Dr. Joshua D. Lenchus Named Humanitarian of the Year

Mentor, educator and hospitalist Joshua D. Lenchus, D.O., R.Ph., President of the Medical Staff at Jackson Health System, was the guest of honor at the Samuel M. and Helene Soref Jewish Community Center’s 18th annual Humanitarian of the Year gala. Hundreds of friends, colleagues and family members gathered at the Signature Grand in Davie for the April 27 event to recognize Lenchus for his exemplary leadership in the field of medicine.

As he accepted the 2014 Bill Keith Humanitarian of the Year Award to thunderous applause, Lenchus humbly told the crowd that despite what they may have heard, he is not that different from many of his colleagues who have dedicated their lives to caring for the sick, while advocating for the future of medicine.

“I accept this award as a representative of all those who practice the art of healing,” said Lenchus, who also is associate professor of clinical medicine in the Division of Hospital Medicine at the Miller School. “I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have recognized my dream of becoming a doctor. But it is a dream I would have never achieved if not for the unparalleled understanding and generosity of my family and friends. To all those who have supported me, I sincerely thank you.”

Lenchus also was presented with two proclamations declaring April 27 Dr. Joshua D. Lenchus Appreciation Day – one from Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief and the other from Mayor Judy Paul from the Town of Davie, where Lenchus lives.

Chosen by his peers, in 2012 Lenchus became the first osteopathic physician and, at 42, the youngest to be elected medical staff president in Jackson’s 94-year history. He represents the nearly 2,500 physicians, licensed independent practitioners and allied health professionals as they work with Jackson Health System President and Chief Executive Officer Carlos A. Migoya and his leadership team.

“Our entire community should be proud that Dr. Lenchus has earned such a prestigious honor from an organization that truly understands civic engagement,” said Migoya. “Dr. Lenchus’ role as president of Jackson’s medical staff is just one reflection of belief in community wellness, and everyone in South Florida benefits from his work as a champion of public health.”

Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth, described Lenchus as an influential patient safety advocate and essential role model in medical education.

“Josh serves a critical part of our mission to provide excellence in education and clinical care,” Goldschmidt said. “We are lucky to have this world-class leader to teach our students and residents to become the most caring and effective physicians they can be.”

Lenchus created a crisis management simulation course for internal medicine residents and in 2007 he developed a novel training program using simulation-based technology to teach medical students, nurses and house staff to more safely perform invasive bedside procedures. Now in its seventh year, the program has transformed the way procedures are taught and performed, reducing complications and providing safer patient care. His innovative teaching methods and excellence in patient safety have earned him several awards, as well as appointments as associate program director of the Jackson internal medicine residency training program and associate director of the UM/Jackson Center for Patient Safety.

Senior resident Stacy Lieberman, M.D., says she is privileged to have trained under Lenchus and has directly benefited from an educator and mentor who is “down-to earth” and “always available.”

“While he is one of the best educators we have, an effective leader and mentor to numerous medical students, residents and even colleagues, what makes him unique is how he has remained the same guy,” said Lieberman, who has excelled throughout her internal medicine residency under the leadership of Lenchus and will serve as chief resident next year. “Despite being one of the busiest people I know, he’s always available in any capacity he’s needed and has a constant and transparent presence in our program.”

A 2000 graduate of the Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lenchus has become a respected voice on numerous hospital committees, including Jackson’s Medical Executive Committee, the University of Miami Health Care Policy Committee and Health Law Pathway Advisory Committee. In addition to holding a number of key leadership positions in local, state and national medical organizations, he also is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Senior Fellow in Hospital Medicine and Senior Fellow with the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest.

Lenchus chairs the Florida Medical Association’s Council on Healthy Floridians, serves on the Board of Directors for the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, is a member of the Public Policy Committee of the Society of Hospital Medicine, and is a past member of the Medical Practice and Quality Council and current chair of the Council of Early Career Physicians for the American College of Physicians. He has provided testimony during multiple state legislative sessions, advocating for public policy affecting the availability of high quality and affordable healthcare in South Florida.

Fittingly, proceeds from the event supported Soref Jewish Community Center’s scholarship program for children with special needs and WECARE food pantry, which Lenchus called “noble causes befitting of the very definition of humanitarian.”

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