Collier County Medical Society (CCMS), the local professional association for physicians, honored local physician leaders at its 2019 Annual Meeting, May 4th at Wyndemere Country Club: Dr. Cesar De Leon was named the 2019 CCMS Physician of the Year; and Dr. Robert Meli received the CCMS Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. De Leon, the 2019 CCMS Physician of the Year, was nominated and selected by his peers for his extraordinary leadership in protecting the physician-patient relationship in Collier County. He is a board-certified Family Practitioner with Millennium Physician Group and graduated with the President’s Award and Recognition from Western University of the Health Science College of Osteopathic Medicine, completing his residency at Broward General Medical Center. He recently graduated with honors from Colorado State University with a Master’s in Healthcare Administration and has served as Family Practice Department Chair at NCH for five years. He was the 2018-2019 CCMS President.

“I am humble to be a servant of my community and our CCMS physician members and accept this recognition in the name of the physicians, community members, and local leaders who stood up to protect the physician-patient relationship,” said Dr. De Leon. “This award reflects the achievement possible when kind-hearted individuals unite to protect those who have no voice.”

Dr. Robert Meli, recipient of the CCMS Lifetime Achievement Award, was nominated and selected for his decades of inspirational service to Collier County. He is a board-certified Radiologist with Proscan Imaging and has practiced in Naples since 1974. He received his M.D. from Medical College of Wisconsin and completed his residency in Diagnostic Radiology at St. Luke’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Dr. Meli was an active staff member at Physicians Regional and NCH Hospitals, and was an honored nominee for NCH Physician of the Year in 2003. He served as President of Naples Radiologists for many years and was a cofounder of Naples Diagnostic Imaging Centers. Dr. Meli has volunteered with Greater Naples Little League, Naples High School swim team, Boys and Girls Optimist basketball, Naples YMCA, and the Collier County high schools redistricting committee. Dr. Meli is on the board of SunTrust Banks of Southwest Florida and the Neighborhood Health Clinic, where he serves on the Medical Committee and provides volunteer radiology services.

“I am humbled to receive this award as there are so many physicians and healthcare providers in Collier County who deserve this recognition,” said Dr. Meli. “It has been an honor and privilege to have interacted with such great and caring physicians for so many years.”

The event was attended by approximately 200 local physicians and community leaders. Presenting sponsors were Capital Bank, Millennium Physician Group, Novo Nordisk, and Suncoast Credit Union.