Catalyzing collaboration, innovation & values driven leadership

Annual Leadership Award

2003 Recipient

Stephen C. Shannon

STEPHEN C. SHANNON, DOMaine is a different and better place because of Dr. Steve Shannon. His impact on the lives of patients and caregivers extends well beyond his role as Dean of the University of New England College of Medicine (UNECOM). His work has had a profound effect on the way a generation of medical students has come to understand health care and on the way health care is and will be delivered in Maine. Kindness Steve is first and always a caring physician, held in great affection by his patients. His care and kindness to patients is faithfully dispensed while undertaking the hard work of juggling teaching, public health, family, and countless community commitments. Steve shares a vision for seeing how care giving can be improved and a talent and courage for undertaking new approaches. Innovation Over the last 8 years, Dean Shannon has quietly transformed the medical school, finding ways to be responsive to the needs of Maine communities, patients, and providers while improving student experience and readiness to practice. The direction he set emphasized clinical and communication skills, but also prepared students to deal with the larger issues of health and health care within the communities where they would practice. He developed and personally taught population health; secured funding to support greater integration of behavioral medicine; and built a network of clerkships, internships and residency programs, providing exposure to rural primary care practice while expanding access to care.

Inclusion and Collaboration
Steve sees medicine in the context of a much larger world. He accomplished the vision of a graduate-level public health program in Maine through a humility that recognizes improving health requires the education and involvement of many players. Steve’s inclusive style and personal involvement helped to create and grow the UNECOM Certificate Program in Public Health; The Maine Center for Public Health; the Coastal Healthy Community Coalition; and the Biddeford Free Clinic, where he practices and established a rotation that integrates students with the community.

Leadership and Vision
Steve has played a leadership role in the development and financing of many Maine organizations and initiatives. He was instrumental in developing occupational health surveillance programs within the State. He was a member of the Board of the Maine Medical Assessment Foundation (MMAF). Steve’s vision was key to the success of the Maine Osteopathic Outcome or “Moose” study, bringing substantial funding from the American Osteopathic Association to MMAF. Steve understood the need for financial support to attract a diversity of medical students and championed the use of funds from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation to support medical education. He has been a visionary in the expansion of biomedical research in Maine, bringing new ideas and stakeholders to the Maine Biological Research Coalition.

Courage and Hard Work
It has taken courage and hard work to gain the confidence of those outside his discipline. The beneficiaries of his selflessness will continue to be the people of Maine. On June 7th of this year, 103 medical students graduated from UNE. For some, a medical education became possible because of financial assistance programs Dan and Steve each helped to create. Thanks to Steve Shannon, all of them understand the issues of small area variation, the special challenges and rewards of practice in Maine, and have had the example of learning from a clinician who practices with kindness. That, no doubt, would please Dan.

Congratulations, Steve, on being the recipient of the 2003 Hanley Leadership Award, honoring courage, innovation and vision.