2014 Member Awards
2014 Educator of the Year Award
James N. Thompson, MD, FACS
Award Presentation Video
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” —William Arthur Ward
Throughout the years of His ministry, Jesus taught us the importance of teaching others. He taught His disciples, He taught in the synagogues, He taught to the crowds, He taught in parables and He taught through His love and His actions. He was a model example for great teaching that inspires others to greatness. In education today, a great teacher follows Christ’s example to be someone who not only teaches but also invests in the lives of others. Throughout the years, the Educator of the Year Award has been presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to medical or dental education. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking the time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. They inspire others to excellence, while they themselves continue to learn. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to his dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2014 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. James Thompson.
Dr. Thompson earned his Bachelor of Arts degree at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana in 1966 and his medical degree at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio in 1971. He completed an otolaryngology residency at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and an otolaryngology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine.
Soon after completing his training, Dr. Thompson began his journey in education as an assistant professor of surgery at University of California, Irvine. In 1979, he began teaching at Bowman Gray School of Medicine, now known as Wake Forest University School of Medicine. During his tenure at Wake Forest, he served in a variety of capacities including assistant professor, associate dean and full professor. In 1994, he became dean of the School of Medicine, and then served as Wake Forest University Vice President from 1997 to 2001. Under his leadership, the medical school underwent significant curricular change integrating clinical and basic science education with the use of computer technology and problem-based learning. In 2002, he was named Dean Emeritus of the School of Medicine.
During this time, Dr. Thompson also represented the American Medical Association on the Executive Committee of the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the accrediting authority for medical education programs that lead to an MD degree in U.S. and Canadian medical schools. He also served on the CMDA Board of Trustees from 2001 to 2005.
From 2002 to 2008, “JT” (as he is known to many friends) served as president and chief executive officer of the Federation of State Medical Boards, a non-profit association that serves as a collective voice for the 70-member allopathic and osteopathic state medical licensing and regulatory boards in the U.S. and its territories. In this role, he was the official spokesperson for the organization and represented the nation’s medical boards in public forums related to health regulatory policy. He has published numerous articles and speaks often about health and medical education policy, professional behavior of physicians and the role of regulatory authorities in preserving the integrity of the medical profession. Dr. Thompson currently serves as a senior consultant with The Hayes Group International, a full-service organizational consulting firm involved in physician leadership development, team building and healthcare coaching.
Dr. Thompson and his wife Carol live in Davidson, North Carolina. They have four married children and have been blessed with 11 grandchildren. In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2014 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. James Thompson.
2014 President’s Heritage Award
Dr. Merlynn (Lynn) and Mrs. Joan Colip
Award Presentation Video
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV 2011).
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2014 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Merlynn (Lynn) and Mrs. Joan Colip. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.
Floyd Merlynn “Lynn” Colip has been an innovator and a pioneer his entire life, characteristics passed down from his grandparents who were homesteaders in the 1800s. He was born in 1935 and raised on a farm in rural Norton County, Kansas. He graduated from the University of Kansas and the Kansas University Medical School. Following completing his medical degree, he completed an internship at Broadlawns Polk County Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa. Lynn and Joan met at KU and were married in 1957, and Joan graduated shortly thereafter from the University of Kansas with a degree in mathematics.
In 1962, they returned to Norton County to begin a family practice in Lynn’s home county where he handled many challenging cases as a country doctor, bringing desperately needed healthcare to the area. In 1967, the Colips helped to found Valley Hope, a non-profit drug and alcohol treatment program in Norton. Since its founding, Valley Hope has grown to include nine in-patient and eight intensive out-patient treatment centers in seven states providing treatment to more than 1,000 patients each day. It is now one of the top drug rehabilitation chains in the U.S.
After retiring from active medical practice in the late 1990s, they purchased a vacation home in Woodland Park, Colorado. They recognized the urgent need for better medical care in the area, so they began working with community leaders to establish the Pikes Peak Regional Medical Center and Hospital, followed by the Critical Access Hospital.
Dr. Colip first became involved with CMDA while he was a first year medical student at the Kansas University Medical School. Together, Lynn and Joan have been involved with CMDA for many years and they have attended countless CMDA conferences and World Congresses in Switzerland, Norway, South Africa and Australia. Dr. Colip also served on the CMDA Board of Trustees and the International Christian Medical and Dental Association Board.
His inventive and pioneering spirit wasn’t limited to just medicine. He continued to work on his family farm throughout his medical career, managed a farm in Australia, started an oil exploration group and had interests in many other endeavors in this country and abroad. He certainly brought his innovative passion to CMDA. As Board Treasurer, he envisioned CMDA’s annuity and planned giving programs. After completing his board service, he continued to catalyze CMDA’s ministry by networking CMDA with other organizations, helping CMDA start its matching gifts fund drives and much more.
Their favorite activity over their 40 years of involvement with CMDA has been the Deer Valley Family Conferences in Colorado. Lynn and Joan said, “The conferences were always very meaningful, inspiring and friendship forming times for us and for our children and grandchildren.” Together, the Colips have four children, 14 grandchildren and four great grandchildren. They have been longtime active members of the Norton Christian Church where Dr. Colip has served as deacon, elder, trustee and Sunday School teacher. Joan has also served in the church’s music ministry.
In recognition of a life devoted to serving CMDA, serving others and doing everything for the Lord’s honor, CMDA is honored to present the 2014 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Merlynn (Lynn) and Mrs. Joan Colip.
2014 Servant of Christ Award
Robert F. Agnew, MD
Award Presentation Video
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ…” (1 Peter 4:10-11, NIV 2011).
The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2014 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Robert F. Agnew. Established in 1972, the Servant of Christ Award honors those whose careers exemplify commitment to medical excellence along with a stalwart faith in Jesus Christ. Like many of the great missionaries and evangelists of the past, Dr. Agnew’s journey as a servant of Christ carried him to numerous far-reaching locations in countries around the world. As this year’s recipient, his career in medicine and medical missions has been blended with his remarkable commitment to Christ through service to others.
Dr. Agnew (Bob, as he in known to his family and friends) was born in Chicago, Illinois into a family of two career Salvation Army officers. His parents were both ordained ministers, so their children received religious instruction from an early age. It was not until he was 16 years old and working at a summer camp that Bob put his faith in Jesus’ saving power and asked the Holy Spirit to take control of his life. A short time later, he began his educational path at the University of Chicago with a major in physics. Near the end of his first year of college, he attended a retirement ceremony for a missionary physician who spent his career in South India. This event served as a turning point in his life, convincing him that medicine was to be his life work. In fact, Bob changed his college major to pre-med the very next day. After completing his undergraduate degree, he went onto medical school at State University of New York, Upstate Medical Center at Syracuse in 1959. He married his wife Beth just two weeks prior to starting medical school, and she started nurse training at Syracuse University. During summer break after his first year of medical school, he was introduced to the Christian Medical Society by a fellow medical student. According to Dr. Agnew, this was a life-changing moment for him because he had not realized that such a group existed. Bob and Beth quickly became involved in the organization’s campus ministry, and he was president of his student chapter for one year.
Following medical school, Dr. Agnew completed a surgical internship, a surgical residency and also a cardiovascular thoracic residency before joining a multi-specialty group in Fargo, North Dakota in 1973. By this time, Bob and Beth had three daughters and were looking for a vacation that would appeal to the entire family. Having read about CMS’ family conference at Deer Valley Ranch, they attended for the first time, and it quickly became an annual summer tradition for their family. This conference had far-reaching effects on their family. During one summer at Deer Valley, a presentation on short-term missions made Bob realize he had not answered his call to missions. So he and Beth started on a new spiritual adventure in short-term missions that continued for many years. Since their first trip to La Ceiba, Honduras, they have visited 29 countries on three continents, performing surgeries and offering healthcare while spreading the love of Christ wherever they went. They also sponsored patients to journey to their clinic in North Dakota for cardiovascular procedures that could not be performed in their home countries.
In 1988, Dr. Agnew began representing CMDA on the national level, serving first as a state representative before joining the Board of Trustees in 1995 and then serving as President from 1999 to 2001. During his leadership, the organization changed its name from Christian Medical & Dental Society to Christian Medical & Dental Associations. He also acted as co-chair of the Changing Hearts Capital Campaign that led to the construction of CMDA’s National Headquarters in Bristol, Tennessee.
In recognition of a life focused on serving others and spreading the gospel of Christ through healthcare in their community, in our country and around the world, CMDA proudly presents the 2014 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. Robert F. Agnew.