News

2022 Outstanding Alumni Award Recipients

Published on May 9, 2022

The University of Iowa College of Public Health is pleased to announce the recipients of the college’s 2022 Outstanding Alumni Awards: Brett Faine, who earned a Master of Science degree in epidemiology and is now a clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice and emergency medicine at the University of Iowa; and Kenneth Saag, who earned a Master of Science degree in preventive medicine and environmental health/epidemiology and is now the Water’s Endowed Chair in the Department of Medicine and professor and director of clinical immunology and rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

This award recognizes College of Public Health alumni who have made distinguished contributions to the field of public health and demonstrated a strong interest and commitment to the mission, vision, and values of the college.

College of Public Health alumni awards are presented in two categories: graduates within the past ten years who have achieved important and promising accomplishments and have exceptional potential for future success, and other alumni for accomplishments throughout their careers who have attained widespread recognition and respect for significant contributions in their field. The recipients will be honored at an awards presentation event at the college on September 12, 2022.

Additional information about the 2022 award recipients follows:

Brett Faine received a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2007 from the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy and a Master of Science degree in epidemiology from the UI College of Public Health in 2016. He is currently a clinical associate professor of pharmacy practice and emergency medicine at the University of Iowa.

Dr. Faine was the first clinical pharmacist to be awarded an NIH StrokeNet fellowship and serves as the site PI for EMERGEncy ID NET, a CDC-funded infectious diseases collaborative that has directed seminal research in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He created the first emergency department-based network of PharmDs in the U.S., which recently completed the first phase of a national surveillance of antimicrobial resistance to better understand trends in community-based patients where they first interface with the health care system.

Brett Faine
Brett Faine

He is an editor for the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy and was recognized as a “Top New Peer Reviewer of 2021” by the Annals of Emergency Medicine. With 49 publications in impactful medical journals, Dr. Faine has rapidly developed as an investigator and a resource to other researchers interested in studying acute illness from a pharmacy perspective.

He has developed several new training programs in emergency medicine pharmacy: a top-rated emergency medicine rotation for fourth-year pharmacy students, and a pharmacy residency program in emergency medicine for which he was recognized by the UI College of Pharmacy as the Preceptor of the Year in 2013 and the UI College of Medicine for Excellence in Interprofessional Education and Practice in 2016. He also developed an elective course in emergency medicine and toxicology for preclinical pharmacy students. He has mentored many students and residents who have gone on to transform the clinical landscape of emergency care throughout the country.

Kenneth Saag received an MS degree from the UI Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health (now part of the Department of Epidemiology in the UI College of Public Health) in 1993. He also received an MD degree from Northwestern University in 1986. He is currently the Water’s Endowed Chair in the Department of Medicine and professor and director of clinical immunology and rheumatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). He is also the director of two UAB research centers: Comprehensive Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, Bone, and Autoimmunity Center (CAMBAC) and the Center of Research Translation (CoRT) in Gout and Hyperuricemia.

Dr. Saag’s research focuses on the comparative effectiveness and safety of therapeutics, as well as methods to improve the quality of care in gout and osteoporosis. He has become a leading authority in osteoporosis-causing conditions and his contributions have led to current prevention and treatment guidelines. He has published 400 peer-reviewed manuscripts and authored more than 150 reviews, editorials, and book chapters. Recently he published the second edition of the clinical handbook Diagnosis and Management of Osteoporosis.

Kenneth Saag
Kenneth Saag

He has been a research mentor, training over 20 post-doctoral fellows and junior faculty. Dr. Saag continues to collaborate with several faculty at the University of Iowa and is a leading voice in musculoskeletal epidemiology.

He has received numerous awards, including the Department of Medicine Research Award, the American College of Rheumatology Research Foundation Excellence in Investigative Mentoring Award, and the European Calcified Tissue Society Excellence in Research Award. He was elected to the Association of American Physicians, is the current president of the American College of Rheumatology and past-president of the National Osteoporosis Foundation Board of Trustees.