By Rosanne FohnRichard Usatine, M.D.
|Julie Wisdom-Wild, (left) CEO of Alpha Home, congratulates Richard Usatine, M.D., on his Lone Star Award from the Association of Substance Abuse Programs. Wisdom-Wild nominated Dr. Usatine for the award.|
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, was honored in September with a Lone Star Award, a statewide honor from the Association of Substance Abuse Programs. He is a professor of family and community medicine and assistant director of medical humanities education at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio.Promoting compassionate care
Dr. Usatine was honored for his compassionate care of homeless families and the medically underserved, especially through a student-run free clinic he co-founded in 2005 with Alpha Home, a nonprofit treatment center in San Antonio for women with chemical dependency.Educating the next generation
His award also recognizes the training he provides for Health Science Center medical students through Alpha Home and four additional student-run free clinics
he and his students founded and that he supervises through the university’s Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics
in the School of Medicine. He is known for fostering in students and medical residents the desire to provide treatment in a loving and nonjudgmental manner.Essential services for women recovering from addictions
Dr. Usatine was nominated for the award by Julie Wisdom-Wild, CEO of Alpha Home. “It was my privilege to nominate Dr. Usatine for this prestigious award. Because of Dr. Usatine’s work, we have integrated behavioral, physical and mental health care services into our program. These are invaluable services for the women we serve.”Giving back to help patients in need
“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of our faculty and students who are doing such great work in the community,” Dr. Usatine said. “I am very conscious of the importance of being a good role model for our students and I derive great pleasure from working with vulnerable populations in the community. I believe it is very important for physicians to give back to their communities and I want students to see their faculty living this ideal.” Student-run free clinics
The other four student-run free clinics
are the Haven for Hope CentroMed Clinic, the Refugee Health Clinic, the SAMM Clinic and the Travis Park Dermatology Clinic.
Dr. Usatine came to the Health Science Center in 2003 after beginning four student-run free clinics in Los Angeles.Additional award winners
Only four individuals are selected for the Lone Star award each year. The award honors an individual, organization or corporation, and representatives of government for outstanding leadership and distinctive contributions to the addiction field. Also honored this year were Texas State Sen. Jane Nelson of District 12; Texas State Rep. John Zerwas, M.D., of District 28; and the Women’s Auxiliary of Nexus.