BOSTON – (May 4, 2015) – Lori Laffel, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Section on Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Diabetes at Joslin Diabetes Center and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, has been selected as the recipient of the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) 2015 Outstanding Physician Clinician Award. Dr. Laffel will be presented with the award at the ADA’s 75th Scientific Sessions in Boston, Massachusetts, during the National Scientific Achievement Awards presentation ceremony. Dr. Laffel is one of three Joslin recipients to receive an award at this year’s 75th Scientific Sessions.

Dr. Laffel is also the third Joslin recipient to receive Outstanding Physician Clinician Award. The other two recipients include Priscilla White, M.D., who received the award in 1978, and Lloyd M. Aiello, M.D., the Founding Director of the Beetham Eye Institute at Joslin, who accepted the award in 1999.  

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by the ADA for my efforts as a clinician and as an investigator,” said Dr. Laffel. “It’s particularly rewarding to be supported by my peers and to have been nominated by past recipients of this award, who I view as truly outstanding clinicians and contributors to the field of diabetes.”

Every year the ADA holds their annual Scientific Sessions, which is the largest diabetes meeting in the world and brings together nearly 14,000 participants, including clinicians and researchers from 124 countries. The five day meeting showcases timely and significant advances in basic science and the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.

The Outstanding Physician Clinic Award is one of the Association’s highest awards; it is presented annually to an individual who is actively involved in the clinical care of patients with diabetes. This award honors Dr. Laffel’s accomplishments and career history as both a mentor and healthcare provider.

“This is an exciting achievement for Dr. Laffel, which is certainly well-deserved,” said George King, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “For many years Dr. Laffel has delivered new and innovative treatments that have greatly improved diabetes management for pediatric patients.”

With over 25 years of experience, Dr. Laffel oversees New England’s largest pediatric diabetes clinic at Joslin. Under her leadership the clinic has quadrupled in size, and in addition, Dr. Laffel has helped to establish an extensive pediatric research program to compliment the clinic’s many clinical activities.

Dr. Laffel also serves as a Senior Investigator in the Section on Genetics and Epidemiology at the Joslin, where her research and clinical interests focus on preventing the late complications of type 1 diabetes and preserving the health, growth, development and family functioning of children, adolescents and young adults with diabetes. 

These successful research efforts have been translated into the routine clinical care for families of children with newly diagnosed or established diabetes at Joslin and help to form the basis of national and international initiatives. She helped to pioneer the development and implementation of a cost-effective model of care in which a “Care Ambassador” encourages routine clinic attendance and adherence to diabetes management tasks, such as blood glucose monitoring.

Dr. Laffel is actively involved with the ADA on both a national and regional level. She has been a member of the National Committee for Professional Practice Guidelines for the ADA, the inaugural Chair of the ADA’s Working Group on Transitions in Care for Young Adults with Diabetes, and past Chair of ADA’s Youth Strategies Committee. Dr. Laffel has been a member of the Advisory Board of the International Society of Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes (ISPAD) and a member on the Clinical Advisory Committee for the JDRF.

From 2009 to 2014, Dr. Laffel authored and co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications. She also authored the ADA Guidelines for Type 1 Diabetes Management across the lifespan and is the editor of two recently-published comprehensive, evidence-based books for the care of individuals with type 1 diabetes: Joslin’s Guide to Managing Childhood Diabetes and the American Diabetes Association/JDRF Type 1 Diabetes Sourcebook.

Dr. Laffel received her medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine, and her master’s degree in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her pediatric training at Boston Children’s Hospital and her fellowship training at Boston Children’s Hospital and Joslin.

“We are extraordinarily proud of Dr. Laffel and she is certainly very worthy of this award, given her unparalleled global leadership in all aspects of pediatric diabetes care and research,” said John L. Brooks III, President and CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center.

The other recipients of ADA awards are Dr. King, who will receive the 2015 Edwin Bierman Award, and Osama Hamdy, M.D., Ph.D, FACE, Medical Director of the Obesity Clinical Program at Joslin Diabetes Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, who will receive the 2015 Michaela Modan Memorial Award.

“I truly have to credit Joslin for all of the opportunities that have allowed me to develop into the clinician, educator, mentor and investigator that I am today,” commented Dr. Laffel. “It is Joslin’s unique environment that provides for training and career development as well as the independence and growth needed to make longstanding contributions to the field of diabetes. 

“Joslin absolutely shares this recognition and award with me,” she said.