DARIEN, IL – Four members of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine have been selected as 2021 AASM awards recipients for their contributions to the field of sleep medicine. This year’s award winners will be recognized during the plenary session at the Virtual SLEEP 2021 annual meeting on Thursday, June 10.

“I congratulate all four of our impressive award recipients, who are recognized for excellence in sleep medicine through clinical practice, research, education, and advocacy,” said AASM President Dr. Kannan Ramar. “Their expertise and leadership uphold the mission of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine of advancing sleep care and enhancing  sleep health to improve lives.”

The 2021 AASM award recipients, who were selected by the AASM board of directors, are:

Safwan Badr, MD, MBA, FAASM

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. Badr is professor and chair of internal medicine at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and staff physician at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit. As a member of the AASM for more than 30 years, Badr has been a leading advocate for promoting high quality, patient-centered sleep care. He served as president of the AASM from 2013-2014, challenging the AASM to consider new paradigms of care that would achieve the Triple Aim through integrated, value-based models. He was the founding director of the Wayne State University School of Medicine sleep medicine fellowship program and has mentored numerous trainees and junior faculty members who have launched successful academic careers, and he continues to support young physician scientists as a faculty member for the AASM Young Investigators Research Forum and as a mentor in the AASM Foundation’s Sleep Research Program for Advancing Careers. Badr’s own research has advanced the understanding of ventilatory control and airway mechanics during sleep. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Terri Weaver, PhD, RN, FAASM

William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award for exceptional initiative and progress in the areas of sleep education and academic research

Weaver is dean and professor of nursing at the University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing and professor in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep & Allergy at UIC. She also has professor emerita status at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and is a visiting professor at Peking University School of Nursing in Beijing. Her lasting impact on sleep medicine includes her research on the effect of daytime sleepiness on daily behaviors and her development of the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire. The first nurse to serve on the AASM board of directors, Weaver paved the way for advanced practice providers to become more involved in the AASM, and her work on the AASM Foundation Development Council helped expand career development programs for sleep and circadian researchers. As a leader, educator, and mentor, she has helped shape the careers of countless nurses and sleep medicine professionals.

Scott Williams, MD, FAASM

Excellence in Education Award for outstanding contributions in the teaching of sleep medicine

Lieutenant Colonel Scott Williams is the director for medicine at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and an associate professor of medicine and psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS). Williams is dedicated to enhancing the professional development of the entire sleep team. As co-chair of the Sleep ISR Gold Standard Panel, he has helped sleep technologists develop proficiency in scoring sleep studies, and he helped develop an educational track for sleep technologists at the SLEEP annual meeting when he served as chair of the AASM Sleep Technologist and Respiratory Therapist Education Committee. Williams also has educated key decision makers about the importance of sleep as part of the Surgeon General’s Performance Triad Sleep Working group, as consultant to the White House Medical Unit, and as acting consultant to the Army Surgeon General for Sleep Medicine.

Indira Gurubhagavatula, MD, MPH

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

Dr. Gurubhagavatula is associate professor of clinical medicine at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, director of the sleep medicine fellowship at Penn, and director of the sleep medicine clinic at the Crescenz VA Medical Center in Philadelphia. Her work includes screening for sleep apnea in high-risk populations, such as commercial truck drivers, law enforcement officers, and those with cardiovascular disease. Gurubhagavatula has authored scientific publications and documents to guide policy for professional and governmental organizations regarding the management of obstructive sleep apnea in commercial drivers and has served as a consultant for federal organizations that address drowsy driving. She served as chair of the AASM Sleep and Transportation Safety Task Force, Occupational Sleep Wellness Presidential Committee, and Public Safety Committee; co-chair of the Work Shift Length Guidance Task Force; and presently serves as chair of the COVID-19 Task Force. Her work on these committees addressed key safety issues such as drowsy driving, school start times, daylight saving time, physician burnout, shift work, and mitigating the transmission of COVID-19 in sleep centers.

More information about 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 email clederhouse@aasm.org.

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine 
Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) is advancing sleep care and enhancing sleep health to improve lives. The AASM has a combined membership of 11,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals.