March 06, 2009

American College of Legal Medicine honors Kapp

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University School of Law Professor Marshall B. Kapp received an honor last week from one of the foremost international organizations that encompasses the medical and legal professions.

Kapp received the 2009 American College of Legal Medicine’s Gold Medal Feb. 28, at the organization’s annual meeting in Las Vegas. The gold medal is the organization’s highest award for service, professionalism, dedication and contribution.

Kapp is the third recipient from the law school to earn the prestigious award in the last four years. He is the Garwin Distinguished Professor of Law and Medicine and co-director of the law school’s Center for Health Law and Policy.

Theodore R. LeBlang, Professor of Law and Medical Humanities emeritus, received the ACLM Gold Medal in 2007. W. Eugene Basanta, the Southern Illinois Healthcare Professor of Law and co-director of the law school’s Center for Health Law and Policy, received the award in 2006.

“I am very proud that Marshall Kapp has received this recognition. It is certainly well deserved. He is a very talented colleague and I am not surprised at all that the American College of Legal Medicine has recognized him with its Gold Medal,” Dean Peter C. Alexander said.

While a personal achievement, Kapp views the recognition as a reflection “of the stature of the law school and the medical school in the health law community among health law professionals.”

The fact that three people from SIUC have been recognized at that level “does say something pretty powerful about our program and the personnel in the program,” Basanta said.

Kapp earned a master’s of public health from the Harvard University School of Public Health, and his law degree from George Washington University Law School. He earned his bachelor’s degree in social and behavioral sciences from Johns Hopkins University.

Prior to coming to SIUC in May 2004, he was a professor in the departments of community health and psychology at the Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio. He also served as director of Wright State’s Office of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, and held an adjunct faculty appointment at the University of Dayton School of Law. He is a professor emeritus at Wright State.

The law school and ACLM have a long-standing and close relationship. The organization sponsors the annual Health Law Moot Court competition each fall. Kapp is also editor of the Journal of Legal Medicine, which the ACLM publishes.

A number of law school students and alumni attend and present at the organization’s annual meeting. Michael S. Sinha, who is in his fourth year of the dual JD/MD degree program, was among this year’s presenters.

“Our students reap a lot of benefits, I think, from our collaboration with ACLM,” Kapp said.

The relationship continues beyond graduation, with many alumni serving as active members. Kent Harshbarger, who earned his dual MD/JD degree in 1996, is the organization’s newly elected secretary. Harshbarger is a forensic pathologist with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office in Dayton, Ohio, and is set to become the ACLM’s president in four years.