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(Boston) – Joanne Wilkinson, MD, MSc, associate director of Medical Student Education at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), has been selected as the first physician to receive the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ (AAIDD) 2011 Early Career Award for her continued efforts to improve the changing face of medicine for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The AAIDD presented Wilkinson with the award during its Annual Meeting held June 6-9 in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.
Wilkinson initially became interested in healthcare disparities for adults with disabilities after meeting her first I/DD patient twelve years ago as a family physician. She entered a two-year fellowship to explore the level of federal support of I/DD research and joined the faculty at BUSM. She has since received a National Cancer Institute award to study mammography in women with intellectual disabilities, conducted primary data collection for research into the lack of information on adults with I/DD in national data sets and led three annual teaching conferences for physicians who care for adults with I/DD.
“It is very moving to be honored by the AAIDD in this way,” said Wilkinson, who is also a family medicine physician at Boston Medical Center. “Their recognition of the importance of this research is encouraging and will be helpful in terms of pursuing future grant funding and other projects that relate to the community of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”
Wilkinson’s current projects include the development of an instrument to measure knowledge about cancer in people with I/DD, a feasibility study to educate women with I/DD about mammography, the continuation of an annual conference focused on primary care issues affecting people with I/DD and a qualitative study focused on quality of life for stroke survivors with aphasia.