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Shetal Shah, M.D., Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Stony Brook University Medical Center, has been named a recipient of the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation's 2008 Outstanding Leader of Medicine Award. The honor was presented to Dr. Shah at an AMA awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on March 31.

Dr. Shah received one of 14 awards presented in the Early-Career Physician category, and he is among a total of 56 outstanding medical students, residents/fellows, early career physicians and established physicians across the country who were honored in various categories. Award recipients were selected based on their outstanding non-clinical leadership skills in advocacy, community service, public health and/or education.

"Dr. Shah is a young physician who is deeply committed to the care of our smallest patients," says Margaret M. McGovern, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of Pediatrics at SBUMC. "Beyond our confidence in his outstanding clinical skills, we are proud he has received the AMA Foundation Leadership Award acknowledging him among his peers for outstanding non-clinical achievements."

Dr. Shah joined SBUMC in 2006. His professional interests span writing, the practice of clinical medicine, promotion of public health initiatives and design of technological innovations. He is the author of Passport to Illness, a book describing his medical experience in developing countries, particularly in India where he cared for newborns in conjunction with the Fulbright Scholar Program. Dr. Shah is also the author of 35 peer-reviewed publications.

As a proponent of improving community health, Dr. Shah has published studies outlining the use of the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) as a vehicle for public health, administering influenza and pertussis vaccine to NICU parents in order to prevent transmission to their preterm infants. In addition, he has authored resolutions calling for mandated offering of these vaccines to new parents while in the hospital.

Under the direction of Janet Larson, M.D., Division Chief, Neonatology, Dr. Shah's research on the mechanisms of inflammation in newborn infants who are transported to neonatal intensive care units won the R. Chambliss Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2007. He also received the "Most Distinguished Young Physician Award" from the American Association of Physicians from India last year. Dr. Shah has also drawn upon his clinical experience in the NICU to design and patent a monitor for inter-hospital transport of preterm infants focusing on how factors related to heartbeat irregularities may cause inflammation.

In 2007, in tribute to his creativity and his multi-faceted contributions to the field of medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Technology Review Magazine named Dr. Shah as one of the "most innovative" young physicians. Dr. Shah is the son of two physicians, Dr. I.C. Shah, a surgeon, and Dr. Saroj Shah, an obstetrician/gynecologist. He received his M.D. from Weill Cornell Medical College and completed his residency and neonatal fellowship at Duke University Medical Center and New York University School of Medicine.

He resides with his wife, Alpana, and their 7-month old son, Sajan, in Syosset, N.Y.

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