Allison Elliott-Shannon


College: Medicine

UK College of Medicine Honors Alumni During Annual Reunion and Family Weekend

Published: Oct 16, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 16, 2012) -- The University of Kentucky Medical Alumni Association honored five physicians during its recent Annual Alumni Reunion and Family Weekend held Oct. 5-6.


The 2012 Distinguished Alumnus Awards were presented to Dr. Jeffrey Cutler of Bethesda, Md., and Dr. William N. Offutt IV of Georgetown, Ky., both from the class of 1968. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes a College of Medicine or resident alumni for significant contributions in one or more of the following areas: education, practice, community and public service, research and advocacy.


Cutler has had a long and distinguished career at the National Institutes of Health in general preventive medicine and has served as a program director, senior scientific advisor, epidemiologist, general medical officer and in other roles. He currently serves as a consultant in the Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at NIH. Prior to his retirement in 2007, he was acting chief of the vascular biology and hypertension branch in the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases.  


A native of Cambridge, Mass., Cutler received his bachelor's degree at Wesleyan University and then attended the UK College of Medicine. He later earned a master's degree in public health at the Harvard School of Public Health and was a special student in epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.


A good friend and classmate said, “Focusing his career on coordination of cardiovascular research, Jeff is a good example of how a physician with a very strong interest in chronic disease prevention can benefit the lives of countless individuals worldwide for our generation and for future generations.”


Offutt, like his father and grandfather, is an eye surgeon and has been in practice in Central Kentucky now for 40 years. He also has been involved in teaching residents and has been involved locally and nationally with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and several other ophthalmology associations.   


After attending medical school at UK, he completed an internship at Charity Hospital in New Orleans and ophthalmology residency training at the Wills Eye Hospital in Penn. Offutt was awarded a Heed Fellowship for study in corneal transplant and ophthalmic plastic surgery and is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He established the ophthalmic plastic surgery service at UK where he continued to serve on the faculty for 40 years.


Dr. Offutt has been president of the Lexington and the Kentucky Academy of Ophthalmology, he was a counselor and member of the board of trustees of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a member of the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, and he was appointed to the inaugural board of the Ophthalmic Mutual Insurance Company.


The Distinguished Young Alumnus Award was presented to Dr. Michael E. Matheny of Nashville, a graduate of the Class of 2001. The Distinguished Young Alumni Award recognizes alumni 40 years of age and younger for their outstanding professional accomplishments at an early age. Since graduating from UK, Matheny has excelled as an accomplished researcher, author and clinician.


He currently is assistant professor of biostatistics at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Along with his medical degree, he also has a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from UK and has completed a master's degree in biomedical informatics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a master's of public health at Harvard University.


UK College of Medicine Dean Dr. Frederick C. de Beer was recipient of the Commonwealth Alumnus Award which recognizes physicians for their extraordinary level of leadership, commitment and service to the medical profession. De Beer, who also serves as vice president for Clinical Academic Affairs at UK HealthCare, completed his residency at UK in 1994.


De Beer received his medical degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa. His postgraduate education was at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London. Prior to coming to the United States in 1989, he served as professor of medicine at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.


In 1993, he was named chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Molecular Medicine at the UK College of Medicine. He has also served as vice chair of the Department of Internal Medicine, director of the UK Graduate Center for Nutritional Sciences, and chief of medicine at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Lexington.


In 2003, he was appointed as the Jack M. Gill Professor and chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. de Beer has authored or co-authored 129 peer-reviewed publications as well as a number of book chapters and editorials. He maintains an active research laboratory and has been continually funded by the National Institutes of Health for more than 20 years.


Also during the ceremony, Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at UK, was presented the Honorary Alumnus Award which recognizes outstanding individuals, who are not graduates of the College of Medicine, but who have made significant contributions to the educational mission of the University of Kentucky and the College of Medicine.


Karpf earned a bachelor's degree and medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed an internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He served as a research associate at the National Institutes of Health until 1974 when he returned to the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania to complete his medical residency. During that time, Karpf completed a fellowship in hematology/oncology and served as chief medical resident at the Hospitals of the University of Pennsylvania and Veterans Administration Hospital.

He held faculty and clinical positions at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Miami School of Medicine, and the University of Pittsburgh. In 1995, Karpf was recruited to the University of California, Los Angles. During his tenure, he integrated three hospitals into one corporate entity. He was responsible for the planning and rebuilding of two replacement hospitals and was instrumental in developing a primary care network for UCLA. He was recruited to UK in September 2003.


Since coming to UK, he has transformed UK HealthCare to a regional academic medical center with world-class facilities including the new Pavilion A at UK Chandler Hospital which includes a new emergency department and a hospital setting designed to support patient care for the next 100 years. He also has led the recruitment of more than 250 senior level positions and established a one-of-a-kind arts in healthcare program.


MEDIA CONTACT: Kristi Lopez,, (859) 323-6363

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