National Award Established in Marcus Martin's Name

March 10, 2009 — Dr. Marcus Martin, former chairman of the University of Virginia Health System's Department of Emergency Medicine, was the first recipient last year of an award the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine created in his honor.

This year, the award was renamed "The Marcus L. Martin Leadership Award," and will honor an individual who has made significant and sustained contributions to emergency medicine.

The Society of Academic Emergency Medicine will recognize the 2009 recipient at its annual meeting in May. The nominating criteria describes the awardee as someone who exemplifies the national organization's mission to improve patient care by advancing research and education in emergency medicine and its goal of attaining diversity in emergency medicine residencies and faculty that reflect our multicultural society and communities. 

"The award [is] named in honor of Dr. Martin, who is a role model and mentor to so many underrepresented minorities in emergency medicine," said Dr. Ugo A. Ezenkwele, chairman of the society's Diversity Interest Group and a member of the emergency medicine faculty of New York University's Bellevue Hospital Center. "Diversity is not desirable in the practice of emergency medicine, it is fundamental to the practice of emergency medicine."

Martin, now U.Va. associate vice president for diversity and equity, initiated a diversity task force when he was the first member of an underrepresented minority to be president of the society in 2001. It led to the formation of a permanent Diversity Interest Group in the organization.

He also served as the first member of an underrepresented minority to be president of the Committee of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors.

— By Anne Bromley