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George Panyarachun, MSBME has been named the 2008 Welch Allyn, CMIA Professional of the year. In winning this award, George will receive a $1,000 check provided by Welch Allyn, Inc., a custom plaque presented at the CMIA awards banquet, and automatic nomination for the appropriate AAMI award. The stated purpose of this award is to “recognize outstanding professional achievement, contribution to their community, as well as significant contributions to the biomedical community.” George has not only met, but exceeded these criteria.

In his nomination letter, Manuel Rojas, MS (CMIA Lifetime member) said “I have come to admire George as a person and as an outstanding Biomedical Engineer. While at St. Vincent Medical Center, he excelled in the surgery area. He expanded the in-house program to include all major types of devices including anesthesia machines, lasers, ventilators, heart-lung machines, etc. He participated very actively in several important surgery committees where he provided valuable technical advice. He also started a training program to improve the skills of the dept’s employees. Along the same lines, he created an internship program to accept Valley College students for the practical hands-on part of the College Biomed Program.”

Les Atles, CCE, CBET (CMIA Lifetime member) wrote in his letter of support, “I have known George for more than twenty years in the capacity of a Department Supervisor, Department Director, College Educator, CMIA President and CMIA Board Member. In each case, George has stepped up to the challenge with the same Professional determination to do the best job possible without asking any subordinate to perform a task that he himself would not perform or provide assistance in performing. He has always led by Example. I cannot think of anyone more qualified to receive this honor.”

He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering through the Royal Thai Air Force Academy in Bangkok, Thailand in 1981, and then in 1984 he received an A.S. in Biomedical Equipment Technology from Stanly Technical College in Albemarle, North Carolina. He earned his M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio in 1986.

He is currently the Biomedical Engineering Manager at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, in Los Angeles, California. Before that, he has been Biomedical Engineering Specialist at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles, Biomedical Engineering Supervisor at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys California, a Clinical Engineer at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, and a Biomedical Engineering Supervisor at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles.

He has served as a consultant to seven public hospitals under Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) in Bangkok Thailand, The Department of Pollution control in Thailand, Premier Hospital of Cabanatuan City, Philippine, and Al Zayani Commercial Services in Bahrain.

He served the Royal Thai Air Force in Thailand as a Clinical Engineer, where he was responsible for supervising 25 staff members in the Facilities Management Services and Clinical Engineering Departments at the 1000 bed Royal Thai Air Force Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. He was honorably discharged as an Air Force Captain.

He has an impressive list of major accomplishments. Several of these accomplishments were conducting research studies using Biostereometric technique. These include a gait analysis of children with cerebral palsy, and of breast cancer using non-invasive diagnostics. He also developed quality assurance protocols for in-house anesthesia equipment services, started a Surgical Biomedical Committee to improve the quality of patient care in surgical areas and trained anesthesia residents and operating room nursing staff. He established in-house service programs for surgical laser instrument and Respiratory therapy equipment. He also developed an anesthesia agent spill disposal device and a positive airway pressure device.

He has several Patents Pending, including a Disposable digital PEEP device, and a Smart Binder He has received over 20 special training certificates in the areas of Management and Engineering, including several classes from Emergency Management Institute (FEMA).

As President of Medical and Environmental Technologies Inc., he successfully launched and marketed Thailand’s first dust and erosion control program by using polymer products.

George has been a dedicated member of the CMIA since the early nineties and has served in most positions within the LA chapter, including Editor, President, and Director. He has been instrumental in coordinating several training seminars.

In addition to belonging to the CMIA, he also belongs to the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BES).

George has also been very active in his church activities, mainly dealing with the Thai immigrants, and in procuring medical equipment for use in needed hospitals and clinics in his native Thailand.

He has been the Biomedical Technology Program Instructor at Los Angeles Valley College, Los Angeles, California since 1993. Mr. Rojas says “George’s biggest contribution to our profession has been in the academic field, when he took over the Biomedical Technology program at Valley College. Les Atles brought him into the program, first as an advisor, later as the main instructor. The program, under his leadership, continues to prepare new technicians and leaders for the ever-changing world of Biomedical Technology. This semester, there are 21 students in the program! Many of his students have earned the Frank Yip Scholarship from the CMIA. Two of his students are current officers of the LA Chapter. The fact that the program continues to be so successful is due, almost entirely, to George’s abilities, dedication, and hard work.”

Mr. Atles adds that George has “taken the program through some of their darkest hours. During that period others may have considered throwing in the towel, I don’t believe the notion ever crossed George’s mind.” The fact that his students are taking leadership roles “only further demonstrates the great leadership and mentoring that George has provided.”

The CMIA Congratulates George and would like to thank Welch Allyn, Inc. for their continued support of this important recognition award.

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