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The Puget Sound Business Journal hosted its inaugural Health Care Leadership Awards on December 6, 2019. The awards highlight innovative and influential thinkers whose leadership has had a lasting impact on the region.

UW Medicine honorees include Paula Houston and Dr. Patricia Dawson, administrative and medical directors, respectively, for UW Medicine’s Healthcare Equity initiative; and Dr. Edward Verrier, professor in the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery.

Other honorees include Dr. Lee Hood of Institute for Systems Biology and Providence St. Joseph Health; Dr. Nancy Davidson of Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the University of Washington; and Dr. Gary Gilliland of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and UW Cancer Consortium.

Equity Leadership Award

Houston and Dawson are recipients of the Equity Leadership Award for their work with UW Medicine’s Healthcare Equity initiative.

In 2016, an interdisciplinary group of advisors developed a multi-year strategy for how UW Medicine can improve healthcare equity.

With a vision to be a national model for healthcare equity and to reduce disparities in healthcare delivery, Houston has led these efforts since 2017, and Dawson joined her in 2018.

Through their personal passion for research, history, education and training, and their own specific lived experiences, they are ideal champions for the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion.

In the past year, Houston and Dawson have established a system-wide infrastructure for equity, diversity and inclusion by offering guidance on developing local committees, engaging more than 4,000 leaders through diversity training and presentations, launching clinical improvement projects to address disparities among marginalized populations and training more than 2,000 staff to provide patient-centered and gender-affirming care.

They have made UW Medicine, and the larger Puget Sound Region, a better place to receive care.

Physician Educator of the Year Award

Verrier is a recipient of the Physician Educator of the Year Award for his dedication to surgical education not only at UW Medicine, but also nationally and internationally.

Verrier specializes in adult cardiac surgery. He is the vice chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Surgery and the K. Alvin and Shirley E. Merendino Endowed Professor in the Department of Surgery.

The impact that Verrier has on surgical education at UW Medicine, and in the larger Puget Sound region, ensures that future surgeons and future surgeon educators are prepared to provide the best quality care to patients. He was inducted into the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Academy of Master Surgeon Educators in October 2019.



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