Awards & Honors

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Awards & Honors2019-03-18T18:50:06+00:00

A Chapter That Achieves

The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics is proud to represent the best of pediatrics in Wisconsin. Together, we have achieved great things through dedication to the profession, continuous self-evaluation, and hard work. We pride ourselves on providing our members that opportunity to grow and develop both professionally and personally through networking, open forums, and a focus on quality improvement. Our greatest accomplishments, by far, are the improvements in care stemming from these programs. We are honored that these services have been recognized on a national level by the American Academy of Pediatrics. WIAAP has received the following awards:

Outstanding Chapter Award

Outstanding Chapter Awards recognize AAP chapters for excellence in programs that promote the health and welfare of children. Winners were announced at the Annual Chapter Forum in September, and the awards are presented at the Annual Business Luncheon during the AAP Annual Meeting. Outstanding Chapter Awards are made possible by an educational grant from Wyeth-Lederle Vaccines and Pediatrics. These awards are presented in four categories: small chapter, medium chapter, large chapter, and very large chapter.

1984 – Wisconsin Chapter – Medium Chapter
1997 – Wisconsin Chapter – Medium Chapter

Award of Chapter Excellence

This award recognizes excellence in programs that advance the welfare of children. These awards are given to chapters that are nominated for Outstanding Chapter Awards

2018 – Wisconsin – Large Chapter
2016 – Wisconsin – Large Chapter
2015 – Wisconsin – Large Chapter
2014 – Wisconsin – Large Chapter
2012 – Wisconsin – Large Chapter
2011 – Wisconsin – Large Chapter

Awards and Accolades

The Wisconsin Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics presents three yearly awards to honor those who have advanced children’s healthcare and well-being through unmatched service, community involvement, and advocacy. These distinguished WIAAP members are actively involved with the chapter, show excellence in clinical areas, are involved in advocacy and special projects or programs that serve the needs of children, and are well-respected in both medical and local communities.

Chapter Members

Pediatrician of the Year

The WIAAP Pediatrician of the Year award is given to an outstanding pediatrician who has contributed to the improvement of child health care at the chapter level. It can also be given for either a special project or for years of service on behalf of children.

2017 WIAAP Pediatrician of the YearJames_Meyer_MD_FAAP
James Meyer, MD, FAAP

Acting on an early interest in adolescent medicine, Dr. James Meyer started his practice at Marshfield Clinic in 1986. He continues to treat a range of conditions that includes psychological/physiological disorders, contraceptive management, acne, genitourinary issues, and athletic injuries. “I have always enjoyed treating adolescents, particularly in the area of preventive medicine – alleviating problems before they arise or get worse,” he said. An important part of Dr. Meyer’s practice involves interaction with families. “In many cases, a young person’s individual health may be affected by family issues,” he noted. “I work with families to create strategies that enhance their overall well-being, and give them confidence that we have accurately diagnosed their child’s condition and provided the proper treatment.” Dr. Meyer earned his medical degree at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. The Marshfield native completed his residency at Marshfield Clinic/St. Joseph’s Hospital, and a fellowship in adolescent medicine at the University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle. He also serves as clinical assistant professor of clinical pediatrics for the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. When he is not practicing medicine or teaching, Dr. Meyer enjoys mountain hiking and woodworking.

Special Achievement Awards

The Special Achievement Award is awarded by the AAP and is given to individuals for their work on a new and innovative project in the past year or for their lifetime achievement in pediatric work.

Ernestine Willis, MD, MPH, FAAP


Raj Naik, MD, FAAP

Veronica Gunn, MD, MPH, FAAP2016
Veronica Gunn, MD, MPH, FAAP


David Bernhardt, MD, FAAP

Elizabeth Neary, MD, FAAP

Kevin Walter, MD, FAAP


Legislator of the Year Award

The WIAAP Legislator of the Year award is presented to a Wisconsin legislator responsible for outstanding work as an advocate for children and children’s healthcare.

2016 Legislator of the Year Award
Joan Ballweg

Currently, Joan is the Co-Chair of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, and Vice-Chair of the Committee on Regulatory Licensing Reform. She is also a member of the following committees: Mental Health, Children and Families, Rules, Jobs and the Economy, International Affairs and Commerce, Tourism, Joint Legislative Council, Colleges and Universities, and the Speaker’s Task Force on Foster Care. Recently, Joan was re-appointed as a commissioner to the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and elected into the leadership rotation of the Council of State Governments, a national organization serving all three branches of government.

Community Service Award

The WIAAP Community Service Award is presented to a state resident who has contributed outstanding work as an advocate for children and children’s healthcare.

Richard_Immler_MD_FAAP2014 WIAAP Community Service Award
Richard Immler, MD, FAAP

Dr. Richard Immler is a psychiatrist in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and is affiliated with Ascension St. Mary’s Hospitals. He received his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and has been in practice for more than 20 years.

Past Award Winners

See Past Recipients

Nomination and Selection Process

Nominations for the Pediatrician of the Year, Community Service Award, Legislator of the Year, and AAP Special Achievement Award are accepted from the chapter membership and are presented at the chapter annual meeting.

Selection Criteria for Pediatrician of the Year Award:

  • Active involvement in local chapter initiatives
  • Work in the area of advocacy for children
  • Involvement in community public awareness campaigns on behalf of children
  • Excellence in clinical areas
  • Active involvement on state-level committees
  • Active involvement in the passage of state legislation benefiting children
  • Involvement in special projects, programs, committees, or activities that serve the needs of children
  • Well respected in medical and public communities
  • Longevity and contributions to the profession and practice of pediatrics
  • Recognized mentor of the younger generation of pediatricians through participation in academic or other interface with medical students, residents and/or young physicians

Selection Criteria for Community Service Award:

  • Demonstrated service to a project or cause on behalf of children and the health of children
  • Established community involvement to effect change in systems affecting children’s issues
  • Proven commitment to children’s issues
  • Local or state champion of causes affecting children

Selection Criteria Legislator of the Year Award:

  • Authored or co-authored legislation impacting children’s issues
  • Proven track record of voting in favor of legislation promoting children’s health
  • Public support of issues concerning the health and well-being of children
  • Singular, vocal and informed proponent of a particularly complex or relevant legislative initiative

Nomination Form

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*** The number of recipients per award fluctuates each year depending on nominations and eligibility – some years there are multiple recipients and rarely, the award is not given out.