School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Dr. Safwan Badr will lead American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Safwan Badr, M.D., M.B.A.

Safwan Badr, M.D., M.B.A.

Safwan Badr, M.D., M.B.A., was elected president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine earlier this year, and will lead the 10,000-member organization for one year beginning next June.

Dr. Badr is chief of the Wayne State University School of Medicine’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, professor of Medicine and the WSU Sleep Fellowship’s program director.

The AASM, established in 1975 as the Association of Sleep Disorders Centers, sets standards and promotes excellence in health care, education and research.

“I’m very pleased to be part of an organization advocating for this,” he said.

Dr. Badr is a native of Syria, earning a medical degree from the country’s Damascus University Medical School. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Syrian American Medical Society at the SAMS 12th annual international meeting July 3 in Istanbul, for his accomplished research, medical practice and education.

“I was not expecting that, and I’m very appreciative. As I told the group, the people who win awards win them because of the other people who work with them. What we accomplish is a team sport,” he said.

Dr. Badr also is a member of the American Thoracic Society, Association of Subspecialty Professors and American College of Physician Executives, and a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians.

Dr. Badr is a clinical researcher and staff physician at the Detroit Medical Center’s John D. Dingell Veteran Affairs Medical Center and chief of Service, Pulmonary and Critical Care at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute.

He has been a member of the AASM since 1989, serving on the board of directors since 2008.

As this year’s president-elect, he joins the academy’s core leadership team, which includes the president-elect, president and immediate past president of AASM. “I feel honored and humbled at the same time,” Dr. Badr said. “I feel a sense of responsibility, as someone always hopes to fulfill what others think he or she is capable of doing.”

He plans to focus his term on the future of Sleep Medicine, a subspecialty recognized by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Poor sleep contributes to obesity, heart disease, airway disease and depression, he said, and is a leading cause of car accidents and subsequent deaths.

“It is a huge public health issue,” he said. “It is no longer (just) sleep apnea and diagnostic sleep testing. What are the medical specialties we need to interface with? It is more about how Sleep Medicine will fit into the new landscape of health care, where it fits into the bigger picture. I think that’s a paradigm shift for which we all have to be prepared.”

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