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Penn Medicine's Raymond R. Townsend, M.D., director of the hypertension program, receives Physician of the Year Award from the American Heart Association

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Penn Medicine's Raymond R. Townsend, MD, Director of the Hypertension Program, Receives Physician of the Year Award from the American Heart Association

Raymond R. Townsend, MD, director of the Hypertension Program and a professor of Medicine in Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named the 2016 Physician of the Year Award of the American Heart Association (AHA).

The Physician of the Year Award is presented to one person each year with direct patient care responsibilities who has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to furthering the AHA's mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Townsend, a member of the AHA since 1986, accepted this honor during the 2016 Awards Luncheon in Dallas.

"Having spent the majority of my career dedicated to hypertension, both in research and clinical practice, I have been actively involved in the AHA as their mission goes hand in hand with my career goals," Townsend said. "Receiving this award is such a tremendous honor. I am thrilled to be in the company of those who have received it before me, and am eager to continue supporting this mission."

Townsend received his first award from the AHA in 1984, which was also his first ever academic grant. Becoming more heavily involved as his career went on, he became a Fellow of the American Heart Association (FAHA) through the Council for High Blood Pressure Research - now the Council on Hypertension - in 1993. He has served as faculty for the AHA Hypertension Summer School and co-chaired the Program Committee in 2010 and 2013, and Townsend served on the National AHA Professional Education Committee from 2008 through 2010. Over the years Townsend has also served on the Council on Hypertension Professional Education and Publication Committee, as well as the American Society of Hypertension liaison to the Council on Hypertension Professional Education and Publication Committee, and on the Council on Hypertension Program Committee. Townsend has been a reviewer and contributor for the journal Hypertension for more than 20 years.

His research interests include the role of blood vessel dynamics in chronic kidney disease progression and the development of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease. Townsend earned his bachelor's degree in biology from LaSalle College and medical degree from Hahnemann University. He joined the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania faculty as an assistant professor of Medicine in 1993, before becoming an associate professor in 1996 and a tenured professor in 2001.

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Penn Medicine is one of the world's leading academic medical centers, dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. Penn Medicine consists of the Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, which together form a $5.3 billion enterprise.

The Perelman School of Medicine has been ranked among the top five medical schools in the United States for the past 18 years, according to U.S. News & World Report's survey of research-oriented medical schools. The School is consistently among the nation's top recipients of funding from the National Institutes of Health, with $373 million awarded in the 2015 fiscal year.

The University of Pennsylvania Health System's patient care facilities include: The Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center -- which are recognized as one of the nation's top "Honor Roll" hospitals by U.S. News & World Report -- Chester County Hospital; Lancaster General Health; Penn Wissahickon Hospice; and Pennsylvania Hospital -- the nation's first hospital, founded in 1751. Additional affiliated inpatient care facilities and services throughout the Philadelphia region include Chestnut Hill Hospital and Good Shepherd Penn Partners, a partnership between Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network and Penn Medicine.

Penn Medicine is committed to improving lives and health through a variety of community-based programs and activities. In fiscal year 2015, Penn Medicine provided $253.3 million to benefit our community.

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