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Duke's Dan Blazer Receives Distinguished Service Medal from IOM

DURHAM, N.C. -- The Institute of Medicine (IOM) honored Dan G. Blazer, M.D., Ph.D., the J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at Duke University School of Medicine, with the Walsh McDermott Medal for distinguished service over an extended period.

Blazer has served on three IOM boards, chairing two. He currently chairs the Board on the Health of Select Populations and a new ad hoc committee on the public health dimensions of cognitive aging. He has been a member of 16 study committees, six of which he chaired, and four advisory committees.

“Dr. Blazer is most deserving of this prestigious award,” said Nancy C. Andrews, M.D., Ph.D., dean of the Duke University School of Medicine. “His service to the Institute of Medicine, which has spanned many years and in many different roles, clearly demonstrates his passionate commitment to the health and well-being of people in the United States and throughout the world.”

Blazer has seen nine IOM studies through the review phase and also served as a member and chair of the IOM Membership Committee.

“His acumen as a physician, epidemiologist, and researcher, especially pertaining to mental health in older populations, is well-leveraged and recognized both inside and outside of the IOM,” stated a press release issued by the IOM. “Blazer’s consummate epidemiological skills have helped guide several key advisory committees, and his knowledge in the fields of geriatrics and psychiatry made him an ideal chair for the Committee on the Mental Health Workforce for Geriatric Populations.”

The institute also cited Blazer’s extensive work on behalf of military service members and veterans.

Established in 1970 under the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM provides independent, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals and the public. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.