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Dr. Thomas "Tom" File Jr. receives 2023 Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award

Infectious diseases expert awarded health system's highest physician honor

Thomas "Tom" M. File Jr., M.D.

Thomas “Tom” File Jr., M.D., a renowned leader, educator and compassionate caregiver in the field of infectious diseases, was honored with the 2023 Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award.

The health system’s highest physician honor was presented to Dr. File on May 24, 2023, by Cliff Deveny, M.D., Summa Health president and chief executive officer, at Summa Society Celebration—the health system’s annual honor recognition event—at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.

The Summa Health Distinguished Physician Award is presented to a physician who exemplifies the mission and values of Summa Health, demonstrates outstanding leadership and dedication and acts as a role model professionally and personally in the community. The honoree also is recognized for clinical excellence and leadership in research and training and demonstrates a personal commitment to advancing philanthropy at Summa Health.

Among his many leadership roles, Dr. File serves as the chair of the Summa Health Infectious Disease division and a founder and co-director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program.

A pioneer in the field of infectious diseases, both nationally and at Summa Health, Dr. File began his medical journey after graduating from the University of Michigan Medical School and receiving a master’s degree in medical microbiology from The Ohio State University. He completed his internship and residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital and an Infectious Diseases Fellowship from The Ohio State University’s College of Medicine. In 1977, Dr. File became one of several health professionals involved in evaluating the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in Columbus.

Now one of the leading infectious disease specialists in the country, Dr. File along with his colleagues has influenced the national recognition Summa Health received throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He was among those on the list of experts who kept the nation informed, educated and safe.

Dr. File is also professor of internal medicine, master teacher and chair of the Infectious Disease Division Section at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. He is a past president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America where he received the prestigious Watanakunakorn Clinician Award, just one of many professional honors. 

He joins a distinguished group of past honorees including William “Bill” Bauman, M.D. (2022); J. Patrick Flanagan, M.D. (2021); Jay Williamson, M.D. (2019); Ernest R. Estep, M.D. (2018); Gary B. Williams, M.D. (2017); Robert Liebelt, M.D., Ph.D. (2016); and the late James Tan, M.D. (2015), who was Dr. File’s mentor and partner at Summa Health for 16 years.


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