WMS Recognition Awards

Congratulations to the below WMS award recipients who have made significant contributions to our industry, our association, their place of work, and in their communities.

Award nominations are accepted January through mid-March each year and winners are selected by the WMS Board of Directors Nominating Committee.

Peer Recognition Awards


Founders Award | Est. 1994

Given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the principles and objectives of the field of wilderness medicine as envisioned by the Society's founders, with demonstrated dedication and ongoing engagement that have served to further the longevity of the Wilderness Medical Society.

2023 Tracy A. Cushing, MD, MPH
2022 Scott McIntosh, MD, MPH, FAWM, DiMM
2021     Arthur (Tony) Islas, MD
2020     Robert Quinn, MD
2019     Michael Caudell, MD
2018     Andrew Luks, MD
2017     Jay Lemery, MD
2016     Linda Keyes, MD
2015     Peter Kummerfeldt
2014     Michael E. Jacobs, MD
2013     Tom DeLoughery, MD
2012     Ken Zafren, MD
2011      Robert L. Norris, MD
2010     Thomas M. Kessler MD
2009     Eric L. Johnson, MD

2008     Bruce Paton, MD
2007     Luanne Freer, MD
2006     James R. Liffrig, MD
2005     Howard D. Backer, MD
2004     William W. Forgey, MD
2003     Blair D. Erb, MD
2002     William Robinson, MD
2001     Paul S. Auerbach, MD; Murray P. Hamlet, DVM
2000     Edward Geehr, MD; Charles S. Houston, MD
1999     Joseph Serra, MD
1998     Kenneth Kizer, MD
1997     Peter Hackett, MD
1996     Robert Schoene, MD
1995     Herbert Hultgren, MD|
1994     Warren Bowman, MD

Dian Simpkins Ice Axe Award | Est. 2023

Given in recognition of outstanding service to the field of wilderness medicine and/or the Wilderness Medical Society.

2023 Nancy Pietroski, PharmD, NR-EMT, FAWM, CTH

Note: Prior to 2023, this award consisted of two separate awards: the Dian Simpkins Service Award and the Ice Axe Award. Scroll down to view the historical recipients of each.

Dian Simpkins Service Award | Est. 1994

Ice Axe Award  | Est. 2008

2022 Arun Ganti, MD, MPHS, FAWM, DiMM
2021    Graham Brant-Zawadzki, MD
2020     Andy Rich, FAWM
2019     Lawrence LeBlond, MD
2018     Terri Monturano
2017     Stephanie Lareau, MD
2016     Alicia Byrne
2015     Todd Miner, Ed.D
2014     Debra Stoner, MD
2013     Emily Sagalyn, MD, MPH
2012     Michael Caudell, MD
2011      Reuben (Hill) McBrayer, MD
2010     Teri Howell
2009     Jim Ingwersen, MS
2008     James Wilkerson III, MD
2007     Christopher Van Tilburg, MD
2006     Jonna Barry
2005     Tom Kessler, MD
2004     Ken Zafren, MD
2003     Oswald Oelz, MD
2002     Matthew Russell, MD
2001     Benjamin I. Rosner, PhD
2000     James Bagian, MD; Eric Johnson, MD
1999     William A. Robinson, MD
1998     Howard D. Backer, MD
1997     Dian Simpkins
1996     Edward Geehr, MD
1995     Blair Erb, MD
1994     Bruce Paton, MD
2022 Taylor Haston, DO, FACEP, DiMM, MPH, MS
2021     Sarah M. Schlein, MD
2020     Neal Pollock, PhD
2019     Hill McBrayer, MD
2018     Darryl Macias, MD
2017     Will R. Smith, MD
2016     Geoffrey Tabin, MD
2015     Rachel Tullet, MD; Megan Walmsley, MD
2014     Christopher Van Tilburg, MD
2013     Elizabeth Edelstein, MD
2012     Andrew Luks, MD
2010     Jay Lemery, MD
2009     Seth C. Hawkins, MD
2008     Luanne Freer, MD


Warren D. Bowman | Est. 2000

Given to an allied health professional, nurse, or advanced practice provider for outstanding contributions to the Wilderness Medical Society or the field of wilderness medicine.

2023 Matthew D. Welder, DNP, CRNA, FAWM, DiMM, DiDMM,
2022 Simon Ruparelia
2021     Kerryn Wratt, FAWM
2020     Corey Winstead, W/AEMT
2019     Linda Lee, RN
2018     Debbie Simon, RN
2017     J. Pearce Beissinger, FAWM, MS, PA-C
2016     Gates Richards, WEMT-I
2015     Linda Laskowski-Jones, RN
2014     R. Bryan Simon, RN
2013     Dave Weber, NREMT-P
2012     Todd Miner, PhD
2011     Gordon H. Worley, RN
2010     C. Denise Edwards, Lt. Col.USAF
2009     Charles Shimanski
2008     Tod D. Schimelpfenig, EMT
2007     Sara Squyres, PA-C
2005     Sheryl Olsen, RN
2004     Peter Kummerfeldt
2003     George Rodway, PhD
2002     Linda B. Lindsey, RN
2001     Tod D. Schimelpfenig, EMT
2000     Buck Tilton


Research | Est. 1994

Given in recognition of outstanding research pertinent to the field of Wilderness Medicine.

2023 Charles "Chuck" Gerardo, MD, MHS
2022 Giacomo Strapazzon, MD, PhD, DiMM
2021     Tamara Hew-Butler DPM
2020     Beth Beidleman, Sc.D.
2019     Marc Berger, MD
2018     Peter Bartsch, MD
2017     Emmanuel Cauchy
2016     Michael Yaron, MD
2015     Leslie Boyer, MD
2014     Jeffrey H. Gertsch, MD
2013     Grant Lipman, MD
2012     Hermann Brugger, MD
2011     Scott McIntosh, MD, MPH
2010     Thomas Deloughery, MD
2009     Buddha Basnyat, MD
2008     Mary Ann Cooper, MD
2007     Robert L. Norris, MD; Ian Simpson, MD
2005     Sean P. Bush, MD
2004     Robert B. Schoene, MD
2003     Erik Swenson, MD
2002     Colin Grissom, MD
2001     Ellen L. Glickman, PhD
2000     Robert Roach, PhD
1999     Gordon G. Giesbrecht, PhD
1998     Benjamin Levine, MD
1997     Wayne Askew, PhD
1996     David Shlim, MD
1995     Murray P. Hamlet, DVM
1994     Peter Hackett, MD


Education | Est. 1994

Given in recognition of outstanding contributions in educating students, residents, fellows, members, or the public in the field of wilderness medicine.

2023 David Young, MD, MS, FAWM, DiMM
2022 Lara Phillips, MD, FAWM; Josh Rudner, DO, DiMM
2021     Christanne Coffey, MD
2020     Stephanie Lareau, MD
2019     Seth Hawkins, MD
2018     Frank Hubbell, DO
2017     Laura McGladrey, RN
2016     Erin Meyer, MD
2015     Daniel DeKay, RN
2014     Kenneth Iserson, MD
2013     James Shuler, DO
2012     Linda Keyes, MD
2011     Elisabeth Edelstein, MD
2010     Debra Stoner, MD
2009     Brad L. Bennett, MD
2008     Thomas Kessler, MD
2007     Peter Kummerfeldt
2005     Robert L. Norris, MD
2004     Rob Hilvers, MD
2003     Ken Zafren, MD
2002     James Liffrig, MD
2001     James A. Litch, MD
2000     Edward Otten, MD
1999     Karl Neumann, MD
1998     Phillip Bertram, MD; Steve Donelan
1997     William Forgey, MD
1996     Paul S. Auerbach, MD
1995     Howard Donner, MD
1994     Doug Gentile, MD


Ascent | Est. 2021

Given to an individual with no greater than five years of WMS membership in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Wilderness Medical Society or the field of wilderness medicine.

2023 Aubri Charnigo, MD, FAWM, DiMM
2022 Shilpi Ganguly, MS
2021     Justin Gardner, DO, FAWM

Paul S. Auerbach Award | Est. 2000 | Ret. 2023

Given to a physician or PhD in recognition of sustained significant clinical or service contribution to Wilderness Medicine and/or scientific achievement in Wilderness Medicine in combination with service to the Society.

2022 Susanne Spano, MD, FACEP, FAWM
2021     Brad Bennett, PhD
2020     Michael Caudell, MD
2019     Ian Wedmore, MD
2018     Linda Keyes MD
2017     Elisabeth Edelstein, MD
2016     Hermann Brugger, MD
2015     Kenneth Iserson, MD
2014     Thomas M. Kessler, MD
2013     Lynn Yonge, MD
2012     David Shlim, MD
2011      Eric L. Johnson, MD
2010     Frank K. Butler, Jr, Capt., MC/USN
2009     Edward (Mel) Otten, MD
2008     Howard Backer, MD
2007     Luanne Freer, MD
2006     Robert B. Schoene, MD
2005     Gordon G. Giesbrecht, PhD
2004     Colin Grissom, MD
2003     Bruce Paton, MD
2002     Peter Hackett, MD
2001     Warren D. Bowman, MD
2000     James Wilkerson III, MD


Blair Erb World Congress International Award | Est. 1995

2016 Peter Bartsch, MD
2012     Buddha Basnyat, MD; Gordon Giesbrecht, PhD; David Warrell, DM
2007     Jim Milledge, MD; Robert B. Schoene, MD
2003     Urs Wiget, MD; Peter Hackett, MD
1999     Bruno Durrer, MD
1995     Franz Berghold, MD


Special Recognition Awards

Special Recognition Award
Given in recognition of significant contributions to the Wilderness Medical Society and/or the field of wilderness medicine.

2022 Jim Ingwersen

Special Lifetime Contributor Award

Given in recognition of significant contributions to the Wilderness Medical Society and/or the field of wilderness medicine.

2022 Peter Hackett, MD


Publication Awards


WEM Outstanding Contributor Award | Est. 2011

Given in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Wilderness & Environmental Medicine journal.

2022 Neal Pollock, PhD
2014 Luanne Freer, MD
2011 James A. Wilkerson, MD

Excellence in Peer Reviews Award | Est. 2010

Given in recognition of important contributions to the Wilderness & Environmental Medicine journal.

2023 Christopher Davis, MD, FAWM, DiMM; Ryan M. Eggers, MD, MA; Dr. med. Natalie Hölzl; Seth Collings Hawkins, MD, NREMT, MFAWM
2022 Marc Cassone, DO, FAWM, W-EMT, DiMM; Jennifer Dow, MD, FACEP, DiMM, FAWM; Daniel Keyler, Pharm.D., FAACT; Ziva Petrin, MD;
David A. Warrell, KCMG, DM, DSc, FRCP, FMedSci
2021     Al M Best, PhD; Kirsten Coffman, PhD; Susan (Sue) Hopkins, MD; Roy M. Salgado, PhD
2020     LTC David DeGroot, PhD, Stephanie Lareau, MD, Lara Phillips, MD
2019     Aaron Brillhart, MD; Bryan Jarrett, MD; David Rust, MD; Susanne J Spano, MD
2018     Robert Norris, MD; Steven Roy MD; Bryan Wilson MD
2017     Christopher Tedeschi, MD; Will R. Smith, MD; James H. Diaz, MD; James Lieberman, MD
2016     Cedric Yoshimoto, MD; Lori Weichenthal, MD; John Anderson, MD
2015     Kurt Eifling, MD; Jeremy Joslin, MD; Susanne J Spano, MD; Nicholas Kanaan, MD; Wayne Askew, PhD; John Saucier, MD
2014     Tod Schimelpfenig, WEMT; Albert R. “AJ” Wheeler, MD; Aaron D. Campbell, MD; David Hillebrandt, MBBS
2013     Ola Dunin-Bell, MD; Joseph Forrester, MD; Matthew Muller, PhD; Matiram Pun, MBBS
2012     Edward J. “Mel” Otten, MD; Vidal Haddad, Jr., MD; Michael Cardwell, BS; Thomas Welch, MD
2011    Howard Backer, MD; Colin K. Grissom, MD; Scott A. Weinstein, MD
2010     Linda Keyes, MD; Neal Pollock, PhD; George Rodway, PhD; Jeremy Windsor, MB ChB; Ken Zafren, MD

Wilderness Medicine Magazine Award | Est. 2023

Given in recognition of outstanding contributions to Wilderness Medicine Magazine.

2023 Elaine Yu, DO, MS, FAWM


Research Presentation Awards

Outstanding Research Presentation Award (Oral) | Est. 2016

Given in recognition of the best research abstract presentations in the field of wilderness medicine.

2023 Nellie Trenga-Schein – Exercise-Related Physiologic Response as a Predictor of Altitude Illness in Mountaineers
2022 Scott Rupp – Mechanical vs Manual CPR for Out of Hospital Non-Shockable Cardiac Arrest in Austere Environments: Pilot Study
2021 Amy Briggs – A novel application of a computer vision model to measure social distancing practices among visitors to Yosemite National Park 2020 Larissa Schäfer -  Acetazolamide cannot be recommended for HAPE prevention after rapid and active ascent to 4,559m 2019 Anne Walker - Novel Day of Ascent Dosing of Acetazolamide for Prevention of Acute Mountain Sickness 2018 Ross Hofmeyr - Influence of Altitude on Performance of the Methoxyflurane Inhalational Analgesic Device: A Hypobaric Laboratory Assessment 2017 James Lang - Oral L-Tyrosine Supplementation Improved Core Temperature Maintenance to Whole-Body Cold Exposure in Older Adults 2016 Justin Lawley - Direct Measurement of Intracranial Pressure in Hypobaric Hypoxia: Implications for Acute Mountain Sickness


Outstanding Research Presentation by a Researcher-in-Training Award (Oral) | Est. 2018

Given to a researcher-in-training in recognition of the best research abstract presentations in the field of wilderness medicine.

2023 Grant Nelson & Jessica Vittorelli – Wildermed: A Gamified Success for Wilderness Medicine in Residency
2022 William Mundo – Burnout & Stress Injuries among Backcountry Search and Rescue: A Cross-Sectional Analysis 2021 Chance Sullivan – Injury and Illness in Youth Wilderness Expeditions 2020 Taylor Docter  - Comparison of Radiographic, Ultrasound and Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Detection of Retained Stingray Foreign Body 2019 Brendan Milliner - Effect of Calcium-Channel Blockade on the Cold-Induced Vasodilation Response 2018 Patrick Burns - Acute Mountain Sickness Prevention With Ibuprofen Relative to Acetazolamide


Outstanding Research Poster Award | Est. 2017

Given in recognition of the best research poster presentations in the field of wilderness medicine.

2023 Outstanding Research Poster: Julia DeLuca – Ultrasound Gel Alternatives in an Austere Environment
2022 Nat Mann – Outcomes of Four Vial vs Five or Six Vial Dosing of Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab for Initial Control of Crotalid Envenomations in Upstate South Carolina
2021 Abby Ritter – Expanding the Utility of Wilderness Solar Water Disinfection: Evaluating Temperate Climates and Colored Water
2020 Jake McRae – Utilizing Drones in Search and Rescue Operations to Deliver Water to Dehydrated Victims Stranded in Remote Areas
2019 Yevgeniy Maksimenko - Drowning Injuries in the United States: Patient Characteristics and Complications in Hospitalized Patients Nationwide
2018 Gordon Paterson - Hypoxia Modulates Platelet Purinergic Signaling Pathways; Alana Hawley - Rock Climber Rescue Skills
2017 Juan Campodonico Rios - Voluntary Ventilatory Response v/s Acetazolamide in Acute Mountain Sickness. Preliminary findings of RCT