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2009 Member Awards

2009 Educator of the Year Award
John D. Mellinger, MD

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105

In addition to spiritual light needed to guide our journey, Jesus taught us the importance of going the extra mile. In education, that translates into someone who not only teaches but who is also willing to mentor, investing his life into the lives of others. The CMDA Educator of the Year Award is presented to medical professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to medical or dental education. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to those who God places in their path. They take the time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. They inspire others to not only academic excellence, but personal and spiritual excellence as well. It is because of such dedication that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations presents the 2009 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. John Mellinger.

Dr. Mellinger is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. He completed a General Surgery Internship at the University of Washington and a General Surgery Residency at Blodgett Memorial Medical Center/St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He subsequently completed Fellowships in Surgical Endoscopy and Surgical Education Research, and while in fellowship, earned the first prize in the SAGES Resident/Fellow Research Competition. While serving our country for 4 years in the US Air Force, Dr. Mellinger was a staff surgeon as well as Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery and Assistant Program Director for the Wright State University General Surgery Residency. Dr. Mellinger is currently the Program Director for the General Surgical Residency, Professor of Surgery, and Chief of Gastrointestinal Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia.

Having been a CMDA member for nearly 30 years, Dr. Mellinger serves on the Commission for Medical & Dental Education as Academic Dean, and on the advisory council for the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons. He has presented 18 times at the Continuing Medical Education Conferences in Kenya and Thailand since 2002. His teaching in surgery and medical education has been acclaimed in these venues.

Dr. Mellinger’s contributions in medical teaching and research have also been recognized in universities over the last two decades. He has received multiple Outstanding Teacher Awards, including from Wright State University, Michigan State University/Grand Rapids Campus, the Medical College of Georgia, and the Association for Surgical Education. He received the Best Doctors in America Award in 2007, 2008, and 2009. He serves in leadership and board roles with several national surgical and educational organizations. In addition to writing numerous abstracts, poster and video presentations, Dr. Mellinger has contributed to 28 peer-reviewed publications, 14 review articles, and written 17 book chapters.

Colleagues describe Dr. Mellinger’s leadership as academically excellent, pedagogically creative, personally warm, and spiritually sensitive. His deep faith permeates all of his life and serves as an inspiration to colleagues and students who admire and seek to emulate his gentle spirit and his outstanding professional achievements.

In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2009 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. John Mellinger.


2009 Missionary of the Year Award
Donald Duvall, MD, and Sarah Duvall, MD

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying, snatch them in pity from sin and the grave; weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen, tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save. – Rescue the Perishing by Fannie Crosby

The challenge of this lovely hymn has been fulfilled by the recipients of the 2009 Missionary of the Year Award. This award is presented to missionary doctors whose lives demonstrate a passion for reaching people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They served on the mission field for over 32 years, investing their lives in preaching the Word, practicing, and teaching medicine. In addition to their personal efforts, they have inspired others to develop a passion for the Great Commission. In recognition of lives well spent, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is pleased to present Drs. Donald and Sarah Duvall with the 2009 Missionary of the Year Award.

In 1973, Drs. Sarah Eddleman Duvall and Donald Graham Duvall began their journey teaching the people of Indonesia about the love of God. As missionary doctors and parents to three young children, their lives were filled with many responsibilities and demands, but none as important to them as sharing Christ and growing in the Faith. With more than three decades of full-time medical missions the Duvalls created a legacy of exemplary service.

The daughter of a missionary, Sarah was born in Tiberias, Palestine while her parents were serving in Nazereth. Donald’s roots began in Lexington, KY where he received scholastic honors and was an exceptional basketball player. Later, both he and Sarah attended Georgetown Baptist College in Georgetown, KY and were married in 1961. While Donald attended the Tulane University School of Medicine, Sarah attended LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans, LA. Donald completed an Internship and General Surgery Residency in the U.S. Public Health Hospital in New Orleans and was Assistant Chief of Surgery. Sarah (interned at the Baptist Hospital in New Orleans) received her OB/Gyn training at the University of Louisville finishing her final year at St. Paul Ramsey Hospital.

Shortly after receiving their training, the Duvalls set out for Indonesia. Both served at the Kediri Baptist Hospital, Donald as general surgeon, later becoming the Director of the Hospital and Sarah, in addition to her work in obstetrics and gynecology, home schooled their three children. As members of the Setia Bakti Baptist Church in Kediri, Sarah established a young people’s choir and led them in Bible studies. Don served as a deacon in the church, preached often in the mother church, as well as the missions of the church.

Donald worked tirelessly in a general surgery. As common among medical missionaries, his responsibilities included orthopedics, urology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, trauma, radiology, oncology, and intensive care. Donald also taught anatomy, physiology, and general surgery at the Kediri Baptist Hospital. He designed and oversaw the construction of an X-ray facility and other construction projects. Sarah also taught midwives and nurses in the nursing school as well as trained Indonesian physicians in obstetrics and gynecology.

Through the Duvalls’ service at the Kediri hospital, new churches were established, thus multiplying their outreach to the lost. For their faithfulness in representing Christ to the people of Indonesia, The Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly present this 2009 Missionary of the Year Award to Drs. Sarah and Donald Duvall.


2009 Servant of Christ Award
Robert D. Orr, MD, CM

“And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient.” (2 Timothy 2:24 NIV).

A servant of the Lord must not be quarrelsome. Instead, he must be kindly to everyone and mild-tempered; he must be a skilled and suitable teacher, patient and forbearing and willing to suffer wrong. This year, in recognition of a man who has modeled Christ in serving others, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations seeks to honor Dr. Robert Orr with the 2009 Servant of Christ Award.

Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers have blended well the attributes of a commitment to Christ and service to others, and those who have demonstrated a remarkable commitment to excellence in the field of missions, research, patient care or medical ethics.

Dr. Robert Orr is Professor of Bioethics at Loma Linda University and Director of Clinical Ethics at Loma Linda University Medical Center. He has co-authored two books, co-edited three others, contributed 11 book chapters, and over 100 articles related to clinical ethics, the ethics consultation process, and issues in terminal care. Dr. Orr has given lectures on these topics in 30 states and on six continents. He chaired the Council on Ethical Affairs for the California Medical Association, and was Vice President of the American Society for Bioethics and the Humanities. He has been on the Advisory Board of the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity since its founding in 1994. In 2006, Dr. Orr served as the first Scholar in Residence at the Kilns, the restored home of C.S. Lewis in Oxford, England while completing a first draft of his forthcoming book, Medical Ethics and the Faith Factor (Eerdmans, 2009).

Dr. Orr received his M.D., C.M. from McGill University in 1966, did residency training in family medicine, and then engaged in the private practice of family medicine in Vermont for 18 years where he was named Vermont Family Doctor of the Year in 1989. A growing interest and involvement in medical ethics led him to pursue a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago (1989-1990). From 1990-2000, he was the Director of Clinical Ethics and Professor of Family Medicine at Loma Linda University in southern California. The American Medical Association honored Dr. Orr in 1999 when they gave him the Isaac Hayes & John Bell Award for Leadership in Medical Ethics and Professionalism. In 2000 he returned to Vermont as Director of Ethics at Fletcher Allen Health Care and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He retired from the hospital position in 2006 but continued to lecture, teach and write about clinical ethics and end-of-life care. This past summer, he returned to Loma Linda University to train a group of clinical ethics consultants.

Dr. Orr has been active in the Christian Medical & Dental Associations since 1968, serving on the Ethics Committee (chairman 1991-94) and on the Board of Trustees, lecturing frequently and mentoring medical students. In addition, he has participated in numerous CMDA outreach programs including Medical Group Mission, Commission On International Medical Educational Affairs (now Medical Education International).

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to honor Dr. Orr with the 2009 Servant of Christ Award.