Jennifer S. Daly, MD, professor of medicine, has been awarded the Kenneth Kaplan Clinician of the Year Award by the Massachusetts Infectious Disease Society. The honor recognizes her as “a consummate clinician and teacher” for her work in infectious disease.
The award memorializes Kenneth Kaplan, MD, a local pioneer in the field of infectious disease who, in the 1980s, had a vision for infectious diseases specialists in the region to gather regularly to discuss cases and mutual concerns. At a time when infectious disease specialists were not very common, Dr. Kaplan started a clinical case discussion group, which later became the Massachusetts Infectious Disease Society (MIDS), while working at Emerson Hospital in Concord. According to MIDS spokesman Ted Butler, MD, of the Tufts University School of Medicine, Kaplan sought to bring together colleagues to review interesting new cases and emerging diseases, discuss best practices and ongoing education, and mentor junior colleagues.
Several society members formed the Kenneth Kaplan Club to honor Kaplan after his untimely death in an accident 20 years ago. Each year at the spring meeting of the MIDS, the club presents the Kenneth Kaplan Award to a colleague who is “an esteemed clinician and strong teacher who embodies the human touch” Kaplan brought to the field. While applauding infectious disease research as critical to the field, Butler noted that the Kaplan award focuses more on the human touch of the clinician. “Recipients might not win a Nobel Prize for research, but they win the hearts and minds of patients and their families.”
“I am truly honored to receive this award named for Ken Kaplan, a man who personally gave me very helpful advice about things like work/life balance in infectious diseases practice and how to appreciate referring physicians,” said Dr. Daly. “I used to cover for Ken when I was an ID fellow.”
Daly received her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and, after an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of Michigan where she was chief resident, she completed a clinical and research fellowship in infectious disease at Harvard Medical School and what is now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She was an assistant professor of medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine before joining UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Medical Center in 1990. Since then, she has taught medical students infectious disease, microbiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology.
In addition to mentoring students, residents and fellows on inpatient services and outpatient clinics, Daly is co-director for one of the courses in the new LinC curriculum. She is clinical chief and an attending physician for the UMass Memorial Medical Center infectious disease service, consulting on cases across the medical center, and frequently lectures at the Medical Center and affiliate hospitals and clinics throughout the region. She described a new species of bacteria (Bartonella elizabethae) in 1993 and is the project director (principal investigator) for the UMass Ryan White Part C grant that provides funding for HIV care in Central Massachusetts. Daly is a peer reviewer for several journals, and has written or contributed to numerous book chapters and articles.