WASHINGTON — The American Medical Association (AMA) presented Nancy Backus, mayor of the city of Auburn, Wash., with the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service.

Since her election in 2014, Mayor Backus has lead the development of programs to improve the overall health of the Auburn community, focusing her attention on the challenges of homelessness and drug addiction. She is the co-convener of the King County Heroin and Prescription Opiate Addiction Task Force and One Table, a regional initiative focused on tackling the issues of homelessness and housing affordability. She serves on the board of All Home, a regional board committed to making homelessness rare, brief and one-time. In 2015, she convened Auburn’s Task Force on Homelessness to develop strategies to address homelessness in Auburn and in 2016 formed the Blue Ribbon Committee for Auburn — The Healthiest City in Washington — 2020. Among their accomplishments is Real Emergency Aid Depends on You (R.E.A.D.Y.), a one hour course on mental health designed to increase awareness, eliminate stigma, and teach basic skills to use during a mental health crisis.

“A fearless leader who has tackled head-on the challenges that too many elected officials avoid, Mayor Backus has made a name for herself advocating for the underserved and marginalized,” said AMA Board Chair Gerald E. Harmon, M.D. “A highly respected public servant, she is known for bringing together local, regional and national leaders to develop solutions that benefit the people of Auburn and can serve as a blueprint for other communities.”

Backus was one of six honorees chosen this year to receive the Dr. Nathan Davis Award for Outstanding Government Service. The award, named for the founding father of the AMA, recognizes elected and career officials in federal, state or municipal service whose outstanding contributions have promoted the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.

Backus is a graduate of Green River College and City University of Seattle. The AMA presented her the Dr. Nathan Davis Award last night at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. as part of the AMA’s National Advocacy Conference.

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The American Medical Association is the premier national organization providing timely, essential resources to empower physicians, residents and medical students to succeed at every phase of their medical lives. Physicians have entrusted the AMA to advance the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health on behalf of patients for more than 170 years.