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Three alums honored for service to YSM

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2013 - Spring


Three alumni received the Distinguished Alumni Service Award from Association of Yale Alumni in Medicine this year’s reunion.

Donald O. Lyman, M.D. ’68, completed an internship and residency at the University of Miami in Florida. He then served in the public health service in California, studying preventative medicine, followed by another year of medical residency at the University of California, San Diego. His career from that point on was in the public health arena, first in New York and then in California. While tackling ministerial duties in California’s Department of Public Health, he incorporated many strategic activities to address the issues of the day, including tobacco control, fluoridation of drinking water, establishing the first California AIDS office, partnership with UC Davis for a School of Public Health, and improving secondary prevention activities for cancer. Lyman also served as class secretary for more than 20 years, and along with classmate Libby Short has worked tirelessly to assure successful reunions. He has also been a class agent, raising funds for the medical school. In the last ten years, he has organized West Coast mini-reunions for the class in between the five-year reunion cycle.

Following graduation Elizabeth M. Short, M.D. ’68, HS ’70, FW ’72, trained in internal medicine and medical genetics at Yale, completed a fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco, and became chief resident in medicine at Stanford School of Medicine. She joined the Stanford faculty and worked in human genetics, and then as associate dean for education. She has also served in professional roles at the Association of Medical Colleges, Georgetown University School of Medicine, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and on the White House Taskforce on Health Care Reform chaired by First Lady Hillary Clinton. Though officially "retired" in 2004, Short has been active in community programs including a treatment center for children at risk, the Museum of the American West, Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, and the California Philharmonic. Short has also made time to become deeply involved with YSM class activities, co-chairing reunions with classmate Don Lyman. She has tracked down classmates to encourage their reunion attendance and participation in the reunion classbooks. In recent years she has also helped to organize class gatherings on the West Coast.

Michael B. Tom, M.D. ’83, spent two years in the surgical program at Yale after his graduation before returning home to California to enter the ENT program at UCLA. He practiced in Los Angeles for four more years before returning east to practice in New York. His service to Yale began as a class agent for the Medicine Alumni Fund in 1983. Over the years he increased his responsibilities, taking on the leadership role as chair of the YSM Alumni Fund Executive Committee. He also represented the graduate and professional schools as a member and executive committee member of the university’s Alumni Fund Board. In 2007 he served on the Yale Alumni Fund Convocation planning committee. That year the board honored him with the Chairman’s Award for service to the university. Tom also served as his class’s reunion gift chair in 2008 and 2013. Under his direction the YSM Alumni Fund contributions have increased significantly. In addition to these fundraising roles, he is an advisor on student health to the Yale Health Plan and represents Yale on the American Association of Medical Colleges student advisory board.