Survey May Predict Next Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Share Article has polled sleep professionals across the country to see who they consider to be the most influential sleep specialist in the field.

Sleep Disorders

As a possible foreshadowing to the results of The National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, has concluded an independent poll of sleep disorder medical professionals from all over the country to determine a handful of candidates whose contributions are considered among the industry’s most distinguished.

The anonymous survey, which went out to hundreds of members in the sleep medicine industry, reflected a generally even distribution of votes among the ten nominated physicians, with Dr. William Dement and Dr. Allan Pack recognized in an exceptionally higher percentage of responses. Often called the “Father of Sleep Medicine,” Dr. Dement is a pioneer in the field, having discovered and named the 5 stages of sleep, as well as being the originator of the clinical definition of sleep apnea. Dr. Pack is a sleep medicine authority, known for being University of Pennsylvania’s Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine and the Director at the Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology.

Not surprisingly, both men are past winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award given by The National Sleep Foundation each year. Not only does the survey demonstrate the current relevance of past Lifetime Achievement Award winners, but it showcases the emergence and increasing clout of doctors such as Dr. Susan Redline. Dr. Susan Redline is the Peter C. Farrell Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and renowned for her analysis of the links between sleep apnea and cardiovascular diseases. While she has yet to win the Lifetime Achievement Award, she is a viable contender and clearly held in high regard as shown by the poll.

While a lifetime achievement award is generally only presented to a winner once, the National Sleep Foundation has no rules against repeat winners of the award. What this means it that it’s entirely possible for either Dr. William Dement or Dr. Allan Pack to be conferred this prestigious award once more. Selection of the award recipient is done with a two-level approach, with the National Sleep Foundation accepting nominations from the public, which are then reviewed by a special award task force. Subsequently, the task force forwards their recommendations to the National Sleep Foundation Board of Directors and patiently awaits their decision.

It will certainly be interesting to see who is nominated among his or her peers for this year’s award. Will there be the first repeat winner in the history of the award? Or will an emerging sleep specialist, such as Dr. Susan Redline, be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award? Whoever happens to win the honor will certainly be joining highly esteemed company, with the enormous undertaking of making contributions as lasting and impactful as those of Dr. Dement and Dr. Pack. is a national directory of sleep medicine practitioners, designed to connect users with local sleep doctors and ask any questions they may have regarding their unique symptoms and conditions.

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Andrew Swann
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