Annual Conference 2021 

2021 OMA Awards

The Oregon Medical Association recognizes exemplary members of our community each year at the OMA Annual Conference. Thank you to everyone who nominated a physician and physician assistant this year! Our members are truly assets to communities across the state - dedicated to the practice of medicine as well as their communities!

Congratulations to all nominees and awardees and thank you for all you do for medicine and Oregon!

Doctor-Citizen of the Year Awards

The Doctor-Citizen of the Year Award is presented to physicians who generously donate their time to community activities and who tirelessly work to further the art and science of medicine. This award, which began in 1957, recognizes the powerful impact a physician can have on our quality of life. It honors someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to improve the lives of their patients, to advance the practice of medicine, and to strengthen the communities in which they live and serve.


Smitha Rajagopal Chadaga, MD

Legacy Health, Portland

Dr. Smitha Chadaga has been selected for the Doctor-Citizen award for her leadership as a physician activist. She has helped build a throng of volunteers who provide grassroots support for promoting democratic values. Dr. Chadaga has presented multiple grand rounds locally and nationally on physician advocacy, and she is the driving force of an award-winning anti-racist education and action newsletter.

As an organizer for - and past chair of - Indivisible Oregon, Dr. Chadaga promotes the values of democracy through volunteer action on voting rights, racial equity, and healthcare justice. She is the founder and main author for the newsletter Lanes to Justice which provides anti-racist education and action opportunities for hundreds of physicians and advanced practice providers at Legacy Health. As physician advisor to Care Management at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Dr. Chadaga educates patients about health inequities, and she works to advocate for consistent screening and social determinants of health for all patients admitted to the hospital. She is renown locally and nationally for her grand rounds on physician advocacy, helping inspire healthcare workers to champion for democratic values and equity for all.

Eric M. Wiser, MD

OHSU, Portland

Dr. Eric Wiser has been selected for the Doctor-Citizen award for his untiring commitment to serving his local community, as well as communities across the state. He has logged many hours and miles in numerous volunteer and professional roles to improve rural healthcare, medical education, student mentoring, and workforce training. He volunteers locally to ensure that essential services are available to underserved, low-income, and immigrant populations in the Portland area.

As a board member for the Oregon Rural Health Association, Dr. Wiser promotes high quality, accessible and financially sustainable health care networks to serve rural Oregon. As a member of the Rural Health Coordinating Council, he reviews applications for supporting EMS education in rural communities. As Interim Director for Oregon Area Health Education Center, Dr. Wiser develops and enhances inter-professional education across the state with students from multiple professions. As a faculty member for the Oregon ECHO network, Dr. Wiser connects with rural clinics via videoconference to offer free case-based trainings on a team-based approach to diabetes care management. As a volunteer for the Oregon Medical Reserve Corps, Dr. Wiser has served as the doctor on duty for rural immunization sites. In the Portland region, Dr. Wiser serves as the president of Neighborhood House, where he helps to reduce hunger, overcomes poverty and homelessness, and provides senior support services.

PA-Citizen of the Year Awards

The PA-Citizen of the Year Award recognizes a physician assistant who has generously donated their time to community activities and who exemplifies the highest values of a patient-centered, team-based medical practice. Awardees demonstrate outstanding volunteer service to their local community and go above and beyond the call of duty in the practice of medicine in providing care for patients as a collaborative partner of a clinical team, and as a champion in advancing professional opportunities for physician assistants. 

Shannon Anderson, PA-C

OHSU, Portland

Shannon Anderson, PA-C was selected for the Physician-Assistant Citizen award. As a physician assistant in the department of Neurology at OHSU, Shannon is recognized for her outreach and promotion of the OHSU movement disorders clinic and Deep Brain Stimulation National Program. Whether presenting to referring neurologists, primary care physicians, patients or caregivers, Shannon’s presentations are always fun, easy to understand and educational. She is known nationally for her knowledge on Deep Brain Stimulation programming and is sought out by her colleagues and neurologists for her help and assistance.

Leza J. Hayes, PA-C

Estacada, OR

Leza Hayes, PA-C was selected for the Physician Assistant Citizen award for her volunteer work as the chair of the Government Affairs Committee of the Oregon Society of Physician Assistants. In this role she spent countless hours helping to write, promote, lobby and collaborate with various stakeholders to help pass a bill that removes licensing barriers in order to bring more physician assistants into the workforce.

Presidential Citations

Presidential citations are presented by the OMA president to physicians, physician assistants, and individuals in Oregon for their leadership and outstanding contributions to the practice of medicine.

Leadership in Equity

Jenny Silberger, MD & Fred Williams, MD
Dr. Silberger and Dr. Williams are awarded with the OMA Presidential Citation for their outstanding leadership of the OMA’s Equity Task Force and Systemic Racism Work Group which will guide the OMA’s efforts to build a more equitable and inclusive healthcare system for clinicians and patients. Through their exhaustive efforts, the OMA is in a position of strength to advocate for a diverse healthcare workforce that reduces disparities in health outcomes and improves patient care, and to advocate for legislation that alleviates the structural and social determinants generating disparate health outcomes.

Physician Protections & Risk Management

William Baer, MD
Dr. William Baer has been awarded the OMA Presidential Citation for his incredibly dedicated 47 years of service to the OMA-CNA Physician Protection Program. He has been an OMA member and CNA insured since 1972 and for many years he headed the applications committee for our program. Dr. Baer has also been an invaluable resource to CNA Claim representatives in Oregon, when an Ophthalmology specialist was required. He has reviewed many claim files over the years and was invaluable for helping to mitigate exposure. Dr. Baer was also Co-Chair of the Medicare Carrier Advisory Committee for two decades where he represented the OMA with great distinction.

Legislative Champions

Senator Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward, MD
Senator Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward, MD is awarded the OMA Presidential Citation for her strong advocacy of healthcare providers and patient care. Through her role as Chair of the Ways and Means Committee and Chair of the Oregon Legislature, Senator Steiner-Hayward has been a strong proponent to increase the tax on tobacco projects, she has secured additional dollars for the Health Care Provider Incentive Fund, and she led the passage of the Family Connects program which offers a home health visit from a nurse to all families with a newborn child.

Representative Rachel Prusak, NP
Representative Rachel Prusak, RN is awarded the OMA Presidential Citation for being a champion of her patients and constituents in Salem. As a Nurse Practitioner who serves mostly elderly Oregonians in their homes, long-term care facilities and hospice, Rachel’s experience with fragile populations is foundational to her strong advocacy on health care and health care access. She serves as Chair of the House Health Care Committee and was the OMA’s lead legislator on two priority bills in the 2021 session: Telemedicine Payment Parity and Utilization Management Transparency Act.

Representative Maxine Dexter, MD
Representative Maxine Dexter, MD is awarded the OMA Presidential Citation for her leadership in the House on several key issues. Although new to the Chamber, she is not new to advocacy and policy development. Representative Dexter was appointed to serve the remaining term of Representative Mitch Greenlick's term after his death, and she was then elected to the seat. Representative Dexter took on the role of chair of a COVID-19 subcommittee and held weekly hearings to get information from leaders to the public on the State’s response. Representative Dexter also secured a requirement that Oregon Health Authority provide recommendations for a regional global budget health care delivery model pilot program.

Representative Lisa Reynolds, MD
Representative Lisa Reynolds, MD is awarded the OMA Presidential Citation for her successful efforts to advocate the Oregon legislature and for her advocacy as an elected official. As a proud member of Moms Demand Action, Representative Reynolds helped to pass Senate Bill 554 which ensures that firearms are safely stored. As a member of the House, Rep. Reynolds serves as Vice Chair of the Early Childhood Committee where her background as a pediatrician is invaluable for crafting legislation that supports the children of Oregon.