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The Alma Dea Morani, M.D. Renaissance Woman Award

2014 Alma Dae Morani Awardee
Dr. Deborah German, M.D.


Dr. German was appointed Founding Dean of the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in December 2006. She also serves as UCF’s Vice President for Medical Affairs. As such, she oversees both the Medical Education (M.D.) program and the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences.

Under Dr. German’s leadership, the College of Medicine:

  • Achieved full accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education
  • Raised funds to provide full four-year scholarships for the entire Charter class
  • Built a team of over 500 faculty and staff
  • Appointed over 2,000 volunteer and affiliated faculty
  • Oversaw construction of 375,000 square feet of medical school space the emerging Medical City at Lake Nona, located 25 minutes from the UCF main campus. The College of Medicine is a founding tenant of Medical City, located just minutes from Orlando International Airport. The life sciences cluster is expected to generate more than 30,000 jobs and $7.8 billion in annual economic development by 2017.

Deborah German earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry at Boston University and gained her M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School.

She was a Resident in Medicine at the University of Rochester in New York. After her residency, she became a Fellow in Rheumatic and Genetic Diseases at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. She was appointed to the faculty at Duke University Medical School and worked in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, studying adenosine metabolism.

She was also Director of the Duke Gout Clinics and Associate Dean of Medical Education while maintaining her own private practice of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

In 1988, Dr. German joined Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, as Associate Dean for Students and later Senior Associate Dean of Medical Education. She was also the National Chair for the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Group on Student Affairs.

While in Nashville, Dr. German served on the Board of Trustees of the Tennessee Medical Association. She also chaired the Tennessee Board of Directors for the Arthritis Foundation. After 13 years at Vanderbilt, Dr. German next served as President and Chief Executive Officer at Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville. She was also Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for Saint Thomas Health Services. Dr. German led a successful hospital turnaround and initiated service excellence and quality programs at the hospital that received national recognition. Throughout this time she continued to practice medicine.

In 2005, Dr. German spent a year at the Association of American Medical Colleges in Washington, D.C. as a Petersdorf Scholar in Residence. She studied the leadership of academic health centers framed in the concepts of chaos theory and complex adaptive system science. Many communities have recognized Dr. German for her contributions. The city of Nashville honored her with the Athena Award and she was inducted into the YWCA Academy for Women of Achievement. She is the recipient of the AAMC Women in Medicine Leadership Development Award. Dr. German was named a Local Legend of Medicine in the National Library of Medicine.

In Florida, Dr. German was awarded both the 2008 Business Executive of the Year and 2008 Businesswoman of the Year by co-sponsors Orlando Business Journal and Orlando Health. In addition, Dr. German was recognized by the Orlando Sentinel’s Editorial Board as 2008 Central Floridian of the Year.

Dr. German is the mother of two daughters and has one grandson.

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Past Award Recipients

2013 - Florence P. Haseltine, Ph.D., M.D. • 2012 - N. Lynn Eckhert, MD, MPH, DrPH.
2011 - Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D. • 2010 - Marjorie S. Sirridge, M.D.
2009 - Carol C. Nadelson, M.D.• 2008 - Ellen R. Gritz, Ph.D.
2007 - Catherine D. DeAngelis, M.D., M.P.H.• 2006 - Mary Guinan, PhD, M.D
2005 - Audrey E. Evans, M.D.• 2004 - Christine Haycock, M.D., FACS
2003 - Mary Ellen Avery, M.D.• 2002 - Carola Eisenberg, M.D
2001 - Barbara Barlow, M.D., FACS • 2000 - Alma Dea Morani, M.D., FACS

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Audrey E. Evans, M.D. 2005 Alma Dea Morani Award Recipient Audrey E. Evans, M.D. (in blue), 2005 Alma Dea Morani Award Recipient

This Award will honor an outstanding woman physician or scientist in North America:

  • who has furthered the practice and understanding of medicine in our lifetime and made significant contributions outside of medicine, for example, in the humanities, arts or social sciences
  • whose determination and spirit have carried her beyond traditional pathways in medicine and science;
  • and who challenges the status quo with a passion for learning.

The Alma Dea Morani Award is an unique sculpture representing humanism in medicine and will be presented in the fall of 2013 at a special presentation planned with the Awardee. A stipulation of receiving the award is that the recipient be available to give a twenty minute keynote at the award ceremony.