Skip to nav Skip to content

The Watanakunakorn Clinician Award

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Email

Named to honor the memory of Dr. Chatrchai Watanakunakorn, this award is given annually by the IDSA Education and Research Foundation to an IDSA member of fellow in recognition of outstanding achievement in the clinical practice of infectious diseases.

Nominees must have spent most of their career working predominantly in direct clinical care, whether private practice or part of a health-system group. The recipient must be in clinical practice, and exhibit excellence in one or more of the following areas:

Clinical care, clinical research, patient or community education, compassion, patient advocacy, general community service, and service to a national or state infectious diseases society. Local recognition in medical journals, newspapers, or magazines will also be taken into consideration.

2019 Winner: Virginia D. Banks, MD, MBA, FIDSA

Virginia D. Banks.jpgVirginia D. Banks, MD, MBA, FIDSA, who has made sustained contributions to the field and the next generation of ID specialists, is the recipient of IDSA’s 2019 Watanakunakorn Clinician Award. Named to honor the memory of Chatrchai Watanakunakorn, this award is presented by the IDSA Education and Research Foundation to recognize an IDSA member or fellow for outstanding achievement in the clinical practice of infectious diseases.

An infectious diseases physician with Northeast Ohio Infectious Disease Associates in Youngstown, Dr. Banks is the former director of infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Horizon Health System in western Pennsylvania, where she was the only ID specialist for two counties with extremely busy clinical services for 15 years. She is nationally known for providing leadership and innovative solutions for infection control in hospitals. As chair and vice chair of internal medicine and as a member of several committees at Horizon, Dr. Banks developed comprehensive care systems, effective outreach activities, creative educational programs, and rigorous clinical studies.

An active partner for many years with the National Medical Association, the nation’s largest and oldest organization representing African American physicians and their patients, Dr. Banks has provided expertise in HIV treatment and prevention, influenza, immunization, and hepatitis C, among other topics, and has contributed to the organization’s projects throughout the country. She has also served as an associate professor of clinical internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio University College of Medicine; director of the Wound Care Center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Horizon Health System, where she was also chair of the infection control committee; and as director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Dr. Banks has contributed to IDSA in many ways, including as co-chair of the Professional Development and Equity Committee and as a member of the Education Committee. She has served on HIVMA’s Nominations Committee and Minority Fellowship Committee. Earlier this year, she was named to IDSA’s newly established Leadership Development Committee, which will develop and oversee the process of identifying and coaching qualified pools of applicants to serve as volunteer leaders. After earning her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Dr. Banks completed an internship at the Cleveland Clinic, followed by residency and ID fellowship training at University Hospitals of Cleveland. She also earned an MBA from Youngstown State University. She has received several awards and honors throughout her long career.

Recognized for her expertise, leadership, thoughtfulness, and concern for patients, Dr. Banks is a widely admired ID specialist known for her dedication to the field and its future. The Society is pleased to recognize her with the 2019 Watanakunakorn Award.

Past Watanakunakorn Clinician Award Winners 

2018 Barry J. Hartman, MD, FIDSA
2017 Douglas R. Osmon, MD, MPH, FIDSA
2016 Wilbert H. Mason, MD, MPH, FIDSA
2015     James Horton, MD, FIDSA
2014      Eliot W. Godofsky, MD
2013      Johan S. Bakken, MD, PhD and Thomas M. File, Jr., MD, MSc
2012 David N. Gilbert, MD, FIDSA
2011 Stan Deresinski, MD, FIDSA
2010     Marvin J. Tenenbaum, MD, FIDSA
2009 Lawrence J. Eron, MD, FIDSA
2008 Michael L. Butera, MD
2007 Timothy T. Kuberski, MD, FIDSA
2006 Barbara H. Wade, MD, FIDSA
2005 James S. Tan, MD
2004 Donald M. Poretz, MD
2003 Steven Jon Berman, MD, FACP and Richard N. Olans, MD
2002 William A. Agger, MD
2001 H. Gunner Deery, MD and Peter T. Frame, MD
2000 Martin C. McHenry, MD, MS and Chatrchai Watanakunakorn, MD
1999 Gonzalo Ballon-Landa, MD and Thomas G. Slama, MD
1998 David S. McKinsey, MD and Daniel J. Sexton, MD
1997 Ramon E. Moncada, MD
1996 George Atkinson, MD Pankey, MD and Alan D. Tice, MD
1995 Ellie J.C. Goldstein, MD
1994 George Thornton, MD
1993 Edward Septimus, MD



This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Cookies facilitate the functioning of this site including a member login and personalized experience. Cookies are also used to generate analytics to improve this site as well as enable social media functionality.