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2011 Member Awards

2011 Educator of the Year Award
Richard G. Topazian, DDS, MBA

Award Presentation Video

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58

These words from the Apostle Paul describe how Dr. Richard G. Topazian has led his life; standing firm and giving fully of himself.

The CMDA Educator of the Year Award is presented to medical and dental professionals who have demonstrated exceptionally dedication to medical or dental education. These devoted individuals have provided the high quality education to those who God places in their path. They take the time to share their knowledge, compassion, and Christ-like character with others. They not only motivate others to academic excellence, they inspire personal and spiritual excellence. It is because of such commitment that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations presents the 2011 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Richard Topazian.

Beginning with a Medical Group Missions trip to the Dominican Republic Dr. Topazian and his wife, Pauline, have participated in over 70 short-term mission projects scattered throughout the world. In addition to providing clinical care, he has provided numerous lectures to dental and medical groups. Through the years Dr. Topazian has been involved in volunteer teaching programs in Moscow, Mongolia, Kosovo, and Albania with Medical Education International, and in India, Volgograd, Russia, Trinidad and Uganda with Health Volunteers Overseas. In more recent years, his work has frequently involved repair of cleft lip and cleft palate. He has taught many surgeons, both nationals and missionaries in the techniques of cleft surgery. Many of his projects included dental students and/or oral surgery residents. Whether in the lecture hall, the clinic, the operatory, or meeting informally, Dr. Topazian was always teaching.

Dr. Topazian is a graduate of the Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He was trained in Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia General Hospital. He and Pauline served as missionaries at the Christian Medical College and Hospital in Vellore, India for four years. There he taught medical students and established a general dentistry residency program. Upon returning to the United States he began an academic career first, at the University of Kentucky, and then as Chair at the Medical College of Georgia. Later he served as Chair of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery at the University of Connecticut. He now is professor emeritus of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.

As member since 1958, Dr. Topazian has been a regular participant in CMDA’s mission programs; most recently, Medical Education International and Continuing Medical & Dental Education Commission (CMDE). In addition to faculty participation, he developed the CMDE Dental program for missionaries.

In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2011 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Richard Topazian.


2011 Missionary of the Year Award
Dr. Tim and Mrs. Muriel Teusink

Award Presentation Video

"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:39

The CMDA Missionary of the Year award is presented to those who personify a love and passion for living out and sharing the Gospel, an attitude of humility and service, and a courageous and persevering faith; those who demonstrate outstanding effectiveness in ministry; and those who inspire others to develop a heart for missions. That Dr. Tim and Mrs. Muriel Teusink qualify on all counts is undeniable. Their love for the underserved was demonstrated before they met, and has continued throughout their married life. Not surprisingly, both of their grown children are interested in international ministry.

Dr. Teusink chose “Family Medicine” as his specialty with additional training in surgery and tropical medicine, entering the Medical Assistance Program International Fellowship in India during his senior year of both medical school and Family Medicine Residency. Muriel received her B. Ed. in Secondary Education from the University of Calgary in 1971, and served as an educational missionary in Haiti from 1976-83 overseeing the sponsorship projects in the schools and beginning a professional development program for teachers. She and Tim were married in 1983, having met in Haiti. At that time, she joined him in leading teams to rural Haiti; an endeavor he began in 1982. In between these tours, Dr. Teusink was an emergency physician at Central Memorial Hospital in Toppenish, Washington.

The Teusinks completed two terms of service with Free Methodist World Missions at Kibogora Hospital in Rwanda in 1993. During this time, Mrs. Teusink worked in the hospital finance division and as mission hostess while raising their two children, a son born in 1985 and a daughter born in 1987. Following their service in Rwanda, Dr. Teusink served short-term at Raleigh Fitkin Hospital in Manzini, Swaziland and again at Kibogora Hospital.

Going to Ethiopia in August 2000 with Free Methodist World Missions, in November 2002 the Teusink’s joined SIM (Serving in Mission) in Ethiopia, where Dr. Teusink has been director of SIM-Ethiopia’s HIV/AIDS Prevention & Care Ministries. His primary focus is theological education, particularly a biblical perspective on sexuality and marriage. He works with two national churches that serve 42 million members, and teaches at four theological colleges. He is particularly interested in encouraging transformational, holistic, sustainable community development in HIV/AIDS prevention and care through the church, working across denominational lines.

Muriel is the teacher/librarian at Bingham Academy, a K-12 school for missionary children and others. She received her post-graduate diploma in School Libraries from the University of Alberta in 2007. She is involved with Bible Study Fellowship and the International Women’s Club in Addis Ababa.

In response to learning of their selection for the CMDA Missionary of the Year Award Dr. Teusink wrote, “We are humbled and honored to [be chosen for] this award. It is particularly meaningful having been so blessed by my association with CMS/CMDA since 1975. At every stage of my career, CMDA has been an integral part of the journey, and if this award can be a means to glorify God and emphasize how He has blessed our ministry through CMDA, we would be pleased.”

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to bestow the 2011 Missionary of the Year Award on Dr. Tim and Muriel Teusink.


2011 Servant of Christ Award
James D. Smith, MD

Award Presentation Video

"If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Mark 9:35

Teaching and healing have been lifelong passions of our 2011 Servant of Christ Award recipient, Dr. James Smith. The Servant of Christ Award was created in 1972 by the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to honor those whose careers exemplify a commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. Dr. Smith is such a man. He is Professor Emeritus from Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland, Oregon.

Dr. Smith’s medical career began in 1965 when he graduated from the University of Iowa Medical School. After his internship he served as a physician in Kenya for the Peace Corps. He completed his residency in otolaryngology in 1973 at the University of Iowa Since 1973, Dr. Smith has been on the faculty at Oregon Health & Sciences University in Portland Oregon as well as Otolaryngology Consultant at the Veteran’s Hospital in Portland.

His heart for missions and teaching led Dr. Smith to serve as a Visiting Professor and Senior Consultant in Otolaryngology for the National University Hospital in Singapore, a position he held from 1997 through 2006. He was also a Visiting Professor of Pediatric Otolaryngology at the Beijing Children’s Hospital in China in 2007 and 2009. Dr. Smith first became a member of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations in 1984 when he was asked to be part of the teaching faculty for the Continuing Medical and Dental Education conference in Kenya. The relationship has been a lasting one, with Dr. Smith becoming a member of the CMDE Commission. In 2003 he became the chairman of the COIMEA Commission, which was later changed to Medical Education International (MEI). Over the years, Dr. Smith’s passion for medical missions has not wavered. He takes three to five mission trips each year, leading MEI teams to several different countries. He is Chairman of the Board of ComCare, a Christian international non-profit organization that provides solar powered hearing aids and services for less developed countries.

This distinguished medical professional has been recognized many times for his dedication and tireless service, most notably in 2007 when he received the Stephen Gray Humanitarian Award, from the Society of Ear, Nose and Throat Advances in Children (SENTAC) and again in 2008 when he was named by the American Academy of Otolaryngology for the Distinguished Service Award for Humanitarian Services. His services “have benefited countless patients, students and colleagues.” CMDA is delighted to add the Servant of Christ Award to Dr. James Smith’s list of honors. We pray that the world will continue to benefit from his inexhaustible medical skills as well as his generous spirit for many years to come.


2011 President’s Heritage Award
William P. Wilson, MD

Award Presentation Video

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.... His delight is in the law of the Lord.... He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers." Psalm 1:1-3

Dr. William P. Wilson’s life exemplifies CMDA’s mission to glorify God by motivating, educating and equipping Christian doctors and students. His service to God began in 1949 as a Resident in Psychiatry at Duke Medical Center, and has continued for 62 years. Today he is still serving as Distinguished Professor of Counseling at Carolina Evangelical Divinity School, and Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Wilson has followed at least three career paths; one as a practicing psychiatrist, one as a professor of psychiatry, and one as the author of at least 168 publications including articles in prestigious medical journals, books, and audiovisual materials.

His career in psychiatric medicine began with an internship at the Gorgas Hospital in Panama, continued with a residency at Duke Medical Center (becoming Chief Resident in Psychiatry), and culminated as Head of the Laboratories of Clinical Neurophysiology at Duke Medical Center. His teaching career, which overlapped his medical career, began at Duke University in 1955 and progressed through the University of Texas at Galveston, and continues today by directing the Institute of Christian Growth and the Life Way Mental Health Associates, both in Burlington, NC. Dr. Wilson believes and teaches that Christianity has a role in psychiatry. This is evidenced by the nomination letter we received from one of his former students. Linda Flower wrote, “I met Dr. Wilson when I was taking an away rotation called ‘Christian Psychiatry.’ In fact, he took me with him to a CMDA meeting. He mentored both David Larson and Paul Meier, and has continued to disciple many individuals through the Institute for Christian Growth.”

In addition to this overwhelming body of work, Dr. Wilson enjoyed a successful marriage to Elizabeth, with whom he reared five children. In this aspect of his life, he served as president of the Parent/Teacher Association in two schools, was a scout leader for both a cub pack and a troop, commanded a boating safety organization, and served seven terms on various church boards. He was president of the United Methodist Church Renewal Services, and director of Good News, a forum for scriptural Christianity in Methodism.

Dr. Wilson’s work with a variety of mission agencies has allowed him to lecture from a Christian perspective on mental health issues in five African counties, three Asian countries, and five European countries. That his Christianity is expressed in his work is evidenced by the names of just a few of his publications: “Mental Health Benefits of Religious Salvation,” “Utilization of Christian Beliefs in Psychotherapy,” and “The Ethics of Sharing Religious Faith in Psychotherapy.” His audio series called “A Christian Legacy in Psychiatry,” co-produced with four other physicians, has been advertised on the pages of Today’s Christian Doctor.

For his impressive body of work, for his exemplary standard as a Christian physician, professor, writer, lecturer, husband, father, church and community leader, Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present Dr. William P. Wilson with the 2011 President’s Heritage Award.