As part of the ACOFP 58th Annual Convention and Scientific Seminars, ACOFP, the ACOFP Education and Research Foundation and the Auxiliary to the ACOFP recognized exceptional members and their contributions to the organization and the osteopathic profession. These winners were selected by their fellow members, committees, state societies, colleges of osteopathic medicine, residency programs and the ACOFP Board of Governors.

2021 Osteopathic Family Physician of the Year

The ACOFP Osteopathic Family Physician of the Year Award honors physicians who have made outstanding contributions to the osteopathic profession and local communities.

Bruce C. Brink, Jr., DO, FACOFP

A third-generation osteopathic physician, Dr. Brink, Jr., joined his father’s family practice in 1979, where he continues to practice. He became involved with ACOFP shortly after beginning his family medicine career, serving on several committees, and he became an ACOFP Fellow in 2000 with his father, Dr. Brink, Sr., marking the first time that a father and son became Fellows concurrently.

Dr. Brink, Jr., is a past president of the Indiana Osteopathic Association, where he currently volunteers as chairman of the continuing medical education (CME) committee, providing leadership in developing high-quality CME programs. In addition to being an active volunteer within the profession, he is active in his local community, helping to launch the Tulip Tree Rural Health, a much-needed low-income community clinic, serving as its first medical director.

2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

The ACOFP Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals for career-long service to their patients, osteopathic family medicine and ACOFP.

Joel M. Feder, DO, FACOFP dist.

A retired U.S. Navy Medical Corps captain, Dr. Feder has received numerous awards from the U.S. Navy, the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and ACOFP for his service and dedication to the profession. He was the 2013 recipient of the ACOFP Osteopathic Family Physician of the Year Award. He became an ACOFP Fellow in 2009 and a Distinguished Fellow in 2016.

Dr. Feder is an active volunteer with ACOFP, serving as a member of the Executive Council of the ACOFP Conclave of Fellows; chair of the ACOFP Program Committee; member of the ACOFP Knowledge, Learning and Assessment Advisory Committee; and recent participant on the Task Force of Convention Innovation. He has also served in numerous roles outside of ACOFP, including his current role as vice chair of the American Osteopathic Association Council of OMED. He is also actively involved at the state and local levels of the Military Officers Association of America.

2021 Certificate of Special Recognition

The ACOFP Certificate of Special Recognition honors individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional accomplishment and service to ACOFP in areas that serve to advance family physicians, the osteopathic profession and the wellbeing of the patients ACOFP members serve.

Robert C. DeLuca, DO, FACOFP dist.

Dr. DeLuca has practiced family medicine for 35 years in Eastland, Texas, and is an associate professor of family medicine at the University of North Texas Health Science Center’s Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, his alma mater.

Since becoming a member of ACOFP in 1986, he has been actively engaged in the organization, serving on various committees and joining the Board of Governors in 2012. He became an ACOFP Fellow in 2002 and received his Distinguished Fellow designation in 2014.

As immediate past president, Dr. DeLuca served an unconventional 18-month term to help ACOFP navigate the changing healthcare landscape in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of his leadership during this time, ACOFP was able to shift priorities, while still providing continuous and quality services to members.

2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award

The inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award was created to recognize osteopathic family physicians who make significant contributions toward enhancing DEI within the profession, honoring those who have demonstrated behaviors or led initiatives that foster these principles within diverse and underrepresented communities.

Tejal Patel, DO

A self-described “inclusion champion,” Dr. Patel is the associate program director and residency director for students, alumni and recruitment at the Doctors Hospital Family Medicine Residency in Grove City, Ohio, as well as associate professor of family medicine at the Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine in Dublin, Ohio. She recently implemented a program for family medicine residents in the residency program called “Elephant Rounds,” a forum that provides a safe space for residents and faculty to discuss topics such as implicit bias and microaggressions.

Since 2018, Dr. Patel has served on various committees at the hospital, including the Diversity and Inclusion Council, and is actively involved in several professional associations, including ACOFP, the Ohio ACOFP, the American Osteopathic Association and the Ohio Osteopathic Association. Dr. Patel is past president of the Columbus Osteopathic Association.

In 2017, Dr. Patel received the Clinical Preceptor of the Year Award from the Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, and in 2019, she received the Young Family Physician of the Year Award from the Ohio ACOFP.

2021 Excellence in Advocacy Award

The ACOFP Excellence in Advocacy Award recognizes physicians who have significantly contributed their time and expertise to national healthcare policy issues and is named in honor of Marcelino J. Olivia Jr., DO, FACOFP dist.

Ira P. Monka, DO, MHA, FACOFP

Dr. Monka has been an osteopathic family physician in New Jersey for the past 35 years, currently serving as attending physician for Atlantic Medical Group/Morristown Medical Center and as medical director of the Medical Institute of New Jersey. He was recognized as one of the top doctors in the state by New Jersey Monthly Magazine in 2007, as well as 2009–2013.

As an active member of the osteopathic community, Dr. Monka has served in many roles at ACOFP, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons over the years. In 2007, he joined the ACOFP Federal Legislation and Advocacy Committee, and in 2019, he joined the ACOFP Practice Management Committee. Roles with the AOA include third vice president, member of the Bureau of State Government Affairs and 2012 program chair for OMED. Dr. Monka is also a past president of the New Jersey Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons.

2021 Osteopathic Family Medicine Educator of the Year

This ACOFP Osteopathic Family Medicine Educator of the Year was launched in 2010 and honors individuals who exemplify the osteopathic family medicine profession’s highest standards of excellence in teaching and have made efforts to the academic achievement of osteopathic students and residents.

Peter F. Bidey, DO, MSEd, FACOFP

Dr. Bidey is an assistant professor and vice-chair of the department of family medicine at the Philadelphia Collee of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), where he focuses on student education in family medicine and osteopathic manipulative medicine. He is also a national faculty member and chair of the Clinical Decision-Making and Key Features Content Committee for the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.

An active ACOFP volunteer, Dr. Bidey chairs the ACOFP Preceptorship Committee and is a member of the Committee on Osteopathic Recognition and Development Subcommittee: Intensive Osteopathic Update. In 2011, he was selected to participate in ACOFP’s Future Leaders Program, and he earned his ACOFP Fellow designation in 2018. A champion for student education, Dr. Bidey was awarded Faculty Advisor of the Year by the Student Organizations Council of PCOM in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

2021 Outstanding Female Leader Award

The ACOFP Outstanding Female Leader Award honors female physicians who serve as role models, teachers, leaders and sources of inspiration for men and women alike.

Barbara E. Walker, DO, FAAFP, FACOFP

Dr. Walker’s distinguished military career with the U.S. Army spans more than 20 years, retiring as a full colonel in 2006. At that time, she reestablished the North Carolina Osteopathic Medical Association (NCOMA), serving as a member of the NCOMA Board of Trustees for more than 20 years, as well as president for 10. Her involvement at the state level allowed her to affect change in licensure requirements in North Carolina in 1990, by winning DO’s rights to practice medicine based on their osteopathic training credentials.

In addition to her involvement with NCOMA, Dr. Walker has volunteered with ACOFP, the American Osteopathic Association (AOA) and the North Carolina Medical Board. She served on the AOA’s Board of Trustees from 2000–2018—including her role as first vice president—and from 2018–2019, she was president of the North Carolina Medical Board, becoming the second DO ever appointed to serve and the first female DO medical board appointee. In 2012, Dr. Walker was named AOA’s Great Pioneer in Osteopathic Medicine, and in 2019, she received the Clark Award for Patient Advocacy from the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.

2021 New Osteopathic Physician of the Year

The ACOFP New Osteopathic Physician of the Year Award recognizes physicians who have made significant contributions to family medicine between 2–5 years after entering the specialty.

Rachel A. Young, DO

Dr. Young is the associate program director and clinical director of the McLaren Greater Lansing Family Medicine Residency Program in Lansing, Michigan. After five years in private practice, she joined academic medicine, incorporating practice management and the business of medicine into the resident clinic experience. She has been an active ACOFP member, attending the Future Leaders Conference in 2013 as a resident and then recently, participating as a mentor.

In addition to her involvement with the Future Leaders Program, Dr. Young has served on several ACOFP committees and has worked consistently with ACOFP and the Michigan Osteopathic Association to write resolutions with a mission to improve healthcare. She chairs the Michigan Osteopathic Association’s Women of Excellence Committee and is co-founder of its Women’s Leadership Institute.

Dr. Young is past president of the Michigan Association of Osteopathic Family Physicians, serving as the youngest president to date, and is past president of the Oakland County Osteopathic Medical Association.

2021 Distinguished Service Awards

The ACOFP Distinguished Service Award honors individuals who demonstrate outstanding service to ACOFP through committee involvement or other activities that help achieve ACOFP’s objectives.

Carol L. Henwood, DO, FACOFP dist.

Dr. Henwood has practiced osteopathic family medicine for more than 35 years in Philadelphia’s northwest suburbs, currently practicing at Main Line Healthcare Family Medicine in Royersford, Pennsylvania. Since 2005, she has served in numerous elected positions with the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Family Physician Society, the Pennsylvania Osteopathic Medical Association and ACOFP. She is an ACOFP past president, current vice president of the ACOFP Education and Research Foundation and chair of the ACOFP Foundation’s Forging Our Osteopathic Future campaign.

In 2011, Dr. Henwood earned her ACOFP Fellow designation in 2000 and Distinguished Fellow designation. The following year, she was the first recipient of ACOFP’s Outstanding Female Leader Award, and in 2018, she received the ACOFP Excellence in Advocacy Award.


Stephen L. Legault, MSW

Legault brings over 15 years of experience working with nonprofits to his role as ACOFP’s director of knowledge, learning and assessment, where he works closely with committees including: the Knowledge, Learning and Assessment Advisory Committee; Osteopathic Education Committee; and OMTeaching Work Group.

In 2018, Legault participated in Association Forum’s Content Advisory Group and he currently chairs Association Forum’s Holiday Showcase Advisory Group, developing programming for the organization’s largest, annual industry event. In 2019, he was awarded an Association Forum Forty Under Forty Award.


2021 Sander A. Kushner, DO, FACOFP Memorial Osteopathic Family Medicine Award

The Sander A. Kushner, DO, FACOFP Memorial Osteopathic Family Medicine Award, sponsored by the ACOFP Education and Research Foundation, honors residents who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and motivation for careers in osteopathic family medicine.

David Tyler King, DO, MSEd

Dr. King is a first-year osteopathic family medicine resident at Texas Institute for Graduate Medical Education and Research Laredo Family Medicine Residency Program at the Laredo Medical Center in Laredo, Texas. From 2012 to 2016, Dr. King accepted a position as a Teach for America Corps member, teaching in an area considered one of the most underserved communities in the country, witnessing both educational and health disparities among his own students. It was then that he knew he would dedicate himself to bettering this community and others through access to needed healthcare.

In 2016, while attending NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State, Dr. King founded the inaugural class’ Student Osteopathic Medical Association chapter and rose to a board of trustees member and subsequently to national president in his final year of medical school. Following his new osteopathic family medicine path, Dr. King received his doctor of osteopathic medicine degree in May 2020. He currently serves as resident governor of the Texas ACOFP and was recently commissioned as a captain in the United States Army Reserve.

2021 Marie Wiseman Outstanding Osteopathic Student of the Year

The Marie Wiseman Outstanding Osteopathic Student of the Year Award—selected in partnership between the ACOFP and the Auxiliary to the ACOFP—recognizes an osteopathic medical student who demonstrates strong philanthropic and community service.

Heather Marie McGuire, OMS-IV

Student Doctor McGuire is pursuing her doctor of osteopathic medicine from the University of Pikeville Kentucky, College of Osteopathic Medicine, following 10 years of work in a psychiatric hospital.

Her passion for philanthropy is evident through her community service, totaling more than 9,000 hours since 2017. When COVID-19 hit, she became a frontline volunteer, caring for patients who tested positive. Her dedication and leadership have been recognized through several awards and opportunities. In 2019, Student Doctor McGuire received the Gold Award for Community Service Hours through the TOUCH program, and the following year, she was nominated for the Student Doctor of the Year by her peers. She was selected as one of four members of her class to join the National Undergraduate Fellows Association in 2020 and has served as an ACOFP state delegate since 2018.

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