2020 Chapter Awards

Nominations due: July 17, 2020

Send nominations to Ashley Politz: ashley.politz@laaap.org 

Nominations should include:
• Nominator’s contact information
• Nominee’s contact information
• Award they are being nominated for
• Brief paragraph explaining why your nomination deserves the award

Charles M. Vanchiere Child Advocacy Award: This award is given to recognize special efforts to improve the health of children in Louisiana by increasing their access to needed health care.

Dr. Charles M. “Buzzy” Vanchiere was a private pediatrician in Lake Charles, Louisiana, for nearly 30 years, and a tireless advocate for children’s services.  He pushed the private sector to accept Medicaid patients when the state first allowed them to bill for screening and diagnostic services.  He was president of the LA Chapter of AAP at the time that the federal State Child Health Insurance Legislation was enacted and he was a major force in assuring that Louisiana took advantage of this new opportunity to cover children. He served on medical committees in his parish, in the state and for the American Academy of Pediatrics.  He organized and led the Pediatric Society of Southwest Louisiana and the LSU Pediatric Alumni Association.  He chaired the Pediatric Advisory Committee for Medicaid and was a member of the Blue Cross Physician Executive Committee.  He was also active in the “Children’s Miracle Network” and received it “Miracle Makers” award in 1995 for outstanding service to that program.  Dr. Vanchiere died in the year 2000 at the young age of 60 and the Chapter established this award in his name to honor outstanding child advocates.

Bettina C. Hilman Award for Services to Special Needs Children: This award is given to a pediatrician that has provided significant services for special needs children in the state.

Dr. Bettina Hilman is a renowned authority on pediatric cystic fibrosis.  After graduating summa cum laude from Centenary in 1949, Dr. Hilman earned a Master of Science degree from Tulane and then earned her MD from Louisiana State University in New Orleans. Dr. Hilman is board certified in both Allergy/Immunology and Pediatric Pulmonary Diseases. Following completion of her training, she held positions in clinics, hospitals and universities throughout the United States and lectured throughout the world. She spent a major part of her career as a researcher and faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics at the LSU School of Medicine in Shreveport. While in Shreveport she served as Chief of the Pulmonary and Allergy Section. During her tenure, she established and served as first director of the LSU Shreveport Cystic Fibrosis Center and the Allergy/Immunology fellowship program.

Dr. Hilman held a number of leadership positions in state and national organizations throughout her career and was an active member of the Louisiana Chapter of the AAP. She served as a member of the AAP’s Task Force on Opportunities of Women in Pediatrics in 1978-9.  Dr. Hilman was on the editorial boards of a number of journals and served as the editor-in-chief of the journal Pediatric Asthma, Allergy and Immunology for a number of years

Dr. Hilman has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Humanitarian Award for the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1989, the Shreveport Medical Society Distinguished Service Award in 1996, the William Stewart Distinguished pediatric Alumni Award from LSUHSC-NO in 1996, the Women Who Make a Difference Award in Shreveport in 1997, and was inducted into the Centenary College Alumni Hall of Fame in 1998. The LA AAP presented the David William Van Gelder Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Hilman in 1996 and the Elizabeth Casenelli Award in 2000.

Named in her honor, the  Hilman House  opened in September 1988 in Shreveport to provide a homelike residence for cystic fibrosis patients and their families to have free housing while undergoing medical treatment at the Cystic Fibrosis Center in Shreveport.

Throughout her career she has been a strong advocate for her patients, for advancing pediatric care, for medical education and for women in medicine.

Chapter Service Award: This award is to recognize a committee or special interest group that has most successfully accomplished its goals and objectives.

Sandra C. Adams Award: recognition of a non-physician in their efforts to improve health of children in Louisiana through advocacy and community involvement.

Sandra C. Adams served as the Executive Director of the Louisiana MCH Coalition from January 1, 1990, when it began, until her retirement on June 20, 2009.  The Coalition is a non-profit advocacy organization focused on improving health care for women and children.  Ms. Adams was a registered lobbyist at the Louisiana Legislature and worked on a variety of issues including prenatal care, well-child care, adolescent pregnancy, Medicaid eligibility, health insurance reform and comprehensive school health.  She concurrently served as Executive Director of the Louisiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and managed both the LA AAP Foundation and the LA Perinatal/MCH Foundation.

Her career was shaped by a diverse combination of business, government and non-profit experience in states from coast to coast.  After graduation from the University of Maryland, she worked on injury prevention at the US Department of Health and Welfare in Washington, DC.  She moved to New York and served as a human resources officer at Bankers Trust Company on Wall Street and then moved to the west coast where she was a financial analyst for Xerox in Los Angeles.  After moving to Louisiana, she sought work in the non-profit realm and led community services for the elderly until she was appointed to a term as Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Elderly Affairs.

Ms. Adams also has an extensive list of volunteer accomplishments including:

  • Board of Trustees, Woman’s Health Foundation/Woman’s Hospital (Past Chair)
  • Capital Area United Way Board of Directors and Chair of  Community  Partnership Division (Allocation Process)
  • Council for a Better Louisiana (Member of Board and Executive Committee)
  • Past President of WRKF, Public Radio
  • Founder and first president of La. Senior Olympics

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