Local physicians Winston P. Caine and B.W. Ruffner Jr., as well as Hamilton County Project Access, are among the recipients of annual awards from the Tennessee Medial Association, which will be presented at the TMA’s 178th annual meeting.

The meeting will be held in Franklin on April 6.

Caine is being posthumously honored with an Outstanding Physician Award, given to doctors who have made a personal mark on the profession of medicine. Caine died Oct. 23, 2012, and had practiced medicine in Chattanooga since 1969. He was chief of the hematology service at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Chattanooga and chief of staff of Erlanger Hospital from 1989 to 1991. Additionally, he trained up-and-coming doctors and continued serving his own patients until the day before his death, as well as received numerous awards and accolades during his distinguished career, according to a prepared statement.


“Dr. Caine’s devotion to his patients and their care inspired his pursuit of medical knowledge, and he loved to teach and impart this knowledge to countless medical students, interns and residents for whom he became a role model,” said the nomination letter, which was signed by John McCarley, the 2012 Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society president.

Ruffner will receive the Distinguished Service Award, which has been presented annually since 1963 by the TMA board of trustees to exemplary members of the association for achievements over the past year. He is being honored for his work as an advocate for quality health care.

Ruffner has served as TMA president (2010-2011), as well as the TMA representative to the AMA Physicians Consortium for Performance Improvement. He has also served on Tennessee’s Health Information Project, among many other designations, according to a prepared statement.

Hamilton County Project Access will be presented the Community Service Award, which is given to persons or organizations outside the medical profession who contribute significantly to the advancement of public health in their community.

Project Access was nominated by the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society for its work to provide medical services to uninsured residents of the greater Chattanooga area, as well as for assisting programs in Knoxville and the Tri-Cities area. It was the first Project Access initiative in the state of Tennessee and was founded in 2004.