Wisconsin Triathlon.

The Houghton Award was established by Doctors John H. and William J. Houghton in the 1960s to honor medical students who show promise for becoming what the brothers referred to as “complete physicians” – those who excel in their knowledge of both the scientific and socioeconomic issues related to medicine. Each recipient receives a check for $1,000.

John H. Houghton, MD, who was a general practitioner in Wisconsin Dells, was president of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin (now called the Wisconsin Medical Society) from 1965 to 1966. William J. Houghton, MD, who was also active in the Society, was a general surgeon in Milwaukee.

“As The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation strives to support physician leadership, we congratulate Ben on this award and hope that he will consider practice opportunities within Wisconsin that enable the continued advancement of health for all residents,” said Foundation Executive Director Rebecca Thompson, CPA.

The Wisconsin Medical Society Foundation, chartered in 1955 as a charitable organization, works to advance the health of the people of Wisconsin by supporting medical and health education and statewide public health initiatives.

With nearly 12,500 members dedicated to the best interests of their patients, the Wisconsin Medical Society is the largest association of medical doctors in the state and a trusted source for health policy leadership since 1841.