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SMH Announces Recipients of 2012 Physician of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Awards

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Sarasota Memorial’s Medical Executive Committee honored two outstanding physicians for their service to the hospital and community. Washington C. Hill, MD, FACOG,  a local perinatalogist who manages high risk pregnancy patients was named the winner of the health system's 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award, while local cardiologist James J. Fox, MD, JD, was named its 2012 Physician of the Year.

Both physicians were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee of physician leaders.

Washington C. Hill, MDA nationally known expert and leader in his specialty perinatology, Dr. Hill joined SMH’s medical staff in 1992 and developed the hospital’s Maternal Fetal Medicine Department and Maternal Transport program, providing vital care to at-risk mothers and babies throughout the region for two decades. .  

Dr. Hill has held professorships at multiple universities and been widely published in medical journals. He’s organized and presented at numerous conferences, sharing the latest research and advances in his field. At SMH, he has provided years of exceptional leadership, serving as chief of staff in 2008 and OB/Gyn Department chairman from 1997 to 1999 and 2001 to 2006. He also serves as clerkship director for Florida State University OB-GYN medical students. Colleagues cite his emphasis on quality and teamwork in all of the positions he has held while staff regard him as an invaluable mentor.

A member of Sarasota Memorial's First Physicians Group, Dr. Hill is well known in the community as an expert physician and passionate advocate for maternal and fetal health and wellness. He's been there for thousands of patients during the most difficult and rewarding moments of their lives while delivering the highest level of care to promote the best possible outcomes. 

In January, Dr. Hill plans to retire from his practice and take a leave of absence from the hospital. He will join his wife Pauline Hill, RN, MSN, a former neonatal intensive care nurse at Sarasota Memorial, who left Sarasota for Rwanda in August to help build a high-quality and sustainable health system. A nurse mentor and clinical nurse educator with Duke University School of Nursing, in partnership with The Clinton Health Access Initiative and The Minister of Health in Rwanda, Pauline will be assisting nursing and midwifery students with immediate care of the newborn in the maternity ward and hospital staff in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Muhima District Hospital, in Kigali, Rwanda, through the summer of 2013.

James Fox, MDPhysician of the Year winner Dr. Fox joined SMH’s medical staff 18 years ago. Specializing in interventional cardiology, he is highly sought after by  patients and families for cardiac care. A proponent of high quality and accountability in every aspect of health care, Dr. Fox has been a champion of new techniques and programs that facilitate positive patient outcomes. He started Sarasota Memorial's DASH (Direct Angioplasty Saves Hearts) Program – the first of its kind in the community and a model that other hospitals followed – to ensure that heart attack patients have prompt access to life-saving cardiac catheterization treatments. 

Most recently, Dr. Fox was a driving force behind SMH’s cardiac affiliation with Columbia University Medical Center to enhance cardiac care throughout the region. He has served in numerous leadership positions, including chairman of Sarasota Memorial's Cardiology Department, chairman of the Cardiology Privilege Committee and medical director of its Cardiac Cath Lab.

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