AACU News & Notes

Respected Urologists Honored with Inaugural Sohn Award for Excellence in Advocacy

posted: October 23, 2019

Since its founding, the American Association of Clinical Urologists (AACU) has counted amongst its membership urologists who are active, engaged, and influential as physicians and advocates. Founding President Charles Hoffman, MD, himself, served as president of the American Urological Association and American Medical Association, and frequently testified before Congress on issues affecting the urologic community. Twenty years later, Herbert Sohn, MD, JD, assumed the presidency of the AACU amid several runs for Congress and Mayor of Chicago.

2019-10-21-sohn-award-(1).jpg l-r Jeffrey Frankel, MD; Mark T. Edney, MD, MBA, FACS; William C. Reha, MD, MBA; Harry C. Miller, Jr.

In recognition of Dr. Sohn’s boundless commitment to the advancement of public policies that supported patients and physicians, the Herb Sohn Award for Excellence in Advocacy was introduced at the AACU 2019 Annual Meeting. Past presidents of the AACU including Drs. Roger V. Haglund, Anthony W. Middleton, Jr., and Harry C. Miller, Jr. shared words of remembrance of Dr. Sohn at the event. Dr. Middleton noted:

Herbert Sohn, MD, JD

Herbert “Herb” Sohn was raised in New York City and entered the University of Virginia in 1944 at the age of 17. That same year, he took an early break from pre-law coursework to enlist in the U.S. Navy. He trained on Chicago's Navy Pier as a radio technician, a time that is memorialized in one of Dr. Sohn's passion projects, the documentary film “Heroes on Deck: WWII on Lake Michigan”.

After his discharge from the Navy, Dr. Sohn completed his undergraduate studies at UVA and headed to medical school in Chicago. Trained as a urologist, Dr. Sohn remained in practice for almost 60 years. During that long tenure, Dr. Sohn earned a law degree and ran for Congress several times and once for Mayor of Chicago. It was during that 1989 mayoral campaign that Dr. Sohn said, “When one spends his whole lifetime just making money, that is a living; but, when one can serve his community and his fellow beings, that is a life.”

Herb Sohn was and is one of a kind. I served with him as a Delegate to the AMA House of delegates for several years, and I marveled at the energy he applied to knowing most if not all of the other Delegates. As we went around the House, Herb would introduce me to nearly everyone, and tell a bit about them. His outreach was truly remarkable. His personality was much the same in the AACU. He was truly unique!

The AACU proudly presented the Herb Sohn Award for Excellence in Advocacy to two outstanding members, Jeffrey M. Frankel, MD and Harry C. Miller, Jr.

Jeffrey M. Frankel, MD, is a private practice urologist in metropolitan Seattle, Washington. Dr. Frankel served as president of the AACU from 2009 to 2010 and in several other leadership capacities including UROPAC, Health Policy, and State Society Network Chair. He is the 2019 – 2020 President of the Western Section of the AUA, an organization in which he has likewise held several leadership positions. In nominating Dr. Frankel for this award, Jeffrey L. Evans, MD, a fellow past president of the Washington State Urology Society, attests, “I have been most impressed with his tendency to give others credit, get young urologists involved in advocacy, and provide mentorship …He does not seek recognition, although I strongly believe that he deserves it.”

Harry C. Miller, Jr., MD, served as president of the AACU from 1993 to 1994. As a historian, Dr. Miller literally “wrote the book” on the AACU, having authored a comprehensive record of the organization from its earliest days to the turn of the 21st Century. Dr. Miller is Emeritus Professor & Chair of the Department of Urology at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Services. William C. Reha, MD, MBA, noted Dr. Miller’s influence in his nominating statement, asserting that the honoree “taught countless medical students, residents, and colleagues the art and science of Urology as well as how to effectively advocate for our profession.”

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