AUGUSTA, Ga. – Dr. William P. Kanto Jr., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Georgia Regents Medical Center, has received the 2013 Leila Denmark Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“Dr. Kanto has distinguished himself over the span of his career as a dedicated and skilled clinician, teacher, administrator, and leader in the field of pediatrics and neonatology in Georgia,” said Dr. Robert Wiskind, AAP Georgia Chapter President. “In fact, there probably hasn’t been a major policy change that improved infant and child health in our state in the last 20 years that he has not been involved in, or many times, was a key leader in those efforts.”
The award is named for Dr. Leila D. Denmark, one of Georgia’s first female physicians whose pioneering work in medicine and pediatrics spanned seven decades. Denmark, who died in 2012 at the age of 114, was an alumnus of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, where Kanto became an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics in 1974.
For almost 17 years Kanto chaired the Department of Pediatrics and served as Medical Director of the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. He was Chief of the Section of Neonatology for more than a decade and led the charge when the hospital pioneered extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, which enables the heart and lungs of critically ill infants and children to rest and recover. An outspoken children’s health advocate, Kanto researches childhood obesity and asthma, and in 1998, he received the AAP Georgia Chapter’s Distinguished Service Award.
His professional memberships include the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Pediatric Society, Southern Society for Pediatric Research, and National Perinatal Association. Kanto is also a reviewer for the American Journal of Diseases of Children, Pediatrics, Clinical Pediatrics, Pediatric Annals, and the New England Journal of Medicine.
Kanto also received the Patricia K. Sodomka Leadership Award for Patient- and Family-Centered Care during the health system’s seventh annual PFCC Conference on Oct. 9-10. That award recognizes an individual in the Georgia Regents enterprise who demonstrates leadership excellence in PFCC. Hospitals that practice PFCC have shown improvements in quality and safety.