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14:24 PM

Dr. Jay Portnoy selected for ACAAI 'Gold Headed Cane' lifetime achievement award

Dr. Jay Portnoy

Jay Portnoy, MD, FACAAI, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology, Telemedicine, has been selected to receive the 2021 “Gold Headed Cane” award by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). The award is the highest honor presented by the ACAAI for lifetime achievement.

“It is obvious that our members value your ongoing dedication to the College and the medical community,” said Luz S. Fineman, MD, FACAAI, president of ACAAIU, in a letter informing Dr. Portnoy of the award.

Dr. Portnoy has been with Children’s Mercy Hospital since 1985. He is a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, and he was Division Director of Allergy/Immunology until 2016 when he became the Medical Director of Telemedicine. Dr. Portnoy founded the Allergy Training Program in 1997 and has been active in mentoring allergy fellows throughout his career. He lives in Overland Park, Kansas, with his wife, Ellen, and their two cats. Jay and Ellen's children are Lara and her husband, Zak; and Michael and his fiancée, Glenda. Among them they have five grandcats and two granddogs. Fortunately, nobody in the family has pet allergy.

The Gold Headed Cane award is a concept used today by many medical schools and specialty societies to recognize a physician who symbolizes the pursuit of the highest standards of scientific excellence and integrity. The award serves as an inspiration to younger doctors and encourages them in family, social, civic, religious, and professional life to cultivate character that earns the respect and goodwill of colleagues and the profession at large.

Canes were commonly carried by English physicians in the 1600s. They contained a cavity for aromatic substances such as rosemary, camphor or Marseilles vinegar to counteract offensive odors and prevent contagion.

The tradition of the Gold Headed Cane originated in 1689 with John Radcliffe, who had a particular interest in asthma as the personal physician to King William III, an asthmatic. Dr. Radcliffe began the tradition of passing the cane to a successor whom he considered to be the greatest English physician of his time.

Dr. Portnoy will officially receive the award on Nov. 6 during the ACAAI annual meeting in New Orleans.

Congratulations, Dr. Portnoy!


Learn about Allergy & Immunology at Children's Mercy.