The Distinguished Service Award is presented to a Fellow who has made exceptional contributions to CHEST in terms of time, leadership, and service. It is not bestowed annually but rather as appropriate to honor one who has devoted much to the organization. This year at CHEST 2016, Kim French, MHSA, CAPPM, FCCP, was the first nonphysician provider to receive this award.
Kim French was nominated by Drs. Ed Diamond and John Studdard, who had the following to say about Kim:
“Everything Kim does she takes on with incredible energy, drive, and style, always in a most humble way. She is a valuable colleague who is an outstanding leader and has served CHEST unselfishly and in a distinguished fashion for many years. She has served as Chair of both the Practice Operations and Practice Management NetWorks, as well as a member of the Practice Management and Marketing Committees. She has authored many publications that have appeared in CHEST and CHEST Physician. In 2015, Kim was a member of the inaugural group of nonphysician CHEST members to be awarded the FCCP credential. I am honored to nominate Kim for this award.”
How does it feel to be a CHEST Distinguished Service Award recipient, especially as a nonphysician?
This is one of the greatest professional awards to ever achieve, and it’s an incredibly humbling and overwhelming experience. Looking at previous winners, it speaks volumes to the type of people that the organization has given these awards to, both now and in the past. It’s an amazing embracement of offering a nonphysician an FCCP track. CHEST has uniquely positioned itself to create professional diversity, not only among award winners, but in stating its commitment to professional diversity and the interdisciplinary team in its strategic plan. It demonstrates CHEST’s unwavering commitment to the education of all health-care professionals.
What areas of service are you involved in and what keeps you motivated?
Most of my professional career has been dedicated to pulmonary, critical care, sleep, and interventional pulmonary medicine. My work to develop efficient patient-centered care models is a cornerstone of today’s health economic climate. Members of CHEST and the foundation have been my greatest mentors, colleagues, and friends for the past 21 years. What I’ve found in 21 years is that reaching stated goals act as a catalyst to push me to the next level.
How are you currently involved with CHEST and the CHEST Foundation?
My work with the CHEST Foundation is threefold; as a Board of Trustee, we have the responsibility to offer guidance to the overall plan of the CHEST Foundation. Within the foundation, I co-chair the Major Gifts Work Group and Patient Education Work Group, both of which create a venue to use my business and patient education skills. Being a member of the CHEST Foundation is an incredibly rewarding part of my affiliation with CHEST, and it brings what we do to our global community.
How do you think this award will impact your work? How do you see this achievement inspiring potential future recipients?
It’s incredibly humbling being recognized with those before me who I’ve always considered high achievers in our field and distinguished members of CHEST. As the first nonphysician recipient of this award, I will continue to be a role model for our nonphysician members to follow. For future award winners, especially nonphysicians, this will be one of the greatest awards they’ll receive from the CHEST Foundation and an honor to be recognized for their involvement. It’s about what we do, serving others.
Kim French is the Executive Director of Suburban Lung Associates and also serves as a Trustee-at-Large for the CHEST Foundation a Board of Trustees. She also co-chairs the Patient Education Work Group and the Major Gifts Work Group. She is a Certified Administrator in Physician Practice Management, Certified Compliance Officer, and most recently has attained an FCCP designation through CHEST, as the inaugural group of nonphysicians.