I am in Washington D.C. this week participating in the discussions about health care reform. Last night I had the honor of being invited to participate in honoring one of emergency medicine’s own, Dr. Jeff Runge.
Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, MD, FACEP, received the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service in a ceremony last evening. Dr. Runge practiced emergency medicine for 25 years, and was assistant chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina when President Bush appointed him administrator of the National Highway Safety Administration. While there he implemented a combination of legislative and law enforcement initiatives, including the “Click It or Ticket” program. Dr. Runge went on to serve as chief medical officer within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working as an advisor on medical and bioterrorism issues. While there Dr. Runge founded the Office of Health Affairs, providing oversight of the Department’s biodefense and medical readiness programs. Dr. Runge now acts as a consultant in the areas of disaster medicine, bioterrorism defense and homeland security technology.