Kaufman, who has been with UNM for 41 years, is the school’s vice chancellor for community health and a distinguished professor of family and community medicine in the UNM School of Medicine.
“This is a huge honor,” Dr. Paul Roth, UNM’s chancellor for health sciences and dean of the School of Medicine, said in a statement. “There is no greater distinction for medicine.”
He was among 70 new U.S. members and 10 non-U.S. members elected in the class of 2015, the academy announced Monday.
Kaufman’s work contributed to the creation of a section of the Affordable Care Act aimed at increasing primary care access in rural areas. Writers of the act called Kaufman a “champion” of community-based medicine practices that are highly effective in health outcomes.
“It’s a recognition of the work that really we’ve done at the University of New Mexico over the last 30, 40 years,” in community health, Kaufman said. “How the Health Sciences Center has, in so many ways, turned its attention to the health of the state.”
Kaufman lives in Albuquerque with his wife. His son and daughter both graduated from UNM School of Medicine.