2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

William C. Cushman, MD, FACP, FAHA, FASH

Dr. Cushman is Professor of Preventive Medicine, Medicine, and Physiology at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.  He is Chief of the Preventive Medicine Section at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee, and the Lead Hypertension Consultant to Medical Service in Central Office of the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was on the 2004 VA-DoD (Department of Defense) Hypertension Clinical Practice Guideline committee and was the VA Champion for the 2014 VA-DoD Hypertension Guidelines, the Executive Committee for the Seventh (2003) Joint National Committee Report on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of Hypertension (JNC 7) and a co-author of the 2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: Report from the Panel Members Appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8).

In 2010 Dr. Cushman received the John Blair Barnwell Award (Barnwell Award) for outstanding achievement in clinical science, the Department of Veterans Affairs Clinical Science Research and Development’s (CSR&D) highest honor for scientific achievement; he also received the 2005 Excellence in Leadership Award, Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control (COSEHC), and the 2010 Memphis Business Journal Healthcare Heroes Award for Healthcare Innovations.

Dr. Cushman graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine, where he was also selected in his third year to Alpha Omega Alpha honorary society.  He completed his residency training at the University of Mississippi in Jackson, Mississippi, and served on the faculty from 1977-1988, when he moved to the University of Tennessee in Memphis.

He has been an investigator in many clinical studies relating to hypertension and lipid therapy.  He has been the chairman for two VA Cooperative Studies: PATHS (Prevention and Treatment of Hypertension Study), a multicenter clinical trial examining the effects of reducing alcohol intake on blood pressure in heavy drinkers; and the VA participation in the Antihypertensive and Lipid Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT), a National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) study comparing cardiovascular events from four major classes of antihypertensive agents in 42,418 patients; and Co-Chair for The Diuretic Comparison Project, a randomized VA Cooperative Study comparing the effects of chlorthalidone and hydrochlorothiazide on major cardiovascular events.  He was also Principal Investigator for the VA Clinical Center Network and Chair of the Blood Pressure Working Group of the NHLBI-sponsored Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial (2000-2010) and ACCORDION (-2015) extension, and Principal Investigator for the VA Clinical Center Network and Chair of the Intervention Subcommittee of the NHLBI-sponsored Systolic Pressure Intervention Trial (SPRINT) (2009-2018).  He has nearly 250 journal article and book chapter publications, including a number of publications in NEJM, JAMA, and Lancet, and has received approximately $60 million in research funding.