(May 2017) Linda L. Williams, MD, a Denver-area psychiatrist, has received the Silver and Gold Award from the CU School of Medicine Alumni Association. The top award recognizes humanitarianism, citizenship, professionalism, outstanding service to the community, and contributions to the art and science of medicine.
Williams, who graduated from the CU School of Medicine in 1984 and completed a residency in family medicine before transitioning to psychiatry, has devoted much of her career to disaster relief work. Unlike most physicians, Williams began her career as a nurse; she was a first responder when in 1974 a historic tornado struck Xenia, Ohio, near her birthplace.
Williams’ interest in international volunteerism was fueled by her work as a nurse and later as international medical director for Up With People, from which she received the James E. McLennan Everyday Hero Award. Next ,Williams was the Colorado Medical director of Docs Who Care, a group of physicians and other health care providers who partner with community hospitals to provide clinic and emergency department staffing, hospital inpatient care, and other administrative services.
Williams also responded to areas hit by horrific disasters—Thailand following the historic tsunami and Haiti in the wake of a devastating earthquake. She also helped establish healthcare outreach in Cambodia, Kenya, Peru, Argentina, the Eastern German Republic, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
In 2008, Williams entered psychiatry residency at Harvard University- Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2011, her fellow residents voted to award her the Psychiatry: Empathy Award.
She is a distinguished expert in the areas of women’s health, postpartum depression, adoption, neuroplasticity research, post-traumatic stress and ADHD.
On the local level, Williams has counseled victims of sex trafficking in Denver and helped provide food to the homeless as part of the Miracle on 16th Street project.
She has taught continuing education courses on spirituality and the patient, primary care in disaster relief, and ADHD.
In 2016, Williams assisted with establishing the Kenneth Atkinson, MD Memorial Scholarship Fund, which will provide a presidential full-tuition scholarship to an incoming CU medical student and to a fourth-year medical student pursuing a primary care career in a rural area. The scholarship is named for the physician who died of gunshot wounds while trying to help two women who had been shot in Centennial in April 2015.