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2015 Member Awards

2015 Educator of the Year Award

Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Michelle Steffes
Award Presentation Video

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Nelson Mandela

The Educator of the Year Award is presented to Christian healthcare professionals who are exceptionally dedicated to using healthcare education to change the world. These devoted individuals strive to provide the best education to their students, taking time to share their knowledge, integrity and compassion. Undeniably, they are committed to God and living out their faith. It is due to their dedication to educating and inspiring others that the Christian Medical & Dental Associations is proud to present the 2015 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Michelle Steffes.

Bruce and Micky are natives of Lapeer, Michigan and attended the same church as children. He graduated from the University of Michigan College of Medicine in 1976 and then trained for six years in general surgery at the University of Florida. He also has a masters of business administration from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, is certified in tropical medicine by the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and received a masters of arts in biblical ministry from Baptist Bible College of Pennsylvania. Micky attended Grand Rapids Baptist Bible College and finished her degree in accounting at the University of Michigan, Flint College. 

Dr. Steffes has always been interested in medical education and entered medical school with the intent of becoming a surgical professor and staying in academic medicine for a lifetime. However, he was lured into private practice in 1982. Despite great success as a surgeon, he underwent a deep personal and spiritual crisis that led him to divorce, the brink of suicide and eventually changed the focus of his life. Feeling it to be God’s will, he resigned from his position of president and senior partner of his practice in 1997. He married Micky in April 1998. Their honeymoon was an around the world trip with Samaritan’s Purse, visiting mission hospitals.

Since that time, Bruce and Micky have used their surgical, business and administrative skills in hospitals and other missionary efforts in the developing world. He has spent the majority of each year since early 1998 as a volunteer physician and general surgeon in countries around the world. Since 2002, he has assisted CMDA’s Continuing Medical and Dental Education Commission in bringing current medical information to missionaries serving in developing countries. When in the U.S., Dr. Steffes served as a volunteer associate clinical professor of surgery at Duke University in order to teach residents laparoscopic surgery, as well as the Surgeon-in-Residence at Methodist University Physician Assistant Program teaching anatomy, physiology and general surgery to PA students from 1996 to 2014. In addition to being speakers for church, service groups and missionary conference in the U.S., they are also the authors of two books: Medical Missions: Get Ready, Get Set, Go! and Your Mission: Get Ready, Get Set, GO!

In 2003, Bruce was named to the commission of the Pan-African Academy of Christian Surgeons (PAACS) and became the volunteer Chief Executive Officer in 2006. A commission of CMDA, PAACS is a general surgical training program for African residents in response to the great need for surgeons in Africa. Using rural mission hospitals and a cadre of volunteer surgeons and missionaries, PAACS teaches the best practices of surgery and applies them to the resource-poor environment so that high quality Christian surgeons will be produced and remain in their countries for their lifetimes. The program now has more surgical trainees than the largest general surgery program in the U.S. and is experiencing a period of rapid expansion. Bruce recently stepped down as Executive Director, but continues to serve as the Chief Medical Officer for PAACS, allowing him more time to teach and provide support for surgical educators. 

Bruce said, “Disillusioned, I walked away from the field of surgical education, but God has given me the long-held dreams of my heart by allowing me to participate in the exciting ministry that is PAACS. God has used those skills and experiences from the times of my life that were darkest and has woven a tapestry that brings honor to Him. I am thrilled to be sitting at the feet of the Great Physician and watching Him change the face of surgery on an entire continent.”

In recognition of a life of godly service and academic achievement, CMDA proudly presents the 2015 Educator of the Year Award to Dr. Bruce and Mrs. Micky Steffes.

2015 President’s Heritage Award

Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Sandy Keenan
Award Presentation Video

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well” (Psalm 139:13-14, NIV 2011).

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2015 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Sandy Keenan. This award is given to individuals whose lives and work support the mission of CMDA.

Jeff received his undergraduate degree in biology from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. He remained in Pennsylvania for medical school and graduated from Jefferson Medical College in 1983, followed by a residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee from 1984 to 1988. Dr. Keenan also completed a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Hutzel Hospital of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan from 1988 to 1990.

Jeff and Sandy met while he was in medical school, where she was a nurse in his hometown hospital in Franklin, Pennsylvania. They married in 1986. In 1990, Jeff and Sandy returned to Tennessee, where Jeff began serving as an assistant professor in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.

In the late 1990s, CMDA approached Dr. Keenan with the idea of creating a medically-based non-profit embryo donation center as a response to the growing number of frozen human embryos in U.S. fertility clinics. That idea grew into the National Embryo Donation Center (NEDC) in Knoxville. Today, the NEDC accepts all embryos, regardless of number or grade, and stores them on site. The clinic then actively matches willing recipients with donors and conducts the actual transfers. They take care of all the medical, legal and social requirements for embryo donation and adoption, while working with an experienced adoption agency for home studies and adoption counseling. Having been involved with the organization from its founding, Dr. Keenan serves as the President and Medical Director of the NEDC. He said, “We offer life-honoring parents and prospective parents an ethical, compassionate path to bringing a new baby into the world.” 

Today, the NEDC is the premier center for embryo donation and adoption in the world, serving families throughout the United States and Canada. This spring, they will celebrate their 500th birth since the NEDC’s founding in 2003. As Dr. Keenan said, “(It’s been) quite a lot of work, but the number of blessings that have resulted is incalculable.”

Sandy spent many years doing abstinence education programs in schools and now works with Jeff during embryo transfer cycles. Throughout his career, Dr. Keenan has also continued to serve on faculty at the University of Tennessee, and he continues to enjoy teaching residents and other healthcare students. He also lectures throughout the country on topics related to reproductive endocrinology and infertility, with a recent concentration on the subject of embryo donation and adoption. In addition, he has been interviewed for more than 50 television, radio and print stories, including CBS’s 60 Minutes and American Medical News

Jeff and Sandy have four children and six grandchildren. In addition to their work with the NEDC, they have also been actively involved in their local churches and international missions. Through Jeff’s church, they helped to establish an outreach program in Haiti that has built schools and a medical clinic that has grown into a hospital. 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 2015 President’s Heritage Award to Dr. Jeffrey and Mrs. Sandy Keenan.

2015 Servant of Christ Award

Dr. William and Mrs. Dorothy Ardill
Award Presentation Video

“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:26-28, NIV 2011).

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations is honored to present the 2015 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. William and Mrs. Dorothy Ardill. 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. William and Dorothy’s journey as servants of Christ carried them to numerous far-reaching locations in countries around the world. As this year’s recipients, their career in healthcare missions has been blended with a remarkable commitment to Christ through service to others.  

Dr. Ardill (Bill, as he in known to his family and friends) was born and raised in Nigeria where his parents were serving as missionaries with SIM. As far back as he can remember Bill wanted to be a missionary doctor. With the counsel of his mother, he prayed to receive Christ when he was six years old. In high school at a Christian camp in Michigan when on furlough, he made a commitment to be willing to serve the Lord as a missionary. Bill went to Ursinus College in Pennsylvania for his undergraduate degree and then to George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. He joined CMDA as a medical student during that time.

During his senior year of medical school in 1980, Bill went on a two-month World Medical Missions trip to ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia. He returned to Nigeria in 1983 during his residency to serve as a short-term missionary at Evangel Hospital. These experiences confirmed his call to pursue a career as a healthcare missionary. Bill completed his residency in surgery at Baylor University in 1985 and then returned to Liberia in 1986 to serve as the surgeon at ELWA Hospital.

Dorothy was raised in a Christian home and also accepted Christ as a child. Through the influence of missionaries at a Christian camp in New York, she made a commitment to serve God as a missionary. After completing her university education as a medical technologist, she went to Hong Kong and Macau where she worked in the laboratory of a small mission hospital. She also completed a master’s degree in missions at Wheaton College in Illinois. In 1987, Dorothy met Bill when she traveled to Liberia to spend the summer working at ELWA. They were married nine months later in Chicago, Illinois. They served in Liberia until 1990 when they were forced to leave because of the civil war. They lost everything they owned during the evacuation, including all their wedding presents!

Bill and Dorothy were reassigned to Jos, Nigeria in 1992. Bill was in charge of the surgical program at Evangel Hospital, and he had the opportunity to do surgery, teach residents and medical students and start a number of ministries. Dorothy initially worked in the Evangel Hospital laboratory, and then started a street children outreach and an AIDS widow outreach before going back to school and getting a master’s degree in elementary education. She taught third grade and then served as principal in the elementary school of Hillcrest School. Bill taught biblical apologetics and ethics in the high school. 

Throughout the 20 years Bill served as a healthcare missionary in Nigeria, he went on alternate years to CMDA’s Continuing Medical and Dental Education conferences at Brackenhurst, Kenya, leading a team of missionary and Nigerian physicians to every conference. These were wonderful times of spiritual refreshment, encouragement, spiritual challenge and building enduring friendships with kindred spirits in the front lines of healthcare ministries in Africa. The counsel, prayers and bonds of love of so many colleagues at these conferences were oxygen for their years of ministry. 

During the last years of their 20-year ministry in Nigeria, however, Bill and Dorothy’s city of Jos was under siege because of attacks and bombings by the radical Islamic terrorists Boko Haram organization. By necessity Bill became a trauma surgeon and bomb blast injury specialist. Because of the political situation in Nigeria and developments in their ministries, they believed it was time to close that chapter in their lives, leaving Nigeria in May 2012. They are now in San Diego where Bill works as a general surgeon at the VA Hospital in San Diego and teaches in the UCSD School of Medicine. Dorothy is the science teacher in a charter elementary school. Bill and Dorothy are also blessed with four children. 

Through a number of difficult experiences in Nigeria, Bill and Dorothy’s faith has grown deeper and stronger as they have learned to rely on God through difficult times. As Bill said, “God uses suffering for many reasons, some of which will not be understood until eternity. He asks us to trust Him through the dark days, learn about His Son’s suffering for us through our experiences, and realize travail enables us to empathize with others who are suffering. Serving Him is what He calls us to do, whether in feast or famine, in war or peace, under persecution or prosperity.” In recognition of lives focused on serving God no matter the circumstance, CMDA proudly presents the 2015 Servant of Christ Award to Dr. William and Mrs. Dorothy Ardill. 

2015 Missionary of the Year Award

Kenneth C. Hinton, MD, FAAP
Award Presentation Video

“Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we 
have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work.”
Mother Theresa

The CMDA Missionary of the Year Award exists to honor outstanding missionary healthcare professionals who give countless hours to bring healing and God’s light to those who are suffering. Time, dedication, service, courage and faith have all been involved in the efforts of this year’s recipient to bind up wounds and share the gospel. The missionaries we recognize each year have been instruments of God to inspire others to develop a heart for missions. It is an honor for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations to present Dr. Kenneth C. Hinton with the 2015 Missionary of the Year Award.

Dr. Hinton was born and grew up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where he was baptized at an early age and nurtured in First Baptist Church, his home church. He received his bachelors of science in chemistry from the University of Alabama in 1970 and then continued his studies at the University of Alabama School of Medicine. After graduating from medical school in 1974, he completed a residency in pediatrics at the Lloyd Nolan Foundation Hospital in Fairfield, Alabama. During his seven years in Birmingham, he became a charter member and later a pastoral care deacon in the Baptist Church of the Covenant near the medical center.

In 1977, Dr. Hinton began his journey to serving on the mission field. While he was in language school in Indonesia, he realized that his most satisfying ministry was teaching Scriptures to young people. In his words, “Words can’t express my gratitude to the Lord for turning this shy, attention-avoding, self-doubting baby doctor into, of all things, a teacher who discovered the absolute joy of telling ‘the old, old, stories of Jesus and His love’ to slack-jawed, goggle-eyed youth hearing them for the first time. For me, seeing those familiar stories through the lens of a culture more akin to the culture of Jesus made them come alive.    

In 1979, “Dr. Ken” began putting this teaching ministry into practice while serving for 18 years as the staff pediatrician at Kediri Baptist Hospital in East Java. He was also an instructor in pediatrics and English at the Baptist School of Health Nursing in Kediri. After leaving Kediri, he spent 15 years teaching pediatrics, medical English, English speaking and reading and cross-cultural understanding at Universitas Wijaya Kusuma, a large university in Surabaya, a sprawling metropolis of four million people in East Java. During those 34 years on the mission field, he helped form new Bible groups for young seekers and believers. For believers, lessons focused on living as a disadvantaged minority reflecting and proclaiming their faith to the resistant but curious majority. From his work with seekers and new believers, he developed cross-cultural seminars and ESL Bible lessons to help colleagues share the Good News with those of the majority religion. Through modern technology and social media, “Grandpa Ken” still continues to personally mentor and counsel several young Indonesians from those years of ministry. Some of them are now pastors, lay evangelists and student leaders serving to further God’s kingdom in greater ways than Ken ever imagined.

In 2012, Dr. Hinton returned to the rural Big Sandy community in West Alabama for retirement. He continues to teach English, American (Southern) culture and the Good News to international students from Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, China, Vietnam, Korea and the Middle East through the ministries of two local churches and in three home groups. He relishes singing in the adult choir in Big Sandy Baptist Church near his home, and he is a commuting member of Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham.

In recognition of his devotion to cross-cultural service, the Christian Medical & Dental Associations proudly presents the 2015 Missionary of the Year Award to Dr. Kenneth C. Hinton.