Dr. Santamaria named Young Physician of the Year

Juan Santamaria, MD

Juan Santamaria, MD

UNMC’s Juan Santamaria, MD, received the Nebraska Medical Association’s Young Physician of the Year Award for 2023.

Dr. Santamaria is an assistant professor of surgery in the UNMC Division of Surgical Oncology and program director for the Nebraska Breast Health Navigation Program.

UNMC College of Medicine representatives received three of the NMA’s six annual awards during the organization’s annual membership meeting and awards luncheon, held Aug. 18 in Lincoln at the Nebraska Innovation Campus Conference Center.

Also recognized were:

  • Kristie Hayes, MD, emeritus professor of dermatology and director of diversity for the UNMC Department of Dermatology, who received the Distinguished Service to Medicine Award.
  • Wyatt Lanik, a fourth-year medical student, who received the Student Advocate of the Year.

Dr. Santamaria said he is deeply honored to receive the award and thanked the Nebraska Medical Association. He credited two UNMC faculty members who received the award in previous years – Jordan Warchol, MD, assistant professor in the UNMC Department of Emergency Medicine, who was honored in 2019, and Alëna Balasanova, MD, associate professor in the UNMC Department of Psychiatry, who was honored in 2021 – for inspiring him to become involved with the Nebraska Medical Association.

Said Dr. Santamaria, “My greatest passion is to diminish disparities in cancer health care among minority populations. Instead of simply researching and publishing studies that highlight these disparities to add another one to the pile, it is my firm belief that now is the time to transition into action.

“One way I am seeking to do so is through the Nebraska Breast Health Navigation Program, an initiative designed to eliminate obstacles faced by breast cancer survivors, particularly those from communities of color, underserved backgrounds and impoverished circumstances.”


  1. Alena Balasanova says:

    UNMC is lucky to have to Dr. Santamaría’s expertise and enthusiasm! Additionally, he’s played an instrumental role in the development of the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) Nebraska Chapter which he currently chairs!

  2. Hamid Band says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria!

  3. Nikki Carritt says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria, for this well-deserved recognition!

  4. Lucy Muinov MD says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria! Well-deserved!

  5. Dr. Sheritta Strong says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria! Well-deserved!

  6. Toni Laux says:

    Well deserved Dr. Santamaria!! Congratulations!!

  7. Michelle Varney says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria!

  8. Wasim Nasser says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria! Well-Deserved!

  9. Michelle Grady says:

    Way to go, Dr. Santamaria!! Congratulations!! So happy for you to receive this award!!

  10. Melissa Baron says:

    Dr. Santamaria, Congratulations on this recognition and thank you for all of your work!

  11. Imayavaramban says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria

  12. Phyllis Mitchell-Butler says:

    Dr Santamaria, Congratulations on this award. It is well deserved! I just want to take a moment to say what a pleasure it is to work with you.

  13. Myrna Newland says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria. Well deserved.

  14. Parvez Khan says:

    Many Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria.

  15. Brooke J. Fitzpatrick says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria!

  16. Jawed Siddiqui says:

    Congratulations, Dr. Santamaria.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.