Distinguished Service Award Recipients

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 20162015 | 2014 | 2013

2019 – Philip “Flip” Smith, MD

Dr. Philip Smith is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His areas of clinical expertise include pulmonary disease and critical care medicine.

Dr. Smith earned his M.D. from the Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed his residency at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and performed a fellowship in pulmonary medicine at Johns Hopkins.

His research interests include HIV and HAART effects on sleep and daytime function; sleep apnea and metabolic function; and obesity and neural control in sleep-disordered breathing.

Dr. Smith was recognized by the Department of Medicine with a Levine Excellence in Mentoring Award in 2005.


Dr. Brian Bohner’s educational training began as an undergraduate at Duke University where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1980, attending on a four-year wrestling scholarship. He then attended Medical School at Penn State University in Hershey, Pennsylvania, receiving a scholarship from the United States Air Force. He completed his Internal Medicine Residency at Keesler Air Force Base Medical Center, and then a Pulmonary/Critical Care Fellowship at Ochsner Clinic in New Orleans in 1989. Following his Fellowship, he served as a Major in the Air Force for three years of active duty, including deployment to Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

He started his private practice in Sleep Medicine in Baltimore in 1992, and in 1996 was one of the founding members of Pulmonary and Critical Care Associates of Baltimore (PCCAB). He subsequently established a sub- group of sleep physicians within the group under the title Sleep Medicine Associates of Maryland (SMAM). Over the next 20 years, he was the founding Medical Director of several hospital sleep centers in the region, including Franklin Square Hospital 1997, Saint Joseph’s Medical Center 1999, Sinai Hospital Sleep Center 2000, Good Samaritan Hospital Sleep Center 2002, Greater Baltimore Medical Center 2005, Northwest Hospital Sleep Center 2007, and Union Memorial Hospital Sleep Center 2009 – attaining AASM accreditation for the Sleep Centers in each of these hospitals. The sleep practice of SMAM has expanded to 8 Sleep Medicine physicians who additionally cover three freestanding sleep clinics in Maryland, including the Northern Maryland Sleep Center, Sleep Center at Glen Burnie, and the Central Maryland Sleep Center, where he remains the Medical Director.

Within his practice he has enjoyed training over 100 medical residents within these hospitals. He has also trained several Chinese physicians in the Chinese exchange program, and also provided several Sleep Medicine Training Symposiums in China, attended by over 300 of their medical students and residents. He has served as the PI for the sleep research program in PCCAB, contributing to published pharmacologic studies as well as PAP mask clinical research. Over the past five years he has also developed a telemedicine consultative service that provides direct education and evaluation for commercial drivers in six different states.

Dr. Bohner has been named to America’s Top Physicians, and for the past ten consecutive years, has been named as a Baltimore Magazine Top Doc. He is currently board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, Critical Care Medicine, and boarded in Sleep Medicine by both the ABIM and ABSM.

Dr. Bohner was a member of the Maryland Sleep Consortium that spearheaded sleep technician licensure in Maryland in 2008, and also served on the Maryland Board of Physician’s Polysomnography Standards Committee from 2009 until 2013, serving as Chair of the Committee in his final year.

Dr. Bohner was a founding member of the Maryland Sleep Society, serving as President in 2010-2011 and again from 2013-2015. He served on the Board of Directors until 2017.

In his free time, Brian enjoys golf, coin collecting, and traveling with his wife Wendy, and son, Justin.


Dr. Steven Scharf received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from the University of Rochester and both his MD and PhD from Johns Hopkins University. He subsequently completed both residency (Internal Medicine) and fellowship (Pulmonary Medicine) at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Upon completion of his training, Dr. Scharf joined the faculty at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Scharf served as faculty at Harvard University, Columbia University, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and Ben Gurion University (in Israel) before coming to the University of Maryland as the Medical Director of the University Sleep Center.

Dr. Scharf has co-authored 188 articles in peer-reviewed journals, over 40 text book chapters, and over 165 abstracts presented at Scientific Meetings. He has served on the editorial board for the Journal of Critical Care and Sleep and Breathing. Dr. Scharf also served as a reviewer for 20 different journals. He served on 3 different steering committees for the NIH and on the Asthma Clinical Research Network of the American Lung Association. He has also mentored or supervised over 30 MDs and PhDs on research projects.

Dr. Scharf has dedicated over 15 years of work to developing the University of Maryland Sleep Center. He created a multidisciplinary sleep center integrating clinicians with expertise in pulmonary medicine, neurology, psychiatry, psychology, pediatric pulmonology, otolaryngology, and dental sleep medicine. He established an ACGME-accredited sleep fellowship and has educated and mentored over 15 board-certified sleep physicians. He has been recognized as one of Baltimore’s “Top Docs” in sleep medicine 3 times in the last 7 years.

Steve is a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. His son Matthew is a practicing sleep neurologist. He has shortened his work week to be able to travel to New York and spend weekends with his children and grandchildren. He is fluent in Hebrew, and regularly travels to Israel, where he continues to teach sleep medicine at Ben Gurion University as a visiting professor.

Mathias Award2016 – JOHN H. MATHIAS II

John H. Mathias II has been a strategic leader in the field of sleep medicine for more than twenty years. John’s name is synonymous with Sleep Services of America, Inc. (SSA), and he currently serves as their President. Johns Hopkins recently merged SSA into MedBridge Healthcare for which John Mathias has also become their Chief Development Officer. John also serves on the Board of Directors for the Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc. (IBR), a Maryland non-profit with expertise in a wide range of behavior services including fatigue risk and drug rehabilitation.

John Mathias received his Bachelor’s Degree in Respiratory Therapy, became an RRT, and worked for various respiratory care service companies including Primedica and Symphony Respiratory Services. He joined National Sleep Technologies in 1998 and has been dedicated full time to sleep technical services ever since.

In the mid 1990’s, John focused on quality review and regulatory compliance, and founded the National Sleep Alliance to promote these standards nationally. He served on several Joint Commission committees where he assisted in the development of their accreditation standards in sleep. SSA achieved one of the Joint Commission’s first ambulatory accreditations specific for sleep in 2000. John helped established the first Mid-Atlantic region’s CAAHEP approved sleep program in partnership with the Community College of Baltimore at Essex.

John founded and chaired the Maryland Sleep Consortium which focused on establishing state licensure and promotion of AASM accreditation. John co-chaired a licensure committee with Dr. Marc Raphaelson which resulted in the first passed Maryland State Bill HB 957 for Polysomnography in 2006, as well as the extension in 2009. His leadership opened a pipeline of new opportunities in sleep, DME and related entities.

As an industry leader, he has headed one of the largest providers of diagnostic and treatment services for sleep disorders and earned national recognition with the Frost and Sullivan Innovation Award, the first for a sleep medicine company.

His vision and initiative has helped develop and implement innovative and unique programs which bring high quality sleep medicine services to patients. From inpatient, outpatient and home diagnosis to a whole range of treatments, John brings expertise to hospitals, academic centers and rural healthcare settings. John’s energy and comprehensive knowledge of the ever-changing sleep landscape has made a decisive impact in the State of Maryland.

John was a founding member of the Maryland Sleep Society and currently is a member of the NSF Government Affairs Committee and AAST Best Practice for Sleep Disordered Breathing Work Group.

John strongly believes that Maryland’s sleep technologists, respiratory therapists and boarded sleep physicians roles throughout the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders will only grow and develop with the dynamic changes in healthcare. Their impact on reduced exacerbation of other serious chronic health conditions and the ability to significantly lower overall healthcare cost of care will ensure a bright and expanding future.

collop2015 – NANCY A. COLLOP, MD

Nancy A. Collop, MD, was the 2011-12 President of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), and is the Director of the Emory Sleep Center in Atlanta, Georgia. She holds a primary appointment in the Emory School of Medicine as Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, as well as a secondary appointment as Professor of Neurology.

At Emory, Dr. Collop is developing an interdisciplinary program in sleep medicine which involves enhancing not only the clinical care of patients with sleep disorders but research and educational endeavors needed to move the specialty of sleep medicine forward. The ultimate goal is to make the Emory Sleep Center one of the premier sleep programs in the United States.

Dr. Collop has held ABMS board certification in internal medicine, pulmonary medicine, critical care and sleep medicine. She has held academic positions at the Medical University of South Carolina, University of Mississippi, and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, where she was the Medical Director of the Johns Hopkins Hospital Sleep Disorders Center.

She is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine and the Section Editor of Sleep Medicine for Up-To-Date. She was Associate Editor of the journal Chest (for 22 years) and now is on their Editorial Board.

Dr. Collop was a Founding member of the Maryland Sleep Society and our first President; she currently is on the board of directors of GASP (Georgia Associated Sleep Professionals).

hobbinshobbins2014 – THOMAS E. HOBBINS, MD (1940-2001)

Dr. Hobbins was a physician, sleep medicine specialist, and health and human rights activist whose achievements greatly improved the care of patients with sleep disorders. His award was accepted by his wife of 31 years, Jeannette.

Highlights of his career included:

  • Served on Senator Ben Cardin’s Medical Advisory Group – A community service award was established bearing his name
  • Board member of the Maryland Citizen’s Health Initiative, a grass-roots group that advocates healthcare for all. He fought handgun violence, teen smoking and environmental degradation
  • Professor, University of Maryland Medical School – Established and directed the University of Maryland Sleep Disorders Center
  • Medical Director, Maryland Sleep Disorders Center – Set up the first freestanding lab in Maryland
  • Organized AWAKE group in Maryland
  • Board of Directors, AASM – Worked with Dr. William Dement to fund National Sleep Foundation
  • Elected local chapter and national President of Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • Awarded Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award by AASM
  • Helped develop the rubella vaccine at the National Institutes of Health




From left to right, Brian Bohner, MD, Robert Erhlich, Governor of Maryland, John Mathias, and Julie Jeffers.

Julie JeffersJulie Jeffers began working on behalf of Sleep over a decade ago and was involved in lobbying the first bill introduced in Maryland to require licensure for polysomnographers. She has been the Society’s lobbyist throughout the subsequent years. Over these years, legislation was enacted, “follow up” bills were introduced, adversaries became allies and obstacles became opportunities. It has been said that the legislative process is not pretty at times, and Julie guided us through its many ups and downs. What has resulted is a licensure structure that ensures quality of care and access while providing sufficient flexibility for practitioner compliance.

Ms. Jeffers is a graduate of the University of Baltimore law school and operates her own private practice. She lives in Severna Park with her husband and two daughters.