TUCSON, Ariz. — Dr. John Quinlan of Lakeside Park, Ky., has been named the recipient of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s 2010 Robert Ross National Personal Achievement Award.
The award was announced Sept. 6 during the national broadcast of the 2009 Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon.
For the first time, the award has gone to an individual with a neuromuscular disease who also is a neurologist who treats people with neuromuscular diseases. Quinlan, who has facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), directs the MDA Clinic at the University of Cincinnati.
About the Personal Achievement Award
Initiated in 1992, the Robert Ross Personal Achievement Award (PAA) recognizes the accomplishments and community service of people with disabilities caused by any of the diseases in MDA’s program.
It is named in honor of Robert Ross, MDA’s longtime chief executive, who died in June 2006. Ross created the PAA program to educate the public that disability is no obstacle to accomplishment.
Quinlan, 56, was chosen for the honor from dozens of recipients of statewide PAA awards, based on his personal success, his professional achievements, and his dedication to helping others with muscular dystrophy and related diseases.
"John Quinlan is highly deserving of this award," said MDA National Chairman Jerry Lewis." His determination, along with his personal and professional success, make him an inspiration and role model to others with progressive muscle diseases."
In 1975, Quinlan completed a Bachelor's degree in science at the University of Notre Dame in Notre Dame, Ind. He followed that with a Master's in physiology (1976) at the University of Chicago and a doctorate in medicine (1980) at the University of Illinois.
After an internship in medicine at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, a residency in neurology and clinical research fellowships in electromyography (measuring the electrical signals of muscles) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., Quinlan was appointed to the neurology faculty at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 1987. There he established himself as a clinician, teacher, mentor, administrator, counselor and scientific investigator. Those achievements were recognized in 2005 when his colleagues conferred upon him the academic rank of professor of neurology.
Quinlan became co-director of the MDA Clinic at the University of Cincinnati in July 1987, and director in 2000. There he attends to people with any of the more than 40 diseases under MDA’s umbrella.
Committed to improving his community, Quinlan has participated in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program and was instrumental in the modification and design of new accessible administrative offices, teaching facilities and sites for patient care and clinical practice at the University of Cincinnati.
Quinlan also dedicates time to MDA, appearing on the local broadcast of the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, making himself available as a resource for MDA support groups and serving on the MDA Task Force on Public Awareness. He is an active member of the National MDA Clinical Services Advisory Committee, and an MDA national vice president.
"It's an honor for MDA to present the 2010 Robert Ross National Personal Achievement Award to John Quinlan,” MDA President & CEO Gerald C. Weinberg said. "As a physician and as a role model, John already has inspired hope in so many others with muscle diseases; I know he'll continue to do so as he works with MDA to demonstrate that life with disability can be full and rewarding."
Quinlan learned as a teenager he has facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD), a progressive muscle disease that causes weakness and atrophy of the muscles around the eyes and mouth, shoulders, upper arms and lower legs, with later weakness of abdominal and sometimes hip muscles. He uses a powered scooter and adapted van to maintain mobility and independence.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to curing muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.