A trailblazing alumna, a beloved faculty leader and mentor, a devoted volunteer leader and an outstanding member of the MD Class of 2019 were honored by the Wake Forest School of Medicine’s Medical Alumni Association (MAA) with Distinguished Awards on Friday, May 3, at the Benton Convention Center.

2019 MAA Distinguished Achievement Award - J.E. "Betsy" Tuttle, MD '88

J. E. “Betsy” Tuttle, MD ’88, MHA, received the Distinguished Achievement Award. She is the Walter J. Pories Distinguished Professor of Surgery and chair of the Department of Surgery at East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine, and chief of surgery at Vidant Medical Center. She is the first woman to serve as chair of surgery in the Southeast and the seventh to be appointed surgery chair among the nation’s 200-plus medical schools.

Tuttle has built a nationally prominent career in abdominal transplant surgery, receiving multiple clinical and teaching awards as well as several Medals of Honor from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her efforts to improve and expand organ donation and transplantation processes.

2019 MAA Distinguished Faculty Award - Jimmy L. Simon, MD

Jimmy L. Simon, MD, professor emeritus of pediatrics, received the Distinguished Faculty Award. Throughout his long career, Simon has been dedicated to outstanding training and education and to providing the best pediatrics care.

After earning his MD from the University of California, San Francisco in 1955, Simon worked at academic medical centers in California, Oklahoma and Texas. He joined Wake Forest Baptist as chair of pediatrics in 1974 and was instrumental, along with Dr. Richard Janeway and the Brenner family, in establishing Brenner Children’s Hospital and in bringing a strong pediatrics education and clinical program to Winston-Salem. He retired in 1996 as chair and professor emeritus of pediatrics.

2019 MAA Distinguished Service Award - James W. Johnston

James W. Johnston, chair of Wake Forest Baptist Health Board of Visitors and life member of the Wake Forest University Board of Trustees, received the Distinguished Service Award. He is the president and chief executive officer of Stonemarker Enterprises, Inc., a consulting and investment company. From 1989 to 1996, he served in top executive leadership roles with RJR Nabisco Inc., R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Worldwide and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co.

Johnston has served on the Wake Forest Baptist Health Board of Visitors since 1991 and on the Wake Forest University Health Sciences Board of Directors since 2011. He has chaired both the Wake Forest Baptist Health multiyear philanthropic campaign and Wake Forest University’s investment committee, which oversees the endowment.

2019 Student Excellence Award - Margarita Arakelyan-Peters Berwick

Margarita Arakelyan-Peters Berwick of the MD Class of 2019 received the Student Excellence Award as determined by members of the graduating class for demonstrating knowledge, compassion and dedication—the qualities needed to become the model of a complete physician.

She was born in Uzbekistan and lived in Russia before being adopted at age 15 by a family in Texas. She was the salutatorian of her high school class, graduated from Southern Methodist University and enrolled at the Wake Forest School of Medicine in 2015. As a medical student, she published medical research, served as a leader with the student-run DEAC (Delivering Equal Access to Care) Clinic and assisted other students as co-president of the Vascular Surgery Interest Group. She began her Ob-Gyn residency at the University of Florida the summer of 2019.