Press Releases

ABMS Names Recipient of 2016 Distinguished Service Award

ABMS Names Recipient of 2016 Distinguished Service Award

Academic Medicine Leader Cynda A. Johnson MD, MBA, Honored

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), a leading organization that oversees physician Board Certification and the ABMS Program for Maintenance of Certification (ABMS MOC®) in the United States, has awarded Cynda A. Johnson MD, MBA, its 2016 Distinguished Service Award.

Created in 1986, this award recognizes individuals for their extraordinary contributions to the medical specialty certification process. Dr. Johnson accepted the award at the ABMS Board of Directors (BOD) meeting held June 22-23 in Chicago.

Dr. Johnson joined ABMS in 1995 as a voting representative of the American Board of Family Medicine, of which she is past president. She was elected to the ABMS BOD in 2003 and the following year to its Executive Committee. Not only was Dr. Johnson the first family physician and the first woman elected Chair of the ABMS BOD in 2006, she was the first person to serve in a two-year chair role. Dr. Johnson also served on the ABMS Research and Education Foundation BOD from 2004 to 2008.

“As a leader in competency-based education, Cynda played an integral role in creating the six core competencies, which broadly set the stage for the ABMS Program for MOC,” stated Lois Margaret Nora, MD, JD, MBA, ABMS President and Chief Executive Officer. “Her personal character and tremendous work ethic helped ABMS during a time of substantial transition in its governance.”

Outside of her ABMS endeavors, Dr. Johnson is the President and Founding Dean of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, Va. In 2008, she led the development of the school’s mission, vision, and unique problem-based learning curriculum. This led to preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in 2009; upon graduation of its first class in 2014, the school received full accreditation. In 2015, the school, along with the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, won the Excellence in Virginia Government Award for Public-Private Partnership. Prior to joining Virginia Tech Carilion, Dr. Johnson served as Dean of the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, and Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Clinical and Translational Research in the Division of Research and Graduate Studies.There, she led the development of the university’s Center for Health Disparities Research.

Dr. Johnson was a practicing clinician for 30 years focusing on maternal and child health. While serving as Residency Director at the University of Kansas, she was the first family physician to obtain obstetrical privileges, earning a secondary appointment in the Department of Obstetrics. Internationally, Dr. Johnson worked through the United States Agency for International Development to help start the first formal family medicine education programs in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgzstan. In addition, she helped start a private Russian American family medicine clinic in Moscow. In her current position, Dr. Johnson led Virginia Tech Carilion’s efforts to start international rotations for students in France, Russia, South Korea, Ghana, and India, as well as research relationships in Ghana and Russia.

“Cynda truly exemplifies the characteristics that comprise the ABMS Distinguished Service Award,” Dr. Nora said. “We are pleased to recognize her dedication to ABMS and her impact as a leader in academic medicine on the next generation of physicians.”

Download PDF of News Release