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2010 Member Awards

2010 Educator of the Year Award
Lawrence Norton, MD
Award Presentation Video

"If you have knowledge, let others light their candles at it." Thomas Fuller

Wisdom is a gift from God, given to those who devote themselves to Him. Thankfully, there are people that recognize their gift and take it to the ends of the earth so that others can light their candles from it. This describes the winner of the 2010 Educator of the Year Award. 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 with others. 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 2010 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Larry Norton.

Dr. Norton is a graduate of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, in New York City.. He trained in general surgery at the University of Colorado and the University of Kentucky. After residency, Dr. Norton served as a medical missionary in Assam, India, for five years. He then entered academic surgery becoming a Professor and Vice-Chairman at both the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Dr. Norton is a member of many professional societies including the American College of Surgeons. He has edited three surgical textbooks and has published over 160 articles and chapters. Since retiring in 1997, Dr. Norton has made 35 visits to 19 medical schools and ten mission hospitals in 17 developing countries on four continents. Most of these trips have involved local missionaries with the hope of encouraging them and opening new doors to witnessing by lecturing in nearby medical schools and hospitals.

As a CMDA member, Dr. Norton has taught in ten Continuing Medical and Dental (CMDE) Conferences in Africa and Asia and has participated in more than a dozen Medical Education International (MEI) projects overseas including seven trips to Mongolia. He served on the CMDE Commission and on the MEI Advisory Board.

Colleagues describe Dr. Norton as an enthusiastic and excellent teacher in mission situations with an unusual sensitivity in cross-cultural settings. In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2010 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Larry Norton.

2010 Missionary of the Year Award
Neil O. Thompson, MD

Award Presentation Video

“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.” John Keith Falconer

In Matthew chapter 5 Jesus teaches that we are to be the light of the world. Our light is not to be hidden; rather, our light and good deeds should lead others to praise God. We praise God because of this year’s Missionary of the Year, Dr. Neil Thompson. This Missionary of the Year Award exists to honor outstanding missionary doctors who give of themselves to bring healing and the light of the Gospel to those who are suffering. Such has been the life of Dr. Thompson. He served as a missionary surgeon in Thailand from 1979 to 2001, bringing high quality surgical care and spiritual hope to people in great need. In recognition of Dr. Neil Thompson’s ministry of light, hope and, healing, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is pleased to present him with the 2010 Missionary of the Year Award.

Dr. Thompson grew up in New Jersey and was influenced by many godly mentors as a child. He was especially influenced by the Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship Urbana Missions conference while a college student, and through an elective at Manorom Christian Hospital (MCH) in central Thailand. Dr. Thompson received his education from Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and his general surgery residency at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. He joined CMDA in 1968.

Neil returned to Thailand in 1978 and served as a missionary surgeon at MCH including service as Hospital Director from 1998 – 2000. Under his leadership, the hospital had a ministry focused on staff development, high quality medical care, evangelism, and church planting. Dr. Thompson has been the U. S. Director of OMF International, formerly the China Inland Mission and Overseas Missionary Fellowship, since 2001. While difficult to leave medicine and Thailand, his embraced God’s call for him to mobilize professionals to see God glorified through establishing indigenous, biblical church movements in East Asia.

Dr. Thompson and his wife Wannee live in Littleton, Colorado with their two sons, Nathan and Kevin. For his faithfulness in representing Christ and letting his light shine, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly present the 2010 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Neil O. Thompson.

2010 Servant of Christ Award
David Thompson, MD

Award Presentation Video

“Well done, good and faithful servant!” Matthew 25:23

The life of Dr. David Thompson is marked by dedication and sacrifice. After a traumatic childhood experience David asked God to allow him to become someone who could serve the sick and dying, and share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ. So began the life of a Servant of Christ.

The Servant of Christ award was established in 1972 to honor those whose careers have blended well the attributes of a commitment to Christ and service to others; those who have demonstrated a remarkable dedication to excellence in the field of missions, research, patient care or medical ethics. In recognition of such a man, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations seeks to honor Dr. David Thompson with the 2010 Servant of Christ Award.

After spending his childhood on the mission field in Cambodia, Dr. Thompson attended the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. There he became active in CMDA. He served for three years as the student president for the CMDA chapter.

In 1977 Dr. Thompson and his wife accepted a call by the Christian & Missionary Alliance to establish new medical work in central Africa. In 1981 he returned to the states to complete a general surgery residency at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles. The Thompsons then returned to Africa.

In the years since, along with his wife and colleagues, Dr. Thompson transformed a small dispensary into a 120-bed, full-service hospital. In caring for tens of thousands of patients, more than 7,000 have entered into a relationship with Jesus Christ. Their team is also involved in churches planting.

In 1996, Dr. Thompson helped establish the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS). As one of the ministries of CMDA, PAACS is dedicated to establishing surgical training programs for African doctors at existing Christian hospitals. Dr. Thompson also serves as the Medical Director of Bongolo Hospital, the Chief of Surgery, and the PAACS Director for Africa.

Dr. Thompson has authored three books: On Call -- his testimony/biography; Beyond the Mist -- the story of the beginning of the church in south Gabon; and The Hand on My Scalpel -- a collection of stories from his work. A fourth book on the theology of mercy based on what he has learned in 30 years of serving is currently in writing.

For his life of service, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to honor Dr. Thompson with the 2010 Servant of Christ Award.

2010 President’s Heritage Award
Teresa Collett, J.D.

“Let every soul be subject unto the higher power. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Roman 13:1

The President’s Heritage Award is given to an individual whose life and work has supported the mission of Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA). This year’s recipient has been a valuable legal advocate in CMDA’s efforts to protect human life. For her labor to defend and define the law for medical professionals and patients, both here and around the world, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to award Professor Teresa Collett with the 2010 President’s Heritage Award.

Teresa Collett graduated with honors from the University of Oklahoma College of Law. There she began her teaching career as a visiting professor. Since 2003 she has been Professor of Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis, MN. In addition to teaching bioethics and constitutional law, Professor Collett serves as director of the Prolife Advocacy Center.

As special attorney general, Professor Collett fought to keep the Oklahoma law requiring ultrasounds before abortions. Recently she served as special attorney general for the State of Kansas, defending that state’s reporting law related to statutory rape. She has represented CMDA in an appellate case related to abortion. As a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court, she has represented the governors of Minnesota and North Dakota as amici curiae, as well as the Illinois State Medical Society in defending partial-birth abortion bans.

As an elected member of the American Law Institute, Professor Collett has testified before committees of the United States House of Representative and the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittees on the Constitution, as well as numerous legislative committees in the state. She often represents CMDA and many other groups in appellate cases.

As her skills and effort have influenced many laws and lawmakers to honor life, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly presents Teresa Collett with the 2010 President’s Heritage Award.