Graham, who completed training during the 2003 Forum, was recognized for his leadership of New Mexico's Stroke Task Force, which assessed the state of stroke care. Several significant recommendations were issued, including establishing a network of stroke centers and an operational stroke program within the Department of Health, and increasing public awareness of stroke. He was also named the Medical Volunteer of the Year by the 10-state Pacific Mountain Affiliate of the American Stroke Association / American Heart Association.
"The health and well-being of our patients, the success and viability of neurology as a profession, and progress in neurological research, are all greatly impacted by policy decisions made at the national and state levels," said Graham, who is Associate Professor of Neurology, Radiology, and Neurosciences, and Director of the Cerebrovascular Disorders Program at the Albuquerque VA and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. "As neurologists, we have unique perspective and knowledge that can be used to shape and inform the decision of policymakers."
The American Academy of Neurology established the Palatucci Advocacy Leadership Forum in 2003 to empower neurologists to advocate on behalf of their patients for sensible healthcare reforms on local, regional, and national levels. Courses cover media training, facilitating organizational change, and legislative advocacy training. Graduates from the Forum are then eligible for the mentorship program, an advanced leadership development track.