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The Leaders in Health Care Awards are presented annually by Seattle Business magazine to “honor a remarkable assortment of compassionate people doing heroic work in Washington state.” With this goal, I’m sure it will come as no surprise that UW Medicine was well represented when the 2019 awards were announced last week.

In accepting their awards, our winners emphasized what I believe are the hallmarks of UW Medicine. They said the awards were not theirs alone. Their success, they believe, is the result of working with the best teams, colleagues and mentors. They also said that — despite all the current challenges — healthcare continues to be an exciting profession that lets us make a powerful difference for our patients and community.

Our 2019 awards cover the full span of our mission to improve the health of the public through research, teaching and patient care.

Paul Hayes, R.N., won the gold award for Outstanding Medical Center Executive – Puget Sound Region. As Harborview’s executive director since 2014, Paul has advanced Harborview’s mission to serve King County’s vulnerable populations while delivering high-quality care to all patients. Paul was also recognized for his commitment to building a diverse and equitable workplace, his efforts to enhance employee wellness and resilience, and his listening tours that include town halls at 2 a.m. for the night shift.

Dr. Robert Sweet won the gold award for Achievement in Medical Technology for his contributions to the field of healthcare simulation. As the executive director of the WWAMI Institute for Simulation in Healthcare (WISH) and the Center for Research in Education and Simulation Technologies (CREST), he has made simulation technology an essential tool in training providers and increasing patient safety.

Dr. Leo Morales, chief diversity officer, accepted the silver award for Achievement in Community Outreach on behalf of the UW School of Medicine Pathway Programs. These programs give medical students the opportunity to work with underserved communities through five pathways: Indian Health, Global Health, Underserved, Hispanic Health and LGBTQ.

Dr. John Scott and Carrie Priebe accepted the gold award for Innovation in Health Care Delivery on behalf of UW Medicine Telehealth. Our telehealth programs include the 24/7 Virtual Clinic, Project ECHO, which brings specialist expertise to providers in satellite locations, and eConsults, which facilitate consultations between specialists and primary care providers. Dr. Scott is the medical director of Telehealth Services and Carrie is the senior director for enterprise access and innovation at UW Medicine.

Dr. Jonathan Himmelfarb won the silver award for Achievement in Medical Research. As director of the Kidney Research Institute since 2008, he has led efforts to develop new therapies for kidney patients through transformative kidney research. His areas of focus include precision medicine, the “kidney on a chip” and the wearable artificial kidney.

Dr. Veena Shankaran won the gold award for Achievement in Medical Research for her work at Fred Hutch to measure the financial burden of cancer care and its impact on patient outcomes. In her clinical practice as a medical oncologist, Dr. Shankaran specializes in caring for patients with gastrointestinal malignancies at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and UW Medical Center.

Valley Medical Center was recognized as a top five performer in the Washington Health Alliance’s Community Checkup. This annual report highlights healthcare quality and value at medical groups and hospitals in Washington. It is recognized as a critical component in the overall effort to continuously improve healthcare in Washington.

Please join me in congratulating our 2019 Leaders in Health Care winners. You can read more about them on the Seattle Business website. Thank you, also, for your personal contributions to our award-winning teams at UW Medicine.


Paul G. Ramsey, M.D.

CEO, UW Medicine

Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs and

Dean of the School of Medicine,

University of Washington


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