On August 16, 1968, John G. Wiegenstein, MD, gathered seven other emergency physicians from Michigan in Lansing to discuss founding a professional organization for emergency physicians. These eight adopted articles of incorporation, settled on a constitution and bylaws, and elected ACEP’s first Chairman.
George C. Fink, MD
Dr. Fink was practicing emergency medicine at St Joseph’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. He served on the 1969–1970 ACEP Board and on the Commission of Publication until February 1969, when he was replaced due to disagreements with Dr. Wiegenstein over editorial content. He left ACEP shortly after that.
Robert N. Leichtman, MD
Dr. Leichtman was practicing at Pontiac General Hospital, where he had developed the Pontiac Plan model of emergency medicine. He served as Membership Chairman of ACEP until he resigned in February 1969. He went on to become an author and spiritual healer, roles he still holds today.
Richard W. Lingenfelter, MD
Dr. Lingenfelter was practicing at Beyer Memorial Hospital in Ypsilanti. He attended the initial planning meeting for ACEP where he advocated against opening ACEP membership to osteopathic physicians. The founders voted to allow osteopathic physicians to join the College, and Dr. Lingenfelter left the organization as a result.
Eugene C. Nakfoor, MD
Dr. Nakfoor partnered with Dr. Wiegenstein to form an emergency medicine group at St. Lawrence Hospital’s emergency department in the mid 1960s, and was involved in the early planning of ACEP. He served on the Board from 1969–1972 and was the chairman of the Scientific Assembly Subcommittee from 1969–1972. Dr. Nakfoor practiced emergency medicine in Lansing, Michigan, until his retirement. He passed away on January 23, 1988.
Robert J. Rathburn, MD
Dr. Rathburn was head of an emergency medicine group at McLaren Hospital in Flint. He brought an attorney to the ACEP planning meeting to draft the articles of incorporation. He also supported the organization by requiring the physicians in his emergency medicine group in Flint to become ACEP members. He served on the Board from 1969–1971, and was named an honorary member of ACEP in 1971. He practiced emergency medicine for the rest of his career, organizing the departments of emergency medicine at McLaren and St. Joseph Hospitals. He passed away September 16, 1993.
John T. Rogers, MD
Dr. Rogers was practicing at St. Mary Hospital in Livonia. He was instrumental in selecting ACEP’s name, favoring “college” over alternatives such as “academy.” He was ACEP’s first Treasurer in 1969–1970 and also stepped in as acting executive director when the original executive director stepped down. He served on the Board from 1970–1972 and 1975–1978. He was named an honorary member of ACEP in 1970 and received the James D. Mills Meritorious Service Award in 1982. He passed away around 2005.
John A. Rupke, MD
Dr. Rupke was the director of the emergency department at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. He worked closely with Dr. Wiegenstein to plan ACEP and to advocate for the College during its early years. He served on the ACEP Board from 1969–1972 and 1979–1982. Named an honorary member of ACEP in 1983, he also received the John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award that year. He received the Council Meritorious Service Award in 1990. The John A. Rupke Legacy Award is named in his honor. He passed away March 14, 2018.
John G. Wiegenstein, MD
Along with Dr. Rupke, Dr. Wiegenstein was the driving force behind ACEP’s founding. He was elected to serve as ACEP’s first Chairman in 1969–1971. He also served on the Board from 1971–1973 and 1974–1975. He was named an honorary member of ACEP in 1970. The John G. Wiegenstein Leadership Award is named in his honor, and he was the first recipient in 1975. Throughout his career, Dr. Wiegenstein was involved with ACEP and emergency medicine. Among other roles, he was ACEP’s first delegate to the American Medical Association and a past president of the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He passed away on October 28, 2004.