Seven UW Health Doctors Honored with Physician Excellence Awards

Madison, Wisconsin - At a ceremony Thursday at the UW Hospital campus, UW Health presented Physician Excellence Awards to seven doctors who demonstrated exceptional performance in clinical practice, education and outreach care.


Award recipients included:

  • Dr. Jacqueline Gerhart and Dr. Claudia Reardon, who received Rising Star Awards for being outstanding clinicians and educators early in their UW Health careers.
  • Dr. Jon Matsumura, Dr. Charles Stone and Dr. Allen Wilson, who received Outreach Physician Excellence Awards for exceptional leadership skills in providing outreach care.
  • Dr. Burton Kushner, who received the Clinical Practice Physician Excellence Award for demonstrating extraordinary commitment to patient- and family-centered care.
  • Dr. Richard DeWitt, who received the Clinical Educator Physician Excellence Award for outstanding work as an educator, with emphasis on teaching residents and medical students as well as other team members, patients and families.

Physician Excellence Award recipients (left to right): Charles Stone, Jacqueline Gerhhart, Jon Matsumura, Charles DeWitt, Burton Kushner, Allen Wilson. Missing: Claudia Reardon"These awards were created to recognize some of our most respected UW Health physicians who demonstrate exceptional skill in clinical practice, education or outreach, and their commitment to the mission, vision and values of UW Health," said UW Medical Foundation vice president of human resources Bill Schrum, who presided over the presentation.


Physician Excellence Award nominees are considered for the awards based on a nomination from at least one UW Health colleague and as many as three physicians and clinicians from UW Health or health care organizations around the state and beyond.


"What is unique about these awards is that they are peer-nominated awards," said Schrum.


Rising Stars: Drs. Gerhart and Reardon


UW Medical Foundation president and CEO Jeffrey Grossman, MD, presented the Rising Star Awards to Drs. Gerhart and Reardon, saying "their contributions are already so significant that they suggest an exemplary career trajectory."


Dr. Grossman lauded Dr. Gerhart for growing her patient roster to more than 2,000 in less than two years, including an unusually high number of obstetrics patients whose deliveries she makes every possible attempt to attend. She also started the Reach Out and Read program at both the UW Health DeForest-Windsor and Yahara clinics, and is certified as a Reach Out and Read trainer, which allows her to educate her fellow clinicians and certify them for the program.


"After only a brief time here at University of Wisconsin, anyone who has come to know Dr. Gerhart, including patients, physicians and staff at UW Health, will agree that she is a genuinely compassionate and professional physician that embodies the mission, vision and values of UW Health," he said.


Dr. Grossman called Dr. Reardon an "outstanding clinician and educator," pointing to her efforts in curriculum design and teaching at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. In her brief career she has been heavily involved in providing expertise to local and national media for stories on exercise and mental health as well as sport psychiatry. Her advocacy contributed to a change in state legislation regarding concussions in youth athletics.


"Her clinical activity embodies the mission components of service, scholarship, science and social responsibility," said Dr. Grossman. "She is a person who clearly reflects the values of UW Health."


Outreach Physician Excellence: Drs. Matsumura, Stone and Wilson


In presenting Dr. Matsumura with the Outreach Physician Excellence Award, UW Hospital and Clinics President and CEO Donna Katen-Bahensky pointed to his commitment to ImageShare, a program that allows secure, rapid exchange of radiographic imaging between referring physicians and UW Health vascular surgeons.


"Dr. Matsumura's commitment to reaching more people throughout the region has been aided by innovative uses of technology and new programming," Katen-Bahensky said. "Under Dr. Matsumura's leadership, ImageShare has connected more than 60 hospitals to UW Health and has resulted in hundreds of new patient encounters with our enterprise."


Dr. Stone's Outreach Physician Excellence Award is prompted by the emphasis he places on communicating with his patients, Katen-Bahensky said.


"He is known for catering a patient treatment plan to each individual's needs and doing it with both compassion and cost-effectiveness in mind," she said. "He has the uncanny ability to speak with patients on their level and help them to understand their conditions and treatment options."


Beaver Dam nurse Patrice Hughes noted in supporting Dr. Stone's nomination that, "His patients love him and rarely want to see another physician if he is not available. Dr. Stone goes out of his way to be pleasant and spends as much time as needed to make sure all questions and concerns are addressed."


Dr. Wilson's Outreach Physician Excellence Award can be measured in miles and hours. He spends a good portion of his professional time on the road, at outreach clinics in many communities.


"Two times every month he spends three days at a time away from his family as he makes his way from clinic to clinic," Katen-Bahensky said. "He never complains about his arduous schedule and is extremely productive. Throughout his career, Dr. Wilson has kept pace and remained extremely current during a period of dizzying change and advancement. His vitality and enthusiasm are contagious and are what make him so deserving of this award."


Clinical Practice Excellence: Dr. Kushner


UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden called Dr. Kushner an "icon" in the field of pediatric ophthalmology who balances academic achievement - Dr. Kushner has published nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles and 38 book chapters - with effective clinical care.


"Dr. Kushner is adored by his patients," Dr. Golden said. "He often is contacted by patients who he helped while they were infants or young children, thanking him for making such a difference in their lives and for being such a compassionate physician."


Clinical Educator Excellence: Dr. DeWitt


Since 1998 Dr. DeWitt has led a preceptor program that introduces medical students to clinical settings, a crucial step in translating their coursework to the care of patients. Evaluations from students are often glowing, including comments such as "Dr. DeWitt is truly an amazing, respectable and outstanding role model preceptor" and "I was able to gain enormous confidence, knowledge and experience through him."


"Dr. DeWitt repeatedly demonstrates dedication and enthusiasm to excellence in professionalism, teaching and medical student mentoring," said Dr. Golden.

Date Published: 05/30/2014

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