Providence VA Medical Center, Rhode Island
PVAMC Physician and Researcher Honored
A physician and researcher at the Providence VA Medical Center received the 2019 Breathing for Life Award — the highest honor given by the American Thoracic Society Foundation to a member for philanthropy — during the 11th Annual ATS Foundation Research Program Benefit, May 18, in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Sharon I. S. Rounds championed the formation of the ATS Foundation as president from 2004 to 2005. She served on the foundation’s board from 2012 to 2018, and has also been one of its most generous supporters.
A distinguished researcher on pulmonary circulation — who also received the ATS Robert F. Grover Prize for outstanding contributions to the study of the effects of hypoxia and high altitude on pulmonary circulation on May 20 — Rounds supported the ATS Foundation’s efforts to advance the careers of promising young investigators, chairing the ATS committee that selects grant recipients.
At the Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Rounds is a professor of medicine and of pathology and laboratory medicine, and is associate dean for clinical affairs. From 2006 to 2015, she was chief of the medical service at the Providence VAMC.
As an educator, Rounds has been recognized more than a dozen times for her excellence in teaching and mentorship, including receiving the Elizabeth A. Rich, MD, Award from the ATS for a woman who has made significant contributions in the fields of pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.
Throughout her career, Rounds has pressed for more opportunities for women and minorities. Along with doctors Alvin Thomas and Estelle Gauda, she created the ATS Minority Trainee Development Scholarships program two decades ago. At Brown, for many years, she was the principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health-funded program to increase diversity in health-related research.
“This is the history of the United States of America: we’re only as good as our diversity,” Rounds said. “It makes us better health care professionals, and it makes our research more relevant to the needs of the community.”
At a time of life when many consider retiring, Rounds remains active as a mentor, researcher and clinician, and in the ATS, as well.
“I view my time contribution to ATS, not as work, but as fun,” said Rounds. “The ATS is interesting and engaging, and keeps my mind off things that I might find boring.”