July 29, 1997
Media Contact: Joann Rodgers
Phone: (410)955-6680

Baltimore, Maryland (USA)-Three Panamanian physicians--Rolando A. Chanis, M.D., Manuel Preciado, M.D., and Julio C. Wong, M.D.--were honored by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the Johns Hopkins Medical and Surgical Association, for outstanding contributions to medical education. At a ceremony on June 7, each received the distinguished Award for Achievement in Advancing International Medical Education, presented by the Association's President, Charles Carpenter, Jr., M.D., and Edward D. Miller, M.D., Dean of the Medical Faculty and Chief Executive Officer, Johns Hopkins Medicine. Drs. Chanis, Preciado, and Wong are the first ever to receive this award, established to recognize individuals from around the world who studied medicine at Hopkins and then returned to serve with distinction in their native country.

Chanis, who graduated from Hopkins' School of Medicine in 1936, was recognized for his work in establishing the first blood bank south of the Rio Grande at Hospital Santo Tomas. He was a founder of the faculty of Medicine of the University of Panama, the Panamanian Society of Internal Medicine, and the Panamanian Academy of Medicine and Surgery, serving as its lifetime Secretary General. He also founded the Panamanian Anti-Tuberculosis Organization and serves as its director. He has served as the Head of the Department of Medicine at the University of Panama, the Chief of Medicine at the Hospital Panama, and as Head of the Department of Medicine at Hospital Santo Tomas. Chanis received the Orden de Vasco Nunez de Balboa (1979), the highest honor bestowed by the Government of Panama.

Preciado earned his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1940, and became a founding member of the Panamanian Academy of Medicine and Surgery. He also helped to start the School of Medicine of the University of Panama and served as its founding professor of otorhinolaryngology. He is a founding member of Clinica San Fernando, where he served as medical director for two years and on the board of directors since its inception. In 1986, Preciado was declared an exemplary citizen (Ciudadano Ejemplar) of Panama by major civic clubs for his promotion of civic and moral values. He is currently the director of Clinica Preciado, S.A., a private clinic in Panama City.

Wong received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins in 1951 and completed his surgical internship under the direction of the late Alfred Blalock, M.D. He was the first Panamanian citizen certified by the American Board of Surgery in 1957. Wong served as professor of surgery at the University of Panama, and has been active in educational programming of the American College of Surgeons in Panama and the United States, chairing the Panama Committee on Trauma of the ACS. Wong was active in initiating steps toward the formation of a Panamanian Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, has served as Regent of the Panama Academy of Medicine and Surgery and in recent years, has operated a private practice, maintained a part-time position as professor of surgery and held the post of medical director for the Group Insurance Plan for Panama Canal employees.

Samuel Asper, M.D., professor emeritus of medicine at Hopkins and advocate for international medical education, expressed appreciation for the life-long achievements of the Panamanian doctors receiving this honor. "The purpose of this award," Asper said, "is to recognize non-American physicians who are carrying the Johns Hopkins Medicine tradition to educate and care for people in their own countries."

Johns Hopkins has strong ties to its alumni abroad and to cooperative patient care services.

Consistently ranked the #1 hospital in the United States for patient care, research and medical training, Johns Hopkins enjoys an international reputation drawing people from all over the world to Baltimore, Maryland (USA) to seek medical education and treatment. Johns Hopkins International Services is the international patient's link to the full range of clinical expertise and state-of-the-art facilities available at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System.

-- JHMI --
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