Asheville Physician Receives 2014 Harris Award

CARY, N.C. -- Alan S. Baumgarten, MPH, MD, a family physician in Asheville, received the distinguished T. Reginald Harris Memorial Award October 24 during the North Carolina Medical Society’s fall meeting in Greensboro. The award is given annually by The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence to honor the life and memory of T. Reginald Harris, MD, one of its founding members. Dr. John Mangum, president of CCME’s board of directors, presented the award. “We are very pleased to present this award to Dr. Baumgarten in recognition of his outstanding service to the Western North Carolina medical community and his life-long commitment to high-quality patient care,” Dr. Mangum said. “He exemplifies the values that Dr. Harris brought to health care and to CCME.”

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Nominators agreed. Following are excerpts from their nominations:

    Dr. Baumgarten has been a successful collaborator in Western North Carolina, drawing providers, care organizations, and hospitals together for the purpose of improving the quality of care in the region.
    Dr. Baumgarten has advanced the profession of medicine in this region to be increasingly innovative, patient-oriented, collaborative, and population-focused.
    As we work with our community partners [for a Duke Endowment-funded project supporting the concept of patient-centered medical homes (PCMH)] to provide consultative and clinical support for Primary Care practices, Alan frequently reminds us that we are helping providers “walk the walk,” not just “talk the talk” … he has offered stories, advice, and encouragement, based on his own experience as a physician who has embraced the concepts of the PCMH and witnessed the benefits to his patients.
    Alan’s work on the Primary Care Council at Mission Hospital culminated in the formation of Mission Health Partners, a network working toward clinical integration with the purpose of quality improvement and cost savings. … Alan’s vision, collaborative spirit, and fortitude have been a tremendous asset to our community. His work of bringing people together and helping them focus on the greater good is in the greatest tradition of community service.

Dr. Baumgarten has practiced in Asheville since completing his residency with the Mountain Area Health Education Center in 1986. He joined The Family Health Centers in 1988 and still practices in the Asheville office. The practice also has offices in Candler and Arden.

He began his career as a nutritionist and has a special interest in nutrition’s effects on health and well-being. He also has a long history of service to Mission Hospital, where he founded and directed the Nutrition Support Team. He also served as vice chief and chief of staff at the hospital, and in addition to providing care, has trained medical students, resident physicians and medical staff physicians.

His commitment to patient care extends well beyond North Carolina: He led a team of health care professionals and volunteers on an outreach mission to Zambia, Africa, and has also volunteered in Haiti.

Dr. Baumgarten holds a Master's in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated from Michigan State University-College of Human Medicine in East Lansing, Michigan, in 1983.

The 2013 Harris Award recipient was Dr. David Tayloe, founder of Goldsboro Pediatrics, a multi-office pediatric practice that serves the communities of Goldsboro, Princeton, Mount Olive, and LaGrange. He is the immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and a long-time North Carolina advocate for children’s health. For more information about the Harris Memorial Award, please visit www.thecarolinascenter.org/HarrisAward.

About The Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence
CCME is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality in the Southeast. Since 1983, CCME has worked with health care providers and stakeholders on quality improvement initiatives for better patient care and cost-effective outcomes. CCME’s corporate office is located in Cary, NC, and an additional office is located in Columbia, SC. To learn more about CCME, visit www.thecarolinascenter.org/default.aspx?pn=AboutCCME.