Each year, SAHM recognizes adolescent health professionals for their commitment to furthering the field and advancing the cause of adolescent health and well-being. In a typical year this recognition would have taken place at the in-person annual meeting but due to COVID-19 the 2022 meeting was a limited virtual program and SAHM was not able to recognize these outstanding individuals in front of their peers. 

Click a link to view a specific award.


Career Development Award in Adolescent Health 

The Career Development Award in Adolescent Health is directed towards promoting interest in a career in adolescent health. The historical purpose of this award is to facilitate interest in a career in adolescent medicine/health or to reinforce those who have already made this decision.

photocache-210898.jpgRecipient: Shivani Mathur Gaiha, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Stanford University
Project Title: Countering E-cigarette Marketing in the Retail Environment amoung Adolescents and Young Adults

Dr. Shivani Mathur Gaiha is an Instructor in the Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. She has a Ph.D. in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She has training in Epidemiology and expertise applying both quantitative and qualitative methods to tobacco regulatory science. With the goal of preventing and reducing tobacco-related risks and disease, Dr. Gaiha’s research focuses on four key areas: assessing adolescent and young adult patterns of tobacco use, identifying factors associated with use of new tobacco products such as electronic cigarettes, evaluating the effects of tobacco prevention programs, and understanding, and countering the appeal of e-cigarette-related marketing. Dr. Gaiha is the recipient of the K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award in Tobacco Regulatory Science from the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health and has received additional support from the Stanford Maternal and Child Health Research Institute. She is currently a subject matter expert for the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health to inform a new youth anti-vaping campaign to support educators. Dr. Gaiha has additional global health experience related to health promotion, where she developed and evaluated an arts-based program that reduced mental-health-related stigma among young adults in India and a community-based program that increased treatment-seeking for mental disorders in underserved areas. She received the Queen’s Young Leader runner up award and PHFI-UKC Wellcome Trust Capacity Strengthening Award for her doctoral studies. She has applied digital technologies, entertainment-education and community-based participatory research to advance healthy behaviors.


Charles E. Irwin, Jr. New Investigators Award

The major focus of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine is to promote the development, synthesis, and dissemination of scientific and scholarly knowledge unique to the development and health care needs of adolescents. The Society has established the Charles E. Irwin New Investigator Award to recognize Professional-Headshot.jpgprofessionals who, through excellence in research, have furthered the Society's goals.

Recipient: Tyia Wilson
Title: Exploring the Impact of Racism on Black Youth: A Multidimensional Examination of Discriminatory Experiences Across Place and Time



LGBTQIA Adolescent & Young Adult Health Research Award

This is the fourth annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) Adolescent and Young Adult Health Research Award to support research and program evaluation focused on LGBTQIA adolescents and young adults, ages 13 to 26 years. The goal of this award is to increase the visibility of the needs of this unique, diverse and resilient population.

Baer-K.jpegRecipient: Baer Karrington

Project Title:  Pediatrics Supporting transgender and gender diverse teens who are unhoused: A clinical care innovation qualitative project

This clinical care innovation project is a qualitative study that will explore the psychosocial needs of transgender and gender expansive (TGE) youth who are unhoused.

Hilary E.C. Millar Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent health

The Hilary E.C. Millar Award for Innovative Approaches to Adolescent Health recognizes original and innovative programs that predominantly focus on adolescent health.

Recipient: Debra Hauser, MPH
Title of Program: Advocates for Youth: Filling in the Gaps of Honest and Inclusive Sex Education and Racial Justice in Teaching (AMAZE and Racial Justice)

Outstanding Achievement in Adolescent Health and Medicine

The Outstanding Achievement Award in Adolescent Medicine was established in 1981 to recognize individuals nationally and internationally for their commitment to improving the health and health care resources for adolescents and young adults.

Recipient: Venkatraman 

Dr V Chandra-Mouli MBBS, MSc
Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research, World Health Organization and
UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Human Reproductive Programme
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChandraMouliWHO
Website: www.drvchandramouli.com
I lead the work on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRHR) in the World Health Organization’s Department of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Research (which includes the UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Human Reproductive Programme). My work includes building the epidemiologic and evidence base on ASRHR and supporting countries to translate this data and evidence into action through well-conceived and well-managed policies and programmes.
I am originally from India, but have lived and worked outside the country since 1982. I completed my undergraduate medical training at the Osmania University, Hyderabad, India in 1980, and my postgraduate training in public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, England in 1989. I am now working to complete my doctorate at the University of Ghent, Belgium.
I joined WHO in April 1993 and worked on HIV prevention in WHO’s Global Programme on AIDS (till December 1995) and on supporting HIV country programmes in the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (till June 1996).  From July 1996, my work has focussed on adolescent health in different departmental configurations in WHO. Before joining the organization, I worked for 12 years in Zambia (first in providing clinical services, then in preventing childhood malnutrition, and finally in preventing HIV and providing care and support to people living with HIV, in India (providing technical and financial support for HIV-related work at the early stage of the country’s response), and in Zimbabwe (setting up a regional training and mentoring initiative).
When I started working on adolescent health in the mid 1990s, the question being asked from the global to the national levels around the world was: Why do we need to address adolescents ? We responded by setting out the public health, economic and human rights arguments for this. By the start of the 2010s, there was growing recognition of the importance of addressing adolescents. The question being asked then was: What do we need to do to address adolescents ? We responded with syntheses of the available evidence of the effectiveness of interventions and intervention delivery mechanisms. Today, the question that is increasing being asked is: How do we do what needs to be done to address adolescents, in our social, cultural and economic context ? While continuing to make the case for action and to point to what works and what does not, our focus now is on learning from and with countries on what it takes to scale up the delivery of proven interventions at scale, with quality and equity, while involving adolescents meaningfully.  Our documentation of ‘positive deviant’ countries, our implementation research and our technical assistance to countries addresses questions such as how to build support and overcome resistance to sexuality education, how to ensure that health workers know what they need to do if their patients are 16, not 6 or 26, and deliver services with empathy and without judgement, and how to meet the needs and fulfil the rights of those being left behind.  
I am especially proud of the documentation work I have led over the last ten years which has contributed to changing the discourse on ASRHR from: ‘complicated, difficult to do, nearly impossible to show results in,’ to – the Obama era slogan – ‘Yes we can’. We have shown that rates of adolescent pregnancy and childbearing, HIV infections and HIV-related mortality, child marriage and female genital mutilation’ have been reduced even in countries with weak health and education systems, restrictive social norms and financial constraints.
Twenty-five years ago, when I joined WHO’s Adolescent Health Programme – which had been set up by Herbert Friedman and Jane Ferguson – only three other departments in WHO were working on adolescent health. Today, over 15 WHO departments are doing so. This increase in interest in adolescent health within WHO reflects what is happening within and outside the United Nations system, and more importantly in countries and communities around the world. It has been – and continues to be – a real privilege to work with individuals and organizations from around the world. I feel deeply grateful and rewarded at many levels. 

Racial Justice and Health Equity award

The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM) is excited to announce theJ-BurnsHeadshot-ALT.jpg first annual SAHM Racial Justice and Health Equity Award. ‎The purpose of this annual award is to support research and program evaluation focused on ‎racial justice and/or health equity within adolescent health and medicine. 

Recipient: Jade Burns, Ph.D., RN, CPNP-PC
Project Title:  The Use of New Media to improve Access to Sexual Reproductive Health Services among Young Black Males in a Community-Based Setting

Regional Chapter Recognition Award

This award recognizes a Regional Chapter member for outstanding service to akumar_headshot.jpg particular chapter – This chapter this year is the SoCal Chapter.

Recipient:  Maya Kumar, MD


Dr. Kumar is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California San Diego.  She is an award-winning clinician, educator, and youth advocate who provides subspecialty care to adolescents of diverse backgrounds at Rady Children’s Hospital’s Adolescent and Young Adult Clinic and the hospital’s Medical Behavioral Unit (eating disorder inpatient unit). She has been instrumental to the leadership at Rady Children's Hospital in developing their new Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine (formed in 2020) to serve all adolescents and young adults, including foster youth, LGBTQ+ youth, and youth living in poverty. Dr. Kumar leads a multi-disciplinary eating disorder clinic task force, convened to create a new clinic where patients and their families (particularly those with Medicaid) can receive state-of- the-art multidisciplinary care.  She received the “CARES” Award (Compassion, Accountability, Respect, Excellence, and Service) by Rady Children’s Hospital because of her innovative teaching, quality of patient care, and responsiveness to the ever-changing landscape of health in adolescents.

Dr. Kumar has demonstrated excellence in educating students, residents and professionals of multiple disciplines in the care of vulnerable youth. She has created educational videos, taught webinars and given presentations on a wide swath of adolescent health topics. She was awarded the prestigious Whitehall Prize for Excellence in Clinical Teaching from the University of California San Diego in 2017. 

Dr. Kumar founded the Adolescent Health Committee of the San Diego and Imperial Counties chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics to help address the special needs of vulnerable adolescents. Her AAP chapter named her their “Doctor of the Quarter” in 2018, and their Early Career Physician of the Year in 2021.  In 2017, she received a Special Achievement Award by the National AAP for her expertise, advocacy work and community service.

Dr Kumar joined SAHM in 2011 and is well-known to our organization for her many contributions to SAHM over the years. Dr. Kumar is the Chair of SAHM’s Nutrition Committee. She is also the lead author of two recent SAHM position papers on nutritional disorders in adolescents and has led multiple workshops with her committee colleagues on these topics at SAHM's annual conferences.  


Vaughn rickert Vaccine research Award

Established in honor of SAHM Past President Dr. Vaughn Rickert, clinicalDr-Amy-Middleman-Headshot-Jan-2022-(1).PNG psychologist, past President of SAHM and Adolescent ‎Medicine Section Chief at Indiana University, who passed away unexpectedly in June of 2015.  In addition to ‎his skills as a leader, mentor, and collaborator, Vaughn was deeply and enthusiastically committed to ‎improving rates of adolescent vaccination through research and advocacy. To honor his exceptional ‎service to SAHM and his contributions to adolescent health, SAHM and Indiana University have ‎established this award for a period of 10 years, starting with the 2017 SAHM meeting in New Orleans. ‎This award recognizes the top-rated abstract submission focused on vaccination research. 

Recipient: Amy Middleman, MD, MPH, MSEd, FSAHM
Title: Vaccines for Teens: Attitudes Across the Pandemic on Routine and COVID-19 Vaccines

Amy B. Middleman, MD, M.S. Ed, M.P.H, is a professor of pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma, College of Medicine, in Oklahoma City, where she also serves as medical director of the ambulatory clinics of the Children’s service line for OU Health, Medical Director of the Adolescent Medical Clinic, Chief of the Section of Adolescent Medicine, and Children’s Hospital Foundation Kasterke-Griggs-McLaughlin Chair. In addition, she is board certified through the American Board of Pediatrics in Adolescent Medicine.

Dr. Middleman has participated in or served as principal investigator for grants focusing on adolescent immunization. She has authored or co-authored over 100 publications on adolescent immunizations and other adolescent health issues. Dr. Middleman has been the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine’s liaison to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2004.

Dr. Middleman earned her medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, her master’s degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education, and her master’s degree in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. Dr. Middleman completed her internship and residency in Pediatrics at Children's Memorial Hospital, Northwestern University, Chicago, and completed a clinical fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Children's Hospital, Harvard University in Boston.

(Back to top)

More in this Section