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2006 National Awards of Excellence Presented

This month SHM presents its 2006 national awards of excellence to five hospitalists whose work and research have contributed significantly to hospital medicine and to the betterment of patient care and hospital quality improvement across America. The award winners will be recognized at SHM’s 2006 annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on May 5 from 11:35 a.m. to 1:35 p.m. They include:

  • Howard Epstein, MD—Award for Clinical Excellence
  • Christopher P. Landrigan, MD, MPH—Excellence in Research Award
  • Sylvia McKean, MD, FACP—Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Erin Ragan Stucky, MD—Award for Outstanding Service in Hospital Medicine
  • Thomas J. Yacovella, MD—Excellence in Teaching Award

“SHM is very pleased each year to recognize the hospitalist leaders among us who consistently go above and beyond to champion hospital medicine, to expand the role of hospitalists in areas of patient care and hospital leadership, and to enhance the quality of care, communication, and service we provide,” says Larry Wellikson, CEO of SHM. “These individuals are a true inspiration to us and we congratulate them all for their many accomplishments.”

Howard Epstein, MD—Award for Clinical Excellence

Dr. Epstein is a recognized leader in the development of clinical excellence and standardization of care in hospital medicine in Minnesota and nationally, and has championed the role of the hospitalist as part of an interdisciplinary team. He currently works with HealthPartners Medical Group at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn., where he is a hospitalist and medical director of the Care Management and Palliative Care Departments. He also is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota.

As one of HealthPartners’ first hospitalists, he introduced “Implementation of MCAP Guidelines,” which produced significant improvements in resource utilization. As Regions Hospital’s first medical director for Care Management, he has been instrumental in expanding the role of the Medical Management Steering Committee to routinely incorporate data collection, analysis, and implementation of quality improvement strategies across the care continuum, thus elevating the value of Care Management and enhancing patient care.

Best known for his clinical focus on palliative care, Dr. Esptein established Regions’ Palliative Care Team, the first inpatient program in St. Paul. There he developed a model for palliative care that has improved patient quality of life, eased family suffering, and lessened the use of unnecessary resources at the end of life.

A member of the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement, a collaborative organization of 57 healthcare organizations and nearly 80% of the physicians in Minnesota, Dr. Epstein has provided leadership in the development of clinical practice guidelines, order sets, healthcare protocols and technology assessments, and the production of standardized, evidence-based hospital order sets used across the state.

A tireless proponent of Hospital Medicine, Dr. Epstein founded the Minnesota Hospitalist Association (now a chapter of SHM) and is a frequent speaker on hospitalists and inpatient palliative care. He currently serves on SHM’s Ethics Committee and Palliative Care Task Force, and will lecture on “The Basic Why and and How to Develop a Hospital-Based Palliative Care Program” on May 5 from 1:35 to 3:05 p.m. at the SHM 2006 Annual Meeting.

Dr. Epstein earned his undergraduate degree and medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) in 1994 and joined the teaching faculty at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center (now Regions Hospital) that same year.

Christopher P. Landrigan, MD, MPH—Excellence in Research Award

Dr. Landrigan has rapidly established himself as one of the nation’s leading investigators in hospital medicine and patient safety, and is a pioneer in academic pediatric hospital medicine. In only a few short years, he has participated in landmark investigative projects, including the establishment of the Pediatric Research in the Inpatient Setting (PRIS) network and the creation of a second textbook for pediatric hospital medicine. The PRIS network is modeled after the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) successful Pediatric Research in the Outpatient Setting (PROS) network.

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