UNM School of Medicine

Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations
UNM School of Medicine
Fitz Hall, Room 182B
MSC 08 4720
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

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Fax (505) 272-6581

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Alumni Awards

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Alfredo Vigil, MD

Alfredo R. Vigil

Dr. Vigil (‘77), practices family medicine in northern New Mexico. Vigil is the Board Chair of the Con Alma Foundation and NM Health Resources. He is a staff physician (and former CEO) at El Centro Family Health in Taos. Vigil was Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Health from 2007 to 2010. Earlier in his career he was medical director of Questa Health Center in Questa, NM, and later Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Vigil has been active in community service throughout his career. He served as president of the New Mexico chapter of the American Academy of Family Physicians. He was a member of the New Mexico Medical Board and the EMS Licensing Commission. Vigil has been a leader in professional recruitment and retention, medical ethics and healthcare access for New Mexicans. A longtime member of UNM’s clinical faculty, he is an active preceptor in the UNM School of Medicine primary care curriculum.

About the Award

The true measure of the School of Medicine's greatness can be found in the achievements of its alumni. The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize alumni who have made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments, affiliations, and careers have honored a legacy of excellence.

Nomination Form for 2017


  • 2016: Alfredo R. Vigil, MD (‘77)
  • 2015: John Mateczun, MD (‘78)
  • 2014: Anthony Yeung, MD (‘70)
  • 2013: Manuel Archuleta, MD (‘73)
  • 2012: Karen S. Guice, MD (‘77)
  • 2011: Ernest T. Takafuji, MD (’71)
  • 2010: Robert F. Melendez , MD (’00)
  • 2009: Michael E. Kilpatrick, MD (’69)
  • 2008: Margot H. Green, MD (’68), and Kathleen S. Kagan, MD (’68)
  • 2007: Wilmer L. Sibbitt, Jr., MD (’77)
  • 2006: Mario F. Pacheco, MD (’86)
  • 2005: Diane J. Klepper, MD (HS)
  • 2004: Jane W. McGrath, MD (’87)
  • 2003: Gary D. Overturf, MD (’69)
  • 2002: Cristina V. Beato, MD (’84)
  • 2001: Allan L. Haynes, MD (’73)
  • 2000: Donald E. Rodgers, MD (’68)
  • 1999: Michael F. Hartshorne, MD (’78)
  • 1998: Frank C. Cooper, MD (HS)
  • 1997:
  • 1996: Paul B. Roth, MD (HS)
  • 1995: J. William Benge, MD (’74)
  • 1994: Michael H. Trujillo, MD (’74)
  • 1993:
  • 1992:
  • 1991:
  • 1990:
  • 1989: Drew Gaffney, MD (’72)
  • 1988:
  • 1987: George P. Bunch, MD (’68)

HS = House Staff

Leonard M. Napolitano, PhD, Award

Karen Armitage, MD

Karen Armitage

Dr. Armitage (HS ’81), is a pediatrician and public health physician. As Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, she directs "Vision 2020" within the Office for Community Health and is Course Director for the Comprehensive Ambulatory Care block in the School of Medicine. She was a 2014-2015 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow, and is a strong proponent of evidence-based health policy to improve population health outcomes. She served as chief medical officer for the New Mexico Department of Health during the administration of Gov. Bill Richardson, working closely with Department of Health Secretary Alfred Vigil (this year’s Distinguished Alumnus). For more than fifteen years, Armitage has trained health professionals to participate in New Mexico legislative processes shaping health policy. She is an advocate for community-led interventions to address health disparities and evidence-based interventions to improve physical fitness in children and adults.

About the Award

Dr. Napolitano was the UNM School of Medicine's third dean (1972-1994). His many contributions include his commitment to knowing patients as people, which led to the development of the School of Medicine’s nationally recognized Primary Care Curriculum. The Leonard M. Napolitano, PhD, Award recognizes an alumnus who, like Dr. Napolitano, has built strong public and private partnerships while successfully advocating for and showing dedication to the School of Medicine and its patients through innovation and commitment to education.

Nomination Form for 2017


  • 2016: Karen Armitage, MD (HS ’81)
  • 2015: Valerie Romero-Leggott, MD (’92)
  • 2014: Albert Kwan, MD (’83)
  • 2013: Catherine McClain, MD (’88)