Tucker receives Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award

Rodney Tucker, M.D., honored for work and care given to patients nearing the end of their lives.

Head shot of Dr. Rodney Tucker, MD (Professor, Gerontology/Geriatrics/Palliative Care), 2019.Rodney Tucker, M.D.As health care professionals put their own lives on the line during the novel coronavirus pandemic, one palliative care physician has been honored for his work and care given to patients who are nearing the end of their lives.

Rodney Tucker, M.D., the director of the Center for Palliative and Supportive Care at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, received the 2020 Hastings Center Cunniff-Dixon Physician Award. Tucker received the Senior Physician Award for his contributions in medical practice, teaching, research and community engagement.  

This award is one of the top honors for physicians practicing palliative care in the United States. Tucker says receiving this award and being recognized for the work that he loves is humbling, and also bittersweet, during this challenging time.

“This award really is a recognition of the entire field and all of the individuals that make up a full interprofessional team,” Tucker said. “The family that funds this program recognizes this field as crucial to the humane care of patients and families, so it is reaffirming to physicians who do this work. This is but one example of the programs throughout the country that highlight the importance and place for this growing specialty of medicine.”  

The Cunniff-Dixon Foundation, whose mission is to enrich the relationship of doctors and patients who are near the end of life, created and funds the awards. The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute that has done groundbreaking work on end-of-life decision-making, co‑sponsors the awards. These accolades are given only every two years in the categories of senior physicians, mid-career and early career categories.