Each year at the SLEEP Annual Meeting, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recognizes members of the field who have made indelible professional contributions to sleep medicine.

This year members are invited to nominate colleagues who have shaped our field through their service and achievement in the areas of academics, public policy and education for the Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award, William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award, Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Award, and AASM Excellence in Education Award; members may also self-nominate. Below is a description for each award.

All nominations will be considered by the Nominating Committee in January, and members are encouraged to submit nominations and supporting materials for consideration before the December 15, 2008, deadline. For each candidate you submit to the nominating committee, please indicate the award for which you are nominating them, and include a one-page letter of recommendation as well as an abbreviated CV adapted from NIH format for the candidate; a template of the CV can be downloaded here.  Please submit your nomination materials to Jordana Money either via e-mail at jmoney@aasm.org or via facsimile to (708) 492-0943.

Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award
Established in 1981, the Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award honors individuals dedicated to the sleep field who have made significant contributions in the areas of administration, public relations and government affairs.

The research of Nathaniel Kleitman, one of the world’s eminent sleep scientists, formed the foundation for many areas of current sleep medicine, including REM sleep, circadian rhythms and the effect of drugs on sleep. Through his inventiveness and achievement, Dr. Kleitman has left a vast impression on the sleep medicine field.

William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award
The William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award, established in 1994, recognizes members of the sleep field who have displayed exceptional initiative and progress in the areas of sleep education and academic research.

The award’s namesake, William C. Dement, MD, PhD, is one of the nation’s leading sleep researchers. His extensive publication of research, work with REM sleep and development of the Multiple Sleep Latency Test greatly advanced the sleep medicine field. The William C. Dement Academic Achievement Award embodies the pursuit of knowledge, a commitment to teaching and an unceasing quest to disseminate truth.

Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Award
The Mark O. Hatfield Public Policy Award, established in 1996, acknowledges an individual who has developed public policy that positively affects the healthy sleep of all Americans. This contribution is unique, yet vital to the advancement of the field.

Retired United States Senator Mark O. Hatfield (R-Ore.) has continually supported sleep medicine initiatives and policy. His work on behalf of the field has been instrumental in increasing NIH funding for sleep, increasing public awareness of sudden infant death syndrome, establishing the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, and supporting nationally-recognized sleep disorders research at Oregon Health Science University. Sen. Hatfield also chaired the transportation appropriations subcommittee, where he introduced the driver fatigue initiative, which passed in 1995.

AASM Excellence in Education Award
The Excellence in Education Award is presented to those individuals who have made outstanding contributions in the teaching of sleep medicine. The award serves to recognize and honor dedicated individuals who have skillfully taught and enhanced the knowledge of professional and lay people in the areas of sleep and sleep medicine.