The American Academy of Family Physicians named Thomas E. Albani, Jr., MD, FAAFP, the national 2013 Family Physician of the Year at the opening ceremony of its annual Scientific Assembly. The award honors one outstanding American family physician who provides patients with compassionate and comprehensive care, and serves as a role model professionally and personally in his or her community, to other health professionals, and to residents and medical students.
Born and raised in the Youngstown, Ohio, area, Albani has been a practicing family physician for nearly 30 years. In addition to his solo practice in Canfield, he helped establish the Midlothian Free Health Clinic where he serves as medical director and provides care to the community’s “working poor” who do not have access to needed medical care. Established in 2008, the Midlothian clinic receives no public funds and is staffed entirely by volunteers who provide patients with a medical home for their primary health care needs. Albani and his staff also help patients navigate the complex and confusing health care system when more advanced, sub-specialty care is required.
In 2008, Albani also helped establish Access Health Mahoning Valley, where he currently serves as a board member. Access Health Mahoning Valley is a multi-county initiative designed to provide comprehensive primary care to residents of Mahoning and Trumbull counties, aged 19 to 64, who are uninsured and ineligible for public assistance. The initiative is supported by local businesses, health and political leaders who aim to reduce medical costs to the community by helping patients avoid expensive and unnecessary emergency room visits.
Albani’s role as a family physician extends beyond community service and caring for patients. He is an assistant professor of family medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University College of Medicine and volunteer faculty member at St. Elizabeth Hospital Family Practice Residency program. In addition, he gives generously of his time to share his philosophy with young people, from middle school-aged children to medical students, encouraging them to pursue careers in family medicine and other health professions, and to use their skills in service to others.
Albani has received many awards, including the 2012 Distinguished Physician award from the Mahoning County Medical Society, 2011 Ohio Family Physician of the Year award from the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians, Humility of Mary Health Partners’ 2011 Mahoning Valley Leadership in Health award, 2011 Eagle Excellence award from the Hubbard Alumni Association and the 2003 Outstanding Volunteer Faculty Award from NEOMED.
Albani earned his undergraduate degree in biology from West Virginia University, Morgantown, W.V. He earned his medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and completed his family medicine residency at Mount Carmel Medical Center, both in Columbus. Albani is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and has the AAFP Degree of Fellow, an earned degree awarded to family physicians for distinguished service and continuing medical education.