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Lifetime Achievement Award

Manuel Lipson, M.D.

In October 1993, the Massachusetts Medical Society House of Delegates voted to create the Lifetime Achievement Award. This award honors one member of the Society who has made “a lasting contribution to the practice of medicine over his or her lifetime” and who has also made a significant contribution to the goals of the Society through a demonstration of leadership, recruitment, committee involvement, or similar work. Previous recipients of this award include Nicholas J. Fiumara, M.D., Grant V. Rodkey, M.D., Louis Weinstein, M.D, Leonard J. Morse, M.D., Joseph E. Murray, M.D., Mary Ellen Avery, M.D., Francis D. Moore, M.D., and Jane F. Desforges, M.D.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Massachusetts Medical Society. The recipient of the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award is Manuel Lipson, M.D.

A member of the Massachusetts Medical Society since 1968, Dr. Lipson has served the Society in many capacities, including on the Committees on Legislation, Interspecialty, and Membership, and as an active member of the House of Delegates. Dr. Lipson also served as chair of the Committee on Tax-Supported Medical Care. During this time, he worked with extraordinary tenacity and skill representing the physicians of Massachusetts and the patients they serve.

Nominated by Charles A. Welch, M.D., Dr. Lipson is best known for his leadership in the field of rehabilitation medicine. As president and chief executive officer of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, he led its transition from a nursing home with two physicians to a hospital with national prominence. During this time, he created twenty new specialty programs in rehabilitation medicine, including programs in brain injury, stroke, amputation, and cardiology. In addition to creating exemplary clinical services, he also created over a dozen postgraduate fellowships, transforming Spaulding into one of the premier training centers in rehabilitation medicine.

Born in Cambridge, Mass., Dr. Lipson completed his training in Boston and held many academic appointments. He has served as president and chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Cape and Islands; he became president of Spaulding Hospital in 1974 and remained there until 1998. Dr. Lipson also worked vigorously at other institutions, such as St. Vincent’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical Center. He was a reviewer for The New England Journal of Medicine and the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Honored with the Distinguished Public Service Award of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Dr. Lipson has also written eight abstracts, twelve reviews, and a multitude of educational materials for Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.

In a nomination letter, a supporter wrote “Dr. Lipson is a legend in New England for his advocacy on behalf of physical medicine and rehabilitation; for the breadth and depth of his knowledge; for his tireless efforts to educate physicians, administrators, payers, and legislators on various issues; and for his friendly, open, down-to-earth manner and good humor.”

The Massachusetts Medical Society is privileged to honor Manuel Lipson, M.D., with the 2002 Lifetime Achievement Award.