Newswise — PHILADELPHIA — The inaugural Chevalier Jackson Health Care Innovator Medal, presented by the Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery and the Penn Center for Head and Neck Cancer, has been awarded to Tony Horton, an international fitness and nutrition expert recognized for his work in creating a medically-based exercise regimen that has helped many reach their diet and fitness goals.

The new award honors an individual whose work has resulted in an innovative solution for a pressing health care issue, such as the obesity epidemic, and in turn has had a positive impact on public health.

“Within the medical community, Chevalier Jackson was known as an innovator, forging new ground in medical therapies and calling attention to issues that threatened the health and safety of the public. The spirit of this award is to honor a member of the lay public for their outstanding efforts in championing a cause that could impact the health and well-being of their communities,” said Bert W. O'Malley, Jr., MD, chair, department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery and co-director, Penn Center for Head and Neck Cancer. “The issues themselves may be wide-ranging, but the values of the individual recipients will be at the heart of the honor.”

Chevalier Jackson, MD (1865-1958), was one of the world's leading laryngologists, a subspecialty within otorhinolaryngology that focuses on conditions of the throat. He is also known as a pioneer in the area of endoscopy, a procedure that uses specialized tools to view and operate on internal organs. He developed special tools for endoscopy of the upper airway and perfected methods for removal of objects that were lodged in the throat, lungs and esophagus. Dr. Jackson also created and chaired the world’s first Department of Bronchoesophagology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1919.

Two traits made him particularly unique as a medical professional: his passion for sharing his new techniques worldwide and his dedication to public health. Dr. Jackson publically campaigned for the labeling of all poisonous or corrosive substances to prevent accidental ingestion in the late 1920s. He was instrumental in the passage of the Federal Caustic Poison Act of 1927, which would ultimately save children from serious injury and death.

In 2002, Tony Horton began the two year development process of a new fitness regime known as P90X. Through consultation with various health experts, he created a unique product, based on the latest concepts in exercise science. He developed and tested the program which he offered to the public as an at-home, fitness regimen. By 2014, over seven million copies of his programs have been sold.

“Mr. Horton’s efforts in the area of fitness and nutrition make him an excellent recipient of the Chevalier Jackson Health Innovator Medal,” said Gregory S. Weinstein, MD, vice chairman, department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery and co-director, Penn Center for Head and Neck Cancer. “We are proud to recognize his efforts with this first medal.”

The award will be presented at the 1st International Transoral Robotic Surgery Conference, sponsored by the Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery, on July 24, 2014 in Philadelphia.

Founded in 1870, the Department of Otorhinolaryngology: Head and Neck Surgery at Penn is one of the oldest departments and residency programs in the country and ranked #3 the nation in the 2013-2014 U.S. News and World Report survey of Best Hospitals. This legacy and tradition of excellence in patient care, education, and research continues to grow and flourish today. Penn's multidisciplinary team of board-certified otorhinolaryngologists specialize in the evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of a spectrum of ear, nose and throat disorders, as well as areas within the head and neck. Dr. O’Malley and Dr. Weinstein, developed TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) which is the first FDA-approved robotic surgical approach for removing tumors of the head and neck. TORS has dramatically improved the way doctors treat head and neck cancer patients, completely removing tumors while preserving speech, swallowing, and other key quality of life issues. The TORS techniques have been particularly beneficial for patients with HPV related tongue base and tonsil cancers. To further refine and advance treatments for head and neck cancers, Penn Medicine was one of the first academic medical centers in the nation to establish an interdisciplinary Center for Head and Neck Cancer, which resides within the Department and the Abramson Cancer Center.