Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award

John B. Murphy, MD

The AGS announced that John B. Murphy, MD, a clinician, educator, and administrator working to embed geriatrics education in the fabric of medical curricula and clinical operations will be honored with the 2020 Dennis W. Jahnigen Award celebrating work to train health professionals in the care we all need as we age. President of Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital, executive vice president of physician affairs at Lifespan and a professor of medicine and family medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, both in Rhode Island, Dr. Murphy has dedicated nearly four decades to advancing geriatrics and gerontology, helping lead innovation vital to New England and beyond. Following the cancellation of the AGS 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Murphy will receive his award at the AGS 2021 Annual Scientific Meeting (#AGS21) in Chicago, Ill. (May 12-15).

In his work across physician affairs, medical education, and clinical practice, Dr. Murphy has been an invaluable connector between health professionals, their instructors, and the older people who benefit from their expertise. Dr. Murphy not only helped launch Lifespan’s innovating Palliative Care Consultation Program, which seeks to connect those with advanced or serious chronic illnesses to services that can address discomfort as well as physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, but also facilitated the launch of a novel program for helping geriatrics experts and orthopedic surgeons co-manage care for older people hospitalized with hip fractures.  The latter program reduced mortality, re-hospitalization, and the risk for complications, and also served as a model for the launch of AGS CoCare: Ortho™—a new AGS offering that has expanded the scope of co-management opportunities to health systems across the U.S.  Early experiences in Rhode Island offered a road map to meet a key need in geriatrics: Training the whole of our health system, not just geriatrics specialists, to understand our unique health priorities as we age.

In his current roles at Lifespan and Brown, Dr. Murphy directs everything from leading Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital (a 719-person tertiary care hospital and the principal teaching hospital of Alpert Medical School) to overseeing graduate medical education, quality, and safety across multiple system-wide clinical service lines (including those for cancer, cardiovascular concerns, and diagnostic imaging). He also is responsible for system-wide pharmacy, laboratory, and supply chain purchasing, as well as Lifespan research, all with an operating budget of $2.2 billion and a research portfolio valued at $95 million. From 2004 to 2008, Dr. Murphy served as the director of graduate medical education and designated institutional official for Lifespan, which serves 650 residents and fellows. Dr. Murphy honed much of the expertise he brings to this work over a 40-year career as an educator at Brown, where he began work as a family medicine resident in 1980.  Dr. Murphy went on to serve Brown in a variety of roles, including the director of the division of geriatrics from 1986 to 2003 and director of education from 2000 to 2003. His efforts included initiatives to enhance geriatric education for primary care providers in China (Shanghai and Beijing) and Jordan. 

An AGS member since 1984, Dr. Murphy served on the AGS Board of Directors from 2003 to 2010, including stints as AGS president from 2008 to 2009 and board chair from 2009 to 2010. He served as an author or on the editorial board of the AGS’s Geriatrics Review Syllabus from its second to sixth edition. He earned his medical degree from SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University in 1980, later pursuing board certification in family medicine and geriatrics.

The late Dennis W. Jahnigen, MD, was a compassionate geriatrician and acclaimed educator who dedicated his life to training future leaders. Today, his namesake award recognizes an AGS member committed to working with students and advancing geriatrics education in schools of health and medicine. It is one of several honors conferred by the AGS at its Annual Scientific Meeting.

Past Recipients of the Dennis W. Jahnigen Memorial Award

2019      Nicole Brandt, PharmD, MBA, BCGP, BCPP, FASCP
2018      Jane Potter, MD, AGSF
2017      Maura Brennan, MD, AGSF, FACP, FAAHPM, HMDC
2016      Annette (Annie) Medina-Walpole, MD, AGSF
2015      Barbara Resnick, PhD, RN, CRNP, FAAN, FAANP, AGSF
2014      Elizabeth K. Tanner, PhD, RN
2013      Gail Sullivan, MD, MPH
2012      Leo M Cooney, Jr., MD
2011      Sharon A. Levine, MD
2010      G. Paul Eleazer, MD
2009      Samuel C. Durso, MD, MBA
2008      Rosanne M. Leipzig, MD, PhD
2007      Steven R. Counsell, MD
2006      Kenneth Brummel-Smith, MD
2005      Harvey Jay Cohen, MD
2004      Terry T. Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN
2003      William Hall, MD, Rochester, NY
2002      Gregg A. Warshaw, MD, Cincinnati, OH
2001      Evelyn C. Granieri, MD, Pittsburgh, PA
2000      David B. Reuben, MD, Los Angeles, CA
1999      John R. Burton, MD