Excellence in Our Workplace Award

This award is given to a medical director, whose leadership and innovation demonstrably improves the "practice life" and satisfaction of providers in the delivery of clinical care.

2023202220212020201920182017 / 2016 / 2015 / 2014 / 2013 / 2012 / 2011

2023 Winner

Kelly Wood, MD, Pediatrics

Kelly Wood, MD, has been the medical director for the newborn nursery since 2012, and the unit has flourished under her leadership. Wood has implemented up-to-date guidelines and protocols to keep our youngest patients safe and healthy without over-treating. Her recent changes in the newborn nursery have empowered the nursing staff and fostered more provider-nursing collaboration.

2022 Winner

Paul Van Heukelom, MD

Dr. Van Heukelom has led the Emergency Department through a very traumatic and trying period over the last two years. The twin stressors of a pandemic and severe inpatient boarding could have easily led to a severe dysfunction in the clinical environment. The department, despite strong headwinds, continues to innovate new ways to see patients without rooms, find new collaborations throughout the hospital and support the wellbeing of those who remain on the front lines.

2021 Winner

Kevin Doerschug, MD, Internal Medicine

In his role as Medical Director of the MICU, Dr. Doerschug showed outstanding leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. His actions represent the essence of what the “Excellence in our Workplace” award should acknowledge. While the pandemic response stressed many aspects of UI Healthcare, these challenges reached their apex in the MICU. For more than a year, Dr. Doerschug stayed attuned to the working of the unit, but also to the well-being of the staff. He was keenly aware of the anxiety among caregivers; the tensions of working masked and shielded; the pressures related to sickness and cross-coverage; the trauma of caring for ill colleagues and family members; and the grief of dealing with preventable death. Kevin’s impact was felt by the nursing staff, advanced practice providers, respiratory therapists, physician trainees, and his faculty colleagues.

2020 Winner

Jorge Salinas, MD, Internal Medicine

“If my work is visible and hopefully received as a positive for the institution, it’s because of the large team of people that are working with me,” says Salinas, MD. “This award represents me as well as them.”

2019 Winner

Dionne Skeete, MD, Surgery

As director of the acute care surgery division in the Department of Surgery and as medical director of trauma services at UI Hospitals & Clinics, Dionne Skeete has proven to be an outstanding leader and collaborator. She brings an emphasis on consistency and quality to her oversight of these programs, and she is adept at seeking and providing constructive feedback—whether to providers at outside hospitals or allied heath teams and colleagues—and using this feedback to develop quality improvement initiatives for the hospital. She is highly regarded for bringing a calm thoughtfulness to every clinical interaction, and she is known for ensuring an appropriate level of debriefing and follow-up so that caregivers at Iowa are continually learning and improving.

2018 Winner

Phillip Horwitz, MD, Internal Medicine

Phillip Horwitz has consistently provided exceptional leadership in the Heart and Vascular Center especially in the cardiac procedures labs. Through his dedication, the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) program has grown from a few TAVRs a month to 30 TAVRs a month being performed by a well-run multidisciplinary team. He consistently takes more than his fair share of call and is the quintessential consultant, adding on cases and making things happen to provide excellent patient care without fanfare or drama.

2017 Winner

James Brown, MD, Urology

James Brown’s dedication to his patients, his specialty, his students, and his profession is tireless and contagious. This is apparent in his daily practice, his leadership as director of the urology residency program, and by his participation in many committees, societies, and associations. For example, he serves as chair of the UI Hospitals and Clinics surgical peer review committee as well as the Carver College of Medicine executive committee. As director of the UI Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center’s urology molecular epidemiology resource and co-leader for the urology multidisciplinary oncology group, he leads by example and compels his peers and students to be their best.

2016 Winner

Craig Syrop, MD, Obstetrics and Gynecology

2015 Winner

Anil Marian, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesia

2014 Winner

Kent Pearson, MD
Associate Professor of Anesthesia

2013 Winner

Jennifer McWilliams, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry

Daily huddles and other innovative practices initiated by Dr. Jennifer McWilliams in the Child Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic have led to a wonderful spirit of engagement in the success of the clinic and the satisfaction of patients. In addition, she created teams of providers focused on particular conditions to provide patients with more expertise and improved continuity of care. Dr. McWilliams is a natural leader, whose pragmatism, graciousness, and hard work are making a huge difference.

2012 Winner

Douglas Van Daele, MD
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery

Physicians and clinical staff, information technology specialists, and administrators have lauded Dr. Douglas Van Daele, chief medical information officer for UI Health Care, for his leadership during the organization's multi-year implementation of Epic. 

Tom Scholz, MD
Professor of Pediatrics

As interim head of pediatrics and physician-in-chief of the UI Children's Hospital from October 2010 to July 2012, Dr. Tom Scholz was a thoughtful leader and an insightful facilitator throughout the initial planning and approval stages for the new UI Children's Hospital building project.

Doug VanDaele Tom Scholz

2011 Winner

Rachel Maasen, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Dr. Rachel Maasen is being recognized as an outstanding clinician and director of the UI Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinic. Her leadership efforts have ensured that the clinic is efficient and that the experiences the patients and providers are positive. Additionally, Dr. Maassen is cited for being a remarkable mentor, teacher, role model, and patient advocate.   

Rachel Maassen