Faculty Awards, Honors & Publications

Recent Honors, Awards, Appointments and Publications (Listed by date)

Dr. Estell Williams

Dr. Estell Williams

(September 2020) UW Health Sciences and UW Medicine pay tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. yearly and during this challenging time of the COVID pandemic it is being done with a dynamic and engaging website celebrating his life and the diversity at the UW. As part of this celebration, the committee confers a "Distinguished Service Award for Community Service and Volunteerism.” A plaque bearing the names of the recipients is on display in the lobby of the UW Health Sciences Center. The inscription on this plaque is a quote by Dr. King that reads: "Make a career of humanity. Commit yourself to the noble struggle for equal rights. You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country, and a finer world to live in. This year the event committee has unanimously chosen Estell J. Williams, MD to receive the 2021 Distinguished Service Award. The values highlighted this year is a reflection, Where do we go from here: Embracing Truth, Demanding Justice, Supporting Community, Valuing Service, Looking Ahead.

MLK Day 2021: Where do we go from here?

Carlos Pellegrini

Dr. Carlos Pellegrini

(September 2020) Dr. Carlos Pellegrini, Department of Surgery Chair 1993–2015, was chosen by the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons’ (SAGE) Awards Committee and confirmed by the Board of Governors as the recipient of the 2021 SAGES George Berci Lifetime Achievement Award which is the highest honor SAGES bestows.

This award is given to a surgeon for a lifetime contribution as an innovator in the field of endoscopic surgery which may be scientific, educational, research, clinical and/or technological.

The award will be presented to Dr. Pellegrini at the SAGES annual meeting in June 2021.

Dr. Kristine Calhoun

Dr. Kristine Calhoun

(September 2020) Dr. Kristine Calhoun, Associate Professor, Division of General Surgery, received the 2020 UW School of Medicine Award for Excellence in Mentoring Women Faculty.

“I was absolutely shocked that I was not only nominated for this award but that I actually was awarded it. There are so many fantastic mentors throughout our department, as well as the School of Medicine in general, that I am humbled to have been singled out,” said Dr. Calhoun. “Mentoring is something that I place high value on—I have been the recipient of excellent mentoring in my own career and make it a priority to give back to those earlier in theirs which makes this award so meaningful. It was humbling to read the letters of support and see my impact on others but so, so gratifying. Awards like this that look at mentoring and teaching are special to me and mean that I am accomplishing the goals I set for myself when I joined an academic practice. I am so, so thankful, grateful and appreciative.”

Dr. Sherene Shalhub

Dr. Sherene Shalhub

(September 2020) The Aortic Dissection Collaborative, led by Dr. Sherene Shalhub, Associate Professor, Division of Vascular Surgery, has received a funding award through the Patient– Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Eugene Washing ton Engagement Awards program to convene a collaborative of patients with–and at risk for–aortic dissection.

The team aims to improve the management of aortic dissection and increase quality of life for people impacted by this condition. To do so, the collaborative is engaging stakeholders to build a research infrastructure focused on patient–centered outcomes. It will feature research training; support and net working among patients, physicians and researchers with expertise in aortic dissection; research consortia dedicated to aortic dissection; industry stakeholders; and patient advocacy groups.

The main deliverable over the next t wo years is to create a virtual research network and establish research priorities among the stakeholder group, Shalhub explained. These research priorities will then be used to guide future research proposals that reflect patient centered priorities.

Dr. Shalhub was recognized as a “ Vascular Hero” through Vascular Cures’ #vascularhero social media campaign. Each year, Vascular Cures honors, celebrates and appreciates heroes who are on the front line battling the devastating effects of vascular disease such as strokes, pulmonary embolisms, aortic aneurysms, vascular dementia and peripheral artery disease. Vascular Cures requested nominations by posting the nominee’s photo or a story on social media ( Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram) with the hashtag #vascularhero and the tag @vascularcures.

Dr. Shalhub remarked, “I am deeply honored to be named a vascular hero: None of this work is possible alone and I am grateful for our partners in the VEDS and Aortic Dissection Collaboratives. Engaging patients as partners in the research process has been one of the most fulfilling experiences as a surgeon and researcher.”

Dr. Jonathan Sham

Dr. Jonathan Sham

(September 2020) Dr. Jonathan Sham, Assistant Professor, Division of General Surgery, received a $30K grant award from the Americas Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (AHPBA) to support his work with collaborators in the Department of Bioengineering to develop a novel biopolymer aimed at reducing rates of pancreatic fistula after pancreatic surgery. Read more about Dr. Sham’s research.

(August 2020) Dr. Sham won Swim Across America's Young Investigator Award for his research with Dr. Buddy Ratner, Professor and Director, Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington, to develop a novel bio biopolymer that can be used during pancreatic surgery to reduce the rates of pancreatic fistula. Vimeo video >>

(July 2020) Dr. Sham published “Management of primary hepatic malignancies during the COVID-19 pandemic: recommendations for risk mitigation from a multidisciplinary perspective" in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

The management of hepatobiliary malignancies is complex and resource-intensive. The COVID-19 pandemic imposed unique limitations on healthcare resources and access to care. Dr. Sham worked with an international team of experts to develop guidelines for the management of complex hepatobiliary malignancies during the pandemic in an attempt to aid clinicians around the world in making difficult treatment decisions in real time during the global healthcare crisis.

Dr. Raymond Tse

Dr. Raymond Tse

Dr. Craig Birgfeld

Dr. Craig Birgfeld

Dr. Joe Gruss

Dr. Joe Gruss

Dr. Richard Hopper

Dr. Richard Hopper

Dr. Ezgi Mercan

Dr. Ezgi Mercan

(July 2020) Dr. Raymond Tse, Associate Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery, was awarded American Association of Plastic Surgery’s (AAPS) annual 2020 James Barrett Brown Award. This award was established in memory of Dr. James Barrett Brown, past AAPS president, and is presented for the best plastic surgery-related paper published during the previous calendar year. The 2020 award recognizes Dr. Tse’s paper entitled “Unilateral Cleft Lip Nasal Deformity: Foundation-Based Approach to Primary Rhinoplasty.” Drs. Craig Birgfeld, Associate Professor, Division of Plastic Surgery, Joseph Gruss, Professor Emeritus, Richard Hopper, Maryls C. Larson Professor of Craniofacial Surgery & Chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery, and Ezgi Mercan, Craniofacial Image Analysis Researcher, Division of Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery, Craniofacial Center, Seattle Children's Hospital, played significant roles in this research project as well. AAPS will recognize the manuscript and present the award plaque and $2,000 prize to Dr. Tse at the AAPS Annual Meeting in May 2021.

“In many ways, it's a special paper for us given that it challenges dogma and was Joe Gruss' last paper before he retired.” And, as Rich Hopper noted, “Joe taught us all so much about how to address the cleft nasal deformity, and the paper was a great testimony to the fundamental concepts he brought to our team and specialty.”

Dr. Nicholas Vedder, Professor of Surgery & Orthopaedics, Jamie Hunter Endowed Chair, Chief of Plastic Surgery; Vice Chair, Department of Surgery, notes “Dr. Gruss also won this award in 1985 for a paper that again challenged dogma, describing his novel approaches to craniofacial trauma with primary bone grafting, something quite controversial at the time, but as we all know, has become the standard of care. We are all tremendously proud of our world-leading team of craniofacial surgeons who are our colleagues at the University of Washington.”

Dr. Benjamin Anderson

Dr. Benjamin Anderson

(June 2020) Dr. Benjamin Anderson, Professor, Division of General Surgery, announced the publication of the consensus statements and manuscripts from the 6th Breast Health Global Initiative Global Summit on Improving Breast Healthcare (BHGI) through Resource–Stratified Phased Implementation (Seattle 018)2. This supplement, published in the journal Cancer, is the culmination of months of collaborative work by experts in breast and women’s health, cancer control, implementation science, economics, disparities, policymaking, public health, patient advocacy and health systems, with authors representing all resource settings across five continents.

Dr. Anderson explains, “This Cancer publication is the culmination of the BHGI mission going back to the first BHGI Global Summit held in Seattle in 2002. It has been an honor and privilege to engage with the 150 contributors and participants in the preparation of this supplement, which addresses core questions about how to implement breast care programs in limited resource contexts. While we were unable to bring together BHGI leadership for the planned publication launch at the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) meeting that was canceled due to the COVID pandemic, we are planning a virtual launch with CUGH later in 2020 to share this information with the global health community that is still learning how global oncology fits within the global health agenda.”

Dr. Elina Quiroga

Dr. Elina Quiroga

(June 2020) Dr. Elina Quiroga, Associate Professor, Division of Vascular Surgery, was awarded the UW School of Medicine 2020 Minority Faculty Mentoring Award for providing encouragement and support for the career and development of minority mentees. This award recognizes the need for excellence in mentoring under-represented faculty groups to achieve diversity and inclusion—key elements that can unleash creativity and innovation so the health care needs of our region are met.

Dr. Quiroga expresses, "I am truly humbled and honored to receive the 2020 Minority Faculty Mentoring Award from the UW School of Medicine, Committee on Minority Faculty Advancement, Center for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Office of the Dean. I’m fortunate to have learned from outstanding mentors myself, and it is thanks to them that I have the privilege and opportunity to work with mentees myself. There is much work ahead to address racism and health care injustice in medicine, and I am fortunate to work in a place that encourages action and continuous progress in identifying and dismantling inequity in care, culture, and policy."

This annual award is supported through the Office of the Dean, Office of Academic Affairs, the Center for Health Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and the Committee on Minority Faculty Advancement.

Dr. Ron Maier

Dr. Ron Maier

Dr. Kathleen O'Connell

Dr. Kathleen O'Connell

(June 2020) Drs. Ron Maier, Professor & Chief and Kathleen O’Connell, Assistant Professor, Division of Trauma, Burn & Critical Care, published “Trail blazers without blades: Surgeons as Palliative Care Physicians in Response to COVID–19” in the Annals of Surgery.

Dr. O’Connell explains, “In this manuscript, we acknowledge the growing global need for palliative care services within the context of COVID–19 and the negative implications for surgical patients (i.e. delays in goals of care conversations due to limited band width of the palliative care service). We highlight the opportunity for surgeons with an interest in palliative care to establish a role as a surgical palliative care
champion within their group and provide resources for skill acquisition and community integration.”

Dr. Kenneth Gow

Dr. Kenneth Gow

(April 2020) Dr. Kenneth Gow, Professor, Division of Pediatric General Surgery, was elected a Fellow of the American Surgical Association (ASA) in April 2020. Dr. Gow expresses, “The ASA is considered by many to be of the most prestigious associations to join as a surgeon and therefore a great honor in my career thus far. I look forward to meeting and learning from great leaders in the field of surgery on how to lead others.”