DARIEN, IL – Several leaders in the field of sleep medicine and a California state senator were selected as recipients of the 2019 American Academy of Sleep Medicine awards, which will be presented Monday, June 10, during the plenary session of SLEEP 2019, the 33rd annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC (APSS) in San Antonio.

“I congratulate the 2019 award recipients for their contributions to the sleep medicine field through academic research, clinical care, public policy, and education,” said AASM President Dr. Douglas Kirsch. “Their accomplishments range from expertly guiding us at the earlier stages of sleep medicine’s evolution, to educating today’s clinicians and inspiring us to advocate for the students of tomorrow by changing school start times. The board of directors recognizes and appreciates the awardees’ hard work and dedication to the field of sleep medicine.”

The 2019 AASM award recipients, who were selected by the AASM board of directors, are:

Patrick J. Strollo, Jr., MD
Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award for dedication to the sleep field and significant contributions in the areas of administration, public relations and government affairs

Dr. Strollo is a professor of medicine and clinical and translational science and vice chair of medicine for Veterans Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, and he is chairman of medicine at the VA Pittsburgh Health System. Strollo has made numerous contributions throughout more than 30 years as an AASM member, especially by leading the AASM as the 2010 – 2011 president, serving as the AASM physician representative to the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement, and representing the AASM within the AMA House of Delegates. He also has made a lasting, positive impact on the sleep field as chair of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board and through his research exploring the novel treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and the impact of OSA on cardiovascular risk.

Sonia Ancoli-Israel, PhD
William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award for exceptional initiative and progress in the areas of sleep education and academic research

Dr. Ancoli-Israel is a professor emeritus of psychiatry and professor of research at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Throughout 35 years as an AASM member, she has made a lasting impact on the sleep field as a clinician and educator, including her service as research and education director at the UC San Diego Sleep Medicine Center. She also has helped advance the field of sleep and circadian science through her research in areas of critical importance, such as aging and cancer, and through her leadership in positions such as deputy director of the UC San Diego Stein Institute for Research on Aging and co-director of the UC San Diego General Clinical Research Center Gillin Laboratory of Sleep and Chronobiology.

Loretta Colvin, ACNP-BC
Excellence in Education Award for outstanding contributions in the teaching of sleep medicine

Ms. Colvin is a clinical assistant professor of nursing at Maryville University and a nurse practitioner at SSM Health in St. Louis. Throughout nearly 10 years as an AASM member, she has served as chair of the AASM APRN/PA Task Force, two-time chair of the Sleep Disorders for the APRN/PA course, and member of both the AASM Education Committee and the AASM Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. Her work has helped advance education for all members of the sleep team, and she has been a leader in advocating for the important role of advanced practice providers in the field of sleep medicine.

Senator Anthony Portantino
Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy or Advocacy Award for developing public policy that positively affects the healthy sleep of all Americans

Senator Anthony Portantino represents California’s 25th State Senate District. He recently reintroduced SB-328, “Pupil attendance: school start time,” which made it all the way to the governor’s desk in 2018 before being vetoed. The bill would require the school day for middle schools and high schools in the state to begin no earlier than 8:30 a.m., which is in agreement with an AASM position statement. The bill demonstrates that legislation promoting healthy sleep for teens can garner bi-partisan support, and it provides a model for other state legislators throughout the country.

A list of previous recipients of the AASM awards is available online.


Photos are available upon request. For more information, please contact Communications Coordinator Corinne Lederhouse at 630-737-9700, ext. 9366, or clederhouse@aasm.org.

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 
Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) improves sleep health and promotes high quality, patient-centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research, and practice standards. The AASM has a combined membership of 10,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals.