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Dr. Richard Allen Williams receives Compleat Award

His new book will be published this year

OW Staff Writer | 1/24/2020, noon

The Harris County Medical Society (HCMS) and the Houston Academy of Medicine (HAM) named Dr. Richard Allen Williams as the winner of the John P. McGovern Compleat Physician Award during the HCMS/HAM Installation of Officers & Leadership Recognition ceremony held Jan. 17, 2020. Williams is the first African American recipient of the award.

This annual national award, named after its first recipient, John P. McGovern, recognizes the physician who embodies the ideals of Sir William Osler -- medical excellence, humane and ethical care, commitment to medical humanities and writing, research, and harmony between the academic and medical practitioner.

Williams’ commitment to excellence is demonstrated by his continued contributions to the field of cardiology. He excelled as a clinician in his 50 years of medical practice. He is a renowned cardiologist who founded the Association of Black Cardiologist and is the first African American to be selected to as a full professor at the University of California Los Angeles Department of Medicine.

After graduating from Harvard University with honors, attending medical school at State University of New York Downstate Medical Center, performing an internship at UC San Francisco Medical Center, and a residency at USC Medical Center, he developed a legendary renown in the area of the clinical practice of Cardiology at Harvard Medical School, UCLA School of Medicine, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hospital in Watts, California and rose to become head of Cardiology at the West Los Angeles VA Hospital in the UCLA system based on his outstanding clinical capabilities.

In 2016, he was selected to serve as the 117th president of the National Medical Association, the world's largest primarily black physician medical organization with 40,000 members. Additionally, he was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from Harvard Medical School for promoting diversity, inclusion, and equity at the Medical School. He also earned the Distinguished Award for Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion in 2019 by the American College of Cardiology.

Williams is considered an international expert on hypertension, healthcare disparities, dyslipidemia, diabetes, obesity, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death. He was recently honored by the American Heart Association from which he received the prestigious LifeSaver Award.

Williams’ contributions have not been limited to the field of cardiology. He has also shown his philanthropic side by participating in National Medical Fellowships and by establishing three separate scholarship funds in his name to benefit African American medical students across the country. His 1974 book, Textbook of Black-Related Diseases, was accepted into the museum collection of the Smithsonian Institution. His new book, Blacks in Medicine will be published this year.