IMIA François Grémy Award of Excellence
History of the Award: The International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA), at its 2001 General Assembly, held in London, UK, approved the establishment of a Medical Informatics Award of Excellence. The Award was initially made every three years, in conjunction with a MedInfo year. From 2013 onwards, the frequency became every two years, still in conjunction with Medinfo. From 2015, the award is known as the IMIA François Grémy Award of Excellence, in honour of Dr. François Grémy. This change recognises his foundational work in the establishment of IMIA and its predecessors, and his lifelong contribution to health and biomedical informatics in his home country, in Europe, and internationally. The winner of the award gives an Award Lecture at a plenary session at Medinfo, the World Congress of Health and Medical Informatics.
The recipient of this Medical Informatics Award of Excellence is an individual whose personal commitment and dedication to medical informatics has made a lasting contribution to medicine and healthcare through her or his achievements in research, education, development or application in the field of medical informatics.
The first and second awards were jointly given by IMIA and UMIT, the University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology at Innsbruck/Hall, Austria. In 2010 and 2013, the award is given solely by IMIA. From 2015, the award has received financial support from IMIA Society Members, the Association Française d’Informatique Médicale (French Medical Informatics Association – AIM), and the Schweitzerische Gesellshaft für Medizinische Informatik – Société Suisse d’Informatique Médicale (Swiss Society for Medical Informatics – SGMI).
Prof. François Grémy – First Recipient
The first IMIA/UMIT Medical Informatics Award of Excellence was given in 2004 during a ceremony at MedInfo 2004 in San Francisco CA, USA. The recipient was selected by a Nominating Committee consisting of two members nominated by IMIA – IMIA President Prof. KC Lun, Singapore, and IMIA Vice-President for MedInfos, Prof. Patrice Degoulet, Paris – and two members nominated by UMIT – UMIT Rector Prof. Reinhold Haux, Innsbruck, and Prof. Casimir Kulikowski, New Brunswick, Adjunct Faculty of UMIT – (positions as during the time of nomination, they have now partially changed).
The Nomination Committee unanimously selected Prof. François Grémy, Uzes, France, one of the founders of IMIA and an outstanding pioneer of the field of medical informatics. The award celebration took place on September 11, 2004 at MedInfo 2004 in San Francisco, CA culminating with Prof. Grémy’s Medical Informatics Award of Excellence Lecture, entitled “Hardware, Software, Peopleware, Subjectivity: A Philosophical Promenade“ which was published jointly with other papers on his work in one of the 2005 issues of Methods of Information in Medicine.
Prof. Jan van Bemmel – Second Recipient
The second IMIA/UMIT Medical Informatics Award of Excellence was given in 2007 during a ceremony at MedInfo 2007 in Brisbane, Australia. The recipient was selected by a Nominating Committee consisting of two members nominated by IMIA – IMIA President Dr. Nancy Lorenzi, Nashville, and IMIA Vice-President for MedInfos, Dr Antoine Geissbuhler, Geneva – and two members nominated by UMIT – Dr Elske Ammenwerth and Dr. Silvia Miksch.
The Nomination Committee unanimously selected Prof. Jan van Bemmel, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, who served as IMIA President for 2001-2004, and has been an outstanding pioneer of the field of medical informatics. The award celebration took place on August 24, 2007 at MedInfo 2007 in Brisbane, Australia, culminating with Prof. van Bemmel’s Medical Informatics Award of Excellence Lecture, entitled “Reflections on Curiosity“ which was published in the 2008 IMIA Yearbook of Medical Informatics.
Dr Marion Ball and Dr Hans Peterson (jointly) – Third Recipients
The third IMIA Award of Excellence was made at Medinfo 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa in September, 2010. The award is now purely an IMIA award, and the Nominating Committee comprised IMIA President Prof. Reinhold Haux, IMIA Vice President Dr Fernando Martin-Sanchez, APAMI Past President Prof. Yu-Chuan (Jack) Li and IMIA North America representative, Dr. David Bates.
The Nomination Committee unanimously selected two joint recipients of the 2010 Award – Marion Ball and Hans Peterson.
A short report on the recipients is given in the IMIA Yearbook 2011 (authored by Reinhold Haux) [free download]. Dr Ball’s paper “Back to the Future: What Have We Failed to Learn? How Does the Future Look?”, based in her award presentation at Medinfo2010, is also available in the 2011 IMIA Yearbook of Medical Informatics [free download].
Prof. Dr. Reinhold Haux – Fourth Recipient
The fourth IMIA Award of Excellence was made at Medinfo2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. the Nominating Committee comprised IMIA President Prof. Antoine Geissbuhler, IMIA Vice Presidents Prof Riccardo Bellazzi and Prof. Hyeoun-Ae Park, and Dr Brian Haynes from Canada. Several very good nominations were received and considered by the committee.
The Nomination Committee unanimously selected Prof. Dr. Reinhold Haux as the recipient of the 2013 Award. Prof. Haux delivered an award presentation in the closing session of Medinfo2013, titled “On determining factors for good research in biomedical and health informatics. Some lessons learned”. The paper based on this is available in the IMIA Yearbook of Medical Informatics 2014 – free download
Dr. Enrico Coiera and Dr. Patrice Degoulet (jointly) – Fifth Recipients
The fourth IMIA Award of Excellence was made at Medinfo2015 in São Paulo, Brazil. The Nominating Committee, lead by IMIA President Prof. Lincoln A Moura Jr., received stellar nominations from around the world.
Dr. Lincoln A Moura Jr., IMIA’s President, presented the awards on Saturday, August 22nd, at MedInfo 2015’s morning keynote address. “I am very honoured, as IMIA’s President, to bestow this recognition to both Enrico and Patrice”, said Dr. Lincoln A Moura Jr., “they are extremely well recognized professionals in our field and it is a momentous occasion for IMIA to recognize them for their outstanding contributions to the field of health and biomedical informatics.”
Professor Enrico Coiera is a Professor and Director at the Centre for Health Informatics for the Australian Institute of Health Innovation at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He has a keen interest in the application of information and communication technologies (e-Health) for solving health service delivery problems, and has a reputation for developing theoretical work to support the applied nature of much of this discipline. “To be chosen for this particular award, arguably the highest recognition in our field, is a great honour.” said Professor Dr. Coiera,““I recall that my first involvement with IMIA was in 1990 when I represented Australia at an IMIA Board meeting. Over the years I have supported our Medinfo Conference through its scientific and editorial committees, and a few years back I took on the role of Vice-President (Medinfo), supporting the Cape Town conference and Copenhagen’s successful bid. So, IMIA is like a family for me.”
After being trained as MD with a specialty in nephrology, Professor Degoulet obtained in 1984 his PhD thesis in Medical Informatics from the Pitié-Salpêtrière School of Medicine under the direction of Professor François Grémy, founder of the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA). He is currently a Professor and director of the public health and medical informatics department at the Paris Descartes School of Medicine and former chief information officer of the Pompidou University Hospital in Paris, France. His current teaching activity is focused on biomedical informatics at the Paris Descartes University and the coordinating since 1989 of a national Master and PhD degree on biomedical informatics. “This a great honor for me to receive the IMIA François Grémy Award of Excellence at least from two main perspectives. IMIA is a true international association that I had the chance to work with at various positions since 1977.” Said Professor Degoulet., ” Second because the IMIA Award has been recently renamed in recognition of François Grémy, the founder of the Association, who’s visionary capacity to mix “hard and soft sciences” has paved the way to what biomedical informatics has become and continues to strive towards.”.