January 24, 2017

Dr. David Baines Named 2012 AAIP Physician of the Year

Anchorage-based MD Honored for Clinical Work, Teaching


The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) named Dr. David Baines the “2012 Physician of the Year” during the organization’s recent annual conference in Anchorage, AK. Baines, who is a member of the Tlingit and Tsimshian tribes of Alaska, is a former AAIP president and graduate of the Mayo Medical School. Baines is a faculty physician at the Alaska Family Practice Residency, a part of the University of Washington Residency Network.

“Dr. Baines is an exemplary physician and deserving of AAIP’s highest honor, said Executive Director Margaret Knight. “In addition to being a healer, he is also a committed teacher and mentor to medical students. He is a great role model who incorporates his culture and traditional beliefs into his practice of modern medicine.”

Baines said he first got associated with AAIP as a medical student in the 1970’s.

Baines said this honor is deeply personal and meaningful to him because he has been involved with AAIP at multiple stages of his healthcare career journey.

“I don't think I would have made it through the educational and cultural turmoil I experienced in my medical education if it had not been for AAIP and ANAMS (Association of Native American Medical Students),” Baines said. “Growing up in an isolated reservation in Alaska, going to medical school was a big shock, especially culturally.  I was very isolated as the first and only American Indian or Alaska Native student at Mayo Medical School. But there have been many since I was there. At the time, the school understood this and allowed me to work with AAIP and ANAMS.” 

Baines cited the support from AAIP mentors, like Walt Hollow, Gerald Ignace, Dale Walker, Everett Rhoades, Joe Jacobs, Bud Skye, Bill Wilson, Terry Hunter, Matt Kauley and many others, that allowed him to successfully complete school and training.

“Since my first encounter with AAIP at its 6th Annual meeting in Seattle in 1978, I have worked hard to give back to the organization and the students,” Baines said. “I especially love working with the students, who seem to look younger every year. I take great pride in being an active member of AAIP and I am so grateful to receive this award.”

Baines is Board Certified in Family Medicine and was in private practice for 14 years on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation in northern Idaho and was Clinical Director of the Nez Perce Tribal Clinic in Kamiah, ID for one year.  He worked at the Seattle Indian Health Board, an urban Indian clinic, which also was a Family Practice Residency site, for two years and spent four years working in Dutch Harbor, AK at the ILIULIUK Family and Health Services.

He has chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on Minority Populations at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), sat on the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee at CDC and was on the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality at the Health Resources and Services Administration.  He testified to the Senate Select Committee on Indian Affairs on the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and he is on the Advisory Committee of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at NIH.

Baines is President of the Board for Mountain Pacific Quality Health Foundation, a quality improvement organization, and is an Associate Clinical Professor in the Department of family medicine at the University of Washington.

He has been a consultant for the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Indian Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Department of Health and Human Services.  He has written in medical journals and has several chapters in medical texts.


The Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) was founded in 1971 as an educational, scientific, and charitable non-profit corporation.  AAIP’s mission is: "to pursue excellence in Native American health care by promoting education in the medical disciplines, honoring traditional healing principles and restoring the balance of mind, body, and spirit"