UW Health Honors Physician Excellence Award Winners
Madison, Wisconsin - On Friday, May 6, employees from around UW Health gathered at UW Hospital and Clinics to honor the winners of the second annual Physician Excellence Awards.
Dr. Joshua Medow received the Rising Star Award, Dr. Mark Lucarelli the Clinical Educator Award, while Drs. Richard Illgen and Charles Acher received Clinical Practice Awards.
It was the second year the peer-nominated awards were given, but the first year that UW Health came together to publicly bestow the honor.
"We are delighted to have this opportunity to recognize our best of the best," said Jan Bultema, senior vice president, human resources. "These awards were created to recognize some of our most respected UW Health physicians who demonstrate exceptional skill in clinical practice or education and their commitment to the mission, vision and values of UW Health."
And while being praised for their outstanding work, this year's winners graciously noted their colleagues' contributions as well.
"Well, there were a few themes that were pretty obvious," Dr. Lucarelli said after the event. "One is that great care is a team approach. You saw that in a lot of the recipient's remarks. Those were genuine remarks of gratitude to the rest of the team that helps provide that care."
Rising Star Physician Excellence Award: Dr. Joshua Medow
The Rising Star Physician Excellence Award honors an outstanding clinician and educator with limited tenure at UW Health and whose contributions are already so significant to suggest an exemplary career trajectory. Dr. Joshua Medow is this year's recipient.
Dr. Medow received multiple nominations for his work in the Neuro intensive care unit. Those who nominated him noted what an incredible teacher he is of medical students, residents and students of other health disciplines.
One nominator even commented on how amazing it is to watch medical students change throughout the week they work with Dr. Medow. In just one week, she said, the students literally transform from being shy and timid to confident young practitioners.
"He has revolutionized the way we teach and practice neuro-critical care," said Donna Katen-Bahensky, UW Hospital and Clinics President and CEO. "In a very short period of time, he's brought about renewed enthusiasm for excellence in neuro-critical care as well as teaching at every level."
"I want to say thank you to the group of people who nominated me," Dr. Medow said upon receiving the award. "I didn't know about any of this (multiple nominations) until after the fact but I'm eternally grateful and it is a pleasure to work with you all."
Clinical Educator Physician Excellence Award: Dr. Mark Lucarelli
The Clinical Educator Physician Excellence Award recognizes an outstanding educator with an emphasis on teaching residents and medical students along with other interdisciplinary team members, patients and families. Dr. Mark Lucarelli is this year's recipient.
As director of the UW Fellowship in Ophthalmic Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Lucarelli has become well-known and respected by patients and peers as a very astute diagnostician and a careful, skilled surgeon.
Dr. Lucarelli is also prolific in his academic work. He has authored or co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles and has significantly collaborated on four books, while being a prominent and frequent lecturer locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
"Year after year, Dr. Lucarelli receives rave reviews from residents and fellows," Katen-Bahensky said. "He is also a trusted referral source not only locally, but regionally and nationally."
"It's really humbling being recognized in a faculty of doctors who all have so many different accomplishments," Dr. Lucarelli said. "Anyone who is a physician knows what a privilege that it is to take care of patients and anyone who is a teacher knows what a privilege it is to teach. To do both is really special."
Clinical Practice Physician Excellence Award: Dr. Richard Illgen
Dr. Richard Illgen received the Clinical Practice Physician Excellence Award, given to recognize an outstanding clinician who demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to patient- and family-centered care.
Dr. Illgen currently serves as co-director of the Arthritis and Joint Replacement Program at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. His expertise includes primary and revision hip and knee replacements, partial knee replacement and hip resurfacing.
He has particular expertise and experience with the care of young patients with hip and knee arthritis and offers care including joint preservation and joint replacement for this group of individuals.
"Dr. Illgen has developed a strikingly competent practice," UW Medical Foundation president and CEO Jeffrey Grossman said. "Many of us here know that perhaps the greatest compliment that can be bestowed to a clinician is to know that colleague after colleague chooses to send their loved ones to Dr. Illgen's care."
"I appreciated those types of comments and will continue to try to live up to those accolades," Dr. Illgen said. "I'd like to thank UW Health and its leadership for providing the environment for health care professionals like myself to try and provide outstanding care and education. We really have a grade A, wonderful institution. It's a privilege to be here to try and contribute in whatever way I can."
Clinical Practice Physician Excellence Award: Dr. Charles Acher
Dr. Charles Acher also received the Clinical Practice Physician Excellence Award.
He has an outstanding clinical practice in carotid artery disease, lower-extremity peripheral artery disease and abdominal aortic aneurysms. His distinguishing program, though, is thoracic aortic surgery, where he has reached the pinnacle of excellence, with a national reputation.
He has treated more than 800 patients with thoracic aortic disease, published multiple articles in the leading journal on his specialty of vascular surgery and has been the key faculty member who has made UW Hospital and Clinics a preferred training site for vascular surgery fellows, general surgery residents and even physicians to practice.
"Dr. Acher's clinical practice has been a model for academic programs combining excellence in clinical care, education and research," Dr. Grossman said. "A large portion of his referring physicians are skilled, experienced vascular surgeons themselves, referring their most difficult cases to him."
"I could not have a better group of partners in the vascular department to work with and depend on to treat patients," said Dr. Acher in his acceptance speech. "It's really my privilege to be surrounded by this expertise and helpfulness that I can access day or night. My patients really become our patients. Without the coordinated care and support of physicians and nurses and everyone participating in the very complex dance of clinical care, my efforts to save patients would fail much more often."
Date Published: 05/12/2011