October 3, 2006
Contact: Kaylyn Dines
UMDNJ Faculty Member Named Family Physician of the Year
- Dr. Steven Levin honored for his
ongoing commitment to underserved populations -
NEWARK — The American Academy of Family Physicians (A.A.F.P.) recently named a physician from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School as the 2007 Family Physician of the Year.
During a ceremony of the AAFP’s Annual Scientific Assembly, Dr. Steven J. Levin, an associate professor at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, received this prestigious honor for his ongoing contributions to providing medical care to underserved men, women and children. Annually, the Family Physician of the Year award honors an outstanding American family physician who has provided patients with compassionate, comprehensive care, and serves as a role model professionally and personally to his or her community, other health professionals, and residents and medical students.
"I am extremely proud that Dr. Steven J. Levin was selected as the 2007 Family Physician of the Year by the American Academy of Family Physicians," said Peter S. Amenta, MD, PhD, interim dean of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. "Dr. Levin's dedication is commendable and he is representative of the exemplary faculty at our medical school."
Dr. Levin is the medical director and the primary physician at St. John’s Health Center in New Brunswick. This community health center, which was created by Catholic Charities and receives substantial funding from St. Peter's University Hospital, provides care for medically underserved individuals. Dr. Levin was the clinic’s first full-time physician, a position he has held for 18 years. Currently between 70 and 80 percent of the center’s patients are uninsured and have low incomes. Approximately 70 percent are Latino and few of them speak English. Dr. Levin and his staff speak Spanish. In fact, about half of the patient visits are conducted in Spanish. St. John’s Health Center also provides care and case management services to about 100 patients with HIV or AIDS.
“Caring for patients with diverse backgrounds and complex medical illnesses is consistent with the mission of the clinic and my own desire to provide health care to people who are having difficulties accessing quality health care services,” said Dr. Levin.
Dr. Levin, a Kendall Park resident, mentors and educates family medicine residents and medical students from the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School during their rotations and family medicine clerkship at St. John’s Health Center. His dedication to community service inspired a group of his students at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to form the nationally recognized Homeless and Indigent Population Health Outreach Project, or HIPHOP, in 1992. Through the program, students provide community outreach, health promotion, preventive education and clinical services to the underserved populations in New Brunswick and Middlesex County. HIPHOP went on to be recognized as one of the Thousand Points of Light in the former Bush administration. Dr. Levin is chief faculty advisor for the program.
More recently, Levin helped another group of medical students from the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School start The Promise Clinic, which provides medical care to people who visit Elijah’s Promise Soup Kitchen, a facility where low-income and homeless individuals and families in Central Jersey can receive meals. Physicians from the Department of Family Medicine at the UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School take turns supervising The Promise Clinic students one night a week.
Dr. Levin has received many awards and accolades including New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians Family Physician of the Year and the University Excellence Award from UMDNJ for “Distinguished Service and Outreach to the External Community.”
Dr. Levin completed his family medicine residency at the Medical University of South Carolina, received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine and his undergraduate degree from Brown University.
About the American Academy of Family Physicians
Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents more than 94,000 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Nearly one in four of all office visits are made to general and family physicians. That is 207 million office visits each year - nearly 62 million more than to the next medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide the majority of care for America’s underserved and rural populations.
In the increasingly fragmented world of health care where many medical specialties limit their practice to a particular organ, disease, age or sex, family physicians are dedicated to treating the whole person across the full spectrum of ages. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care. To learn more about the American Academy of Family Physicians and about the specialty of family medicine, please visit www.aafp.org.
About University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
As one of the nation’s leading comprehensive medical schools, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, with campuses in New Brunswick, Piscataway and Camden, is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, health care delivery and the promotion of community health for the residents of New Jersey. With 2,500 full-time and volunteer faculty, the medical school maintains educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels for more than 1,500 students, as well as continuing education courses for health care professionals and community education programs.
As one of eight schools of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the medical school encompasses 22 basic science and clinical departments and also integrates diverse clinical programs conducted at its 34 hospital affiliates and numerous ambulatory care sites in the region. UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School also hosts 85 centers and institutes; among them are The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey.
UMDNJ is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.