[May 17, 2021 – Parker, CO] Rocky Vista University (RVU) would like to congratulate Anthony J. LaPorta, MD, Director of RVU’s Military Medicine Program and Professor of Clinical Surgery, on receiving the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians’ (CPEP) Martha Illige Award, which recognizes individuals who have helped improve the clinical skills of CPEP’s participants and, ultimately, the care of their patients.
Dr. LaPorta was recognized with the award at CPEP’s 30th anniversary celebration on April 28th for his work in the development of high-fidelity surgical simulations in collaboration with RVU and Strategic Operations, Inc. (STOPS). During his acceptance video, Dr. LaPorta noted that open surgery is not something taught to a high enough degree. “I’m very humbled by being able to help develop the open surgical simulator that has started to educate senior surgery residents and trauma surgeons, and allow us to evaluate their skills and return their skills.”
In addition, Dr. LaPorta was recognized for this advocacy of CPEP’s work. “[Dr. LaPorta] really put forth an incredible effort in exposing us to a number of individuals who were both locally and nationally renowned in the simulation world,” said Elizabeth S. Grace, MD, Medical Director and PROBE Program Director at CPEP. “He has enthusiasm and energy that is contagious. He just keeps giving and giving.”
Kit Lavell, Executive Vice President at STOPS, also praised Dr. LaPorta on his enthusiasm for simulation as a teaching tool in healthcare education and for the impact that his work has had. “A surgeon saving a life is good. A surgeon teaching another surgeon to save a life is great. And a surgeon teaching a whole generation to save lives is priceless.”
At RVU, Dr. LaPorta oversees the Office of Military Affairs and works closely with RVU’s Office of Simulation in Medicine and Surgery. Dr. LaPorta can often be found at simulations involving the Cut Suit®, a human-worn, partial task surgical simulator manufactured by STOPS. Each year, Dr. LaPorta also assists in the coordination of Cut Suit Week, a week-long event that incorporates simulated disaster scenarios and mass casualty incidents that are attended by medical students, first responders and other personnel.
Dr. LaPorta retired from the U.S. Army as a Colonel after 26 years of service. He has authored over 200 peer-reviewed articles and presentations on surgery, immunology, military medicine, and simulation. Over the course of his career, Dr. LaPorta has been awarded the Order of Military Medical Merit, the Andrew C. Ruoff III Award for Outstanding Field Medical Surgeon, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and many more.