VP Rutherford honored for cardio activities, teaching

By LaKisha Ladson / Feb. 1-11, 2011

Dr. John Rutherford, vice president of clinical operations, will receive the 2011 Gifted Educator Award given by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) in recognition of his innovative, outstanding teaching characteristics and compassionate qualities.

“This reflects on the educational activities in cardiovascular disease at UT Southwestern, where we have excellent programs at the graduate and postgraduate level and a very dedicated cardiovascular teaching faculty,” said Dr. Rutherford, who will receive the honor April 4 at the ACC’s 60th Annual Scientific Session in New Orleans.

Dr. Joseph Hill, chief of cardiology, said Dr. Rutherford is most deserving of the honor.

“It’s a tribute to his nationally respected skills as a cardiovascular educator,” Dr. Hill said. “He’s been enormously effective here for nearly 20 years and was a similarly outstanding educator previously at Harvard University.”

Dr. Rutherford also has held leadership positions with the ACC, a nonprofit medical society with more than 39,000 members. He has participated in committees that planned strategic educational programs, and he led a UT Southwestern/ACC extramural postgraduate program that examined all aspects of cardiovascular disease using case studies to teach cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons. The book Cardiology Core Curriculum: A Problem-Based Approach, published in 2003, resulted from that collaboration.

“Many of the faculty who taught in the program over a six-year period contributed to this book,” Dr. Rutherford said.

A native of New Zealand, he came to UT Southwestern as a professor of internal medicine in 1993. He’s held several appointments with UT Southwestern and its affiliated hospitals, including serving as president of the medical staff of Parkland Health & Hospital System from 1998 to 2000 and as the executive coordinator of the Clinical Services Initiative at the medical center.

Dr. Rutherford’s previous honors include the George W. Thorn Award for Outstanding Contribution to Clinical Education, given by the medical house staff at Brigham and Women’s Hospital; the Distinguished Physician Award in recognition of outstanding individual contribution to Parkland Memorial Hospital; and the Health System Information Resources Founders Award from UT Southwestern. He has been selected as a Best Doctor in Dallas and in America on numerous occasions.