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Home|Community|Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation|Physician Appreciation Awards

Physician Appreciation Awards


Each year, the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation hosts the Physician Appreciation Awards in celebration of physicians who have made a significant contribution. This year's awards dinner was held Saturday, June 11. The 2016 honorees were:

  • Pathology Associates of Albuquerque, PA, who received the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation's Physician Philanthropy Award
  • Presbyterian Primary Care, who received the Sarah Kotchian Clinical Quality Award
  • Dr. Eddie G. Benge, who received the Presbyterian Reverend Hugh A. Cooper Award
  • Dr. Carl F. Lagerstrom, who received the Presbyterian Reverend Hugh A. Cooper Award

In 1903 the Rev. Hugh A. Cooper came to Albuquerque for the arid climate, considered the perfect therapeutic environment for one suffering from tuberculosis.

Shortly after his recovery, he became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church and in 1908 founded the Southwestern Presbyterian Sanatorium, a facility whose sole purpose was to care for the hundreds of TB patients flocking to the city.

As healthcare needs grew, the 'San', as it was fondly called, met the challenge, transforming itself over the years until today it is Presbyterian Healthcare Services, a locally owned, not-for-profit healthcare system of eight hospitals, a medical group and health plan. Founded in New Mexico in 1908, it is the state's second-largest private employer with more than 10,000 employees.

Presbyterian Healthcare Services was built on a foundation of caring by selfless leaders such as Rev. Cooper, and today's physicians, nurses, and staff strive to honor that guiding spirit each and every day. The Presbyterian Reverend Hugh A. Cooper Award is named in honor of Rev. Cooper.

2016 Physician Appreciation Honorees

Pathology Associates of Albuquerque, PA

Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation's Physician Philanthropy Award

Pathology Associates of Albuquerque, PA

Pathology Associates of Albuquerque, PA, shares the goal of Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation to help improve the health of patients throughout New Mexico, and have proudly partnered with the Foundation for more than 30 years. Since 1986, PAA and its physicians have given almost $1 million to the Foundation. Significant projects they have supported include Presbyterian Rust Medical Center, Robert Shafer Memorial Library, Laughter is the Best Medicine, Daffodil Days, the Pathology Lab, and much more. Currently, four members of PAA have signed on as Luminary Circle members.

Presbyterian Sarah Kotchian Clinical Quality Award

Presbyterian Sarah Kotchian Clinical Quality Award

Presbyterian Primary Care

In 2015, Presbyterian Primary Care created an evidence-based care design to identify and treat hypertension. This initiative was part of Million Hearts®, a national initiative with an ambitious goal to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a common and dangerous condition, affecting about one in every three U.S. adults. This award recognizes those who built this care model as well as the physicians, pharmacists, nurses, behavioral health clinicians, and support staff who have achieved national best performance for hypertension control.

Eddit Benge

Presbyterian Reverend Hugh A. Cooper Award

Eddie G. Benge, MD

Dr. Eddie Benge practiced alongside Erik Carlson from 1981-1990 when they affiliated with Presbyterian in what was called a Practice Development Agreement, which eventually began the Presbyterian Medical Group. Eddie has always worked tirelessly to treat his patients and advance medical improvements in our community. He has served on various committees and been a member of the PHS Board of Directors. After a brief hiatus from Presbyterian, Eddie came back in 2001 as the Vice President of Medical Staff Affairs. Then in 2009, Eddie returned to clinical practice as a member of Presbyterian Rheumatology group where he enjoys seeing patients on a full-time basis.

Carl Lagerstrom

Presbyterian Reverend Hugh A. Cooper Award

Carl F. Lagerstrom, MD

When Carl moved to Albuquerque in the early 90s, he and a small group of surgeons saw the need to bring congenital heart surgery to the Children’s Medical Center at Presbyterian Hospital. Throughout the years that saw massive changes to the Albuquerque health care landscape, one thing has remained constant – Dr. Lagerstrom has stood with Presbyterian and Presbyterian has been lucky to have him as the sole congenital heart surgeon from 1997 through today. Dr. Lagerstrom also donates his time and talents to Healing the Children and Samaritan’s Purse.