ACGME Honors Graduate Medical Education Community with Annual Awards

February 28, 2020
2020 ACGME Award recipients

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) this week presented awards to 28 recipients at the Annual Educational Conference, recognizing remarkable achievements from a diverse group of graduate medical education (GME) professionals.

“The ACGME is honored to recognize this group of talented individuals and institutions for their contributions to the graduate medical education community. Through their deep commitment to advancing health care through education, they have made a significant and lasting impact on graduate medical education and health care broadly,” said Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP, president and chief executive officer, ACGME.

The John C. Gienapp Distinguished Service Award was established in 1999 in recognition of John C. Gienapp, PhD who served as Executive Director of the ACGME for 19 years. The award honors individuals who have dedicated themselves to GME and have made outstanding contributions to the enhancement of residency education and ACGME accreditation activities.

This year’s award was presented to:

Debra F. Weinstein, MD
Partners HealthCare, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology
Boston, Massachusetts

Dr. Weinstein is Vice President for Graduate Medical Education at Partners HealthCare, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

Since the inception of Partners HealthCare, Dr. Weinstein has ensured that GME is front and center with institutional and health systems leadership. She created the Partners Office of Graduate Medical Education, with the foresight of creating a model approach for GME oversight and innovation at a health system level. Through her leadership and advocacy, residents and fellows, program directors, and program coordinators at Partners have access to innovative programs throughout the health system, including interdisciplinary educational and career development opportunities.

Dr. Weinstein also initiated the Partners Medical Education Awards Program, which includes awards for accomplishment by residents/fellows, program directors, program coordinators, and faculty members. She has established institution-wide career development opportunities for program directors and chief residents, and has led efforts to develop core curricula across all programs.

Dr. Weinstein graduated from Wellesley College with honors and received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed her residency training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She was chosen to be Chief Resident in Internal Medicine in 1989, only the second woman to hold this position at that time.

From 2007-2012, Dr. Weinstein served on the ACGME Board of Directors and was a 2007 recipient of the ACGME’s Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award.

The Parker J. Palmer Courage to Lead Award is for designated institutional officials who have demonstrated strong leadership and astute resource management, and who have encouraged innovation and improvement in residency and fellowship programs and their Sponsoring Institutions. The recipients of this year’s Courage to Lead Award are:

  • Karen E. Broquet, MD, MHPE; Southern Illinois University School of Medicine; Springfield, Illinois 
  • John Patrick T. Co, MD, MPH; Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Massachusetts General Hospital; Boston, Massachusetts 


The Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award is given to program directors who have fostered innovation and improvement in their residency/fellowship programs and served as exemplary role models for residents and fellows. The recipients of this year’s Courage to Teach Award are:

  • Robyn J. Blair, MD, FAAP; Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University; Stony Brook, New York; Pediatrics
  • Preston Howard Blomquist, MD; The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Dallas, Texas; Ophthalmology 
  • Keith A. Delman, MD, FACS; Emory University School of Medicine; Atlanta, Georgia; Surgery
  • Fiona E. Gallahue, MD, FACEP; The University of Washington; Seattle, Washington; Emergency Medicine
  • Donald L. Gilbert, MD, MS; Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center; Cincinnati, Ohio; Pediatric Neurology
  • Gabriella G. Gosman, MD; UPMC Medical Education; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Suzanne McLaughlin, MD, MSc; Alpert Medical School of Brown University; Providence, Rhode Island; Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
  • Abby L. Spencer, MD, MS, FACP; Cleveland Clinic; Cleveland, Ohio; Internal Medicine
  • Lisa L. Willett, MD, MACM; University of Alabama at Birmingham; Birmingham, Alabama; Internal Medicine
  • Edwin L. Zalneraitis, MD; University of Connecticut School of Medicine Connecticut Children’s; Hartford, Connecticut; Pediatrics


The David C. Leach Award recognizes residents and fellows who have fostered innovation and improvement in their programs, advanced humanism in medicine, and increased efficiency and emphasis on educational outcomes. The recipients of this year’s David C. Leach Award are:

  • Anne R. Hart, MD; Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York; Psychiatry
    Team members: Asher Simon, MD; Jordyn Feingold, MAPP, MD candidate
  • Daniel E. Leifer, MD; University of Washington; Seattle, Washington; Dermatology
  • Mariam Anwar Molani, DO, MBA; University of Nebraska Medical Center; Omaha; Nebraska; Pathology
  • David A. Valentine, MD; New York University School of Medicine; New York, New York; Neurology
    Team members: Alexander Allen; Raymond Mirasol; Arielle Kurzweil; Eridiz Diaz; Laura Balcer; Steven Galetta
  • Marjon Vatanchi, MD; State University of New York Downstate Medical Center; Brooklyn, New York; Dermatology 
  • Andrew C. Vivas, MD; University of South Florida; Tampa, Florida; Neurological Surgery


The GME Institutional Coordinator Award recognizes an institutional coordinator that demonstrates in-depth knowledge of graduate medical education and the process for internal review. This person skillfully manages the multiple roles of administrator, counselor, enforcer, coordinator, organizer, and scheduler. The recipient of this year’s GME Institutional Coordinator Award is: 

Taiwana W. Mearidy, MBA
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, Georgia

The Debra L. Dooley GME Program Coordinator Excellence Award is given to program coordinators in recognition of their in-depth understanding of the accreditation process, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and projects to improve residency programs. The recipients of this year’s Debra L. Dooley GME Program Coordinator Excellence Award are:

  • Kimberly S. Brown, C-TAGME; Duke University Hospital; Durham, North Carolina; Emergency Medicine
  • Diana Lynn Brucha, C-TAGME; UPMC Medical Education; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Kareen E. Chin, MBA, C-TAGME; MD Anderson Cancer Center; Houston, Texas; Selective Surgical and Subspecialty Pathology, Dermatopathology, Cytopathology
  • Ljiljana Popovic; Boston University Medical Center; Boston, Massachusetts; Neurology 
  • Jennifer M. Shipley; University of Florida; Gainesville, Florida; Neurology


2020 Joint Awards

The DeWitt C. Baldwin Jr. Award, in its fifth year, is presented to Sponsoring Institutions by the ACGME and the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to recognize institutions with accredited residency/fellowship programs that are exemplary in fostering a respectful, supportive environment for medical education and the delivery of patient care, which leads to the personal and professional development of learners.

The recipients of this year’s DeWitt C. Baldwin Jr. Award are:

  • Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center; Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital; Chicago, Illinois
  • Utah HealthCare Institute – St. Mark’s Family Medicine; Salt Lake City, Utah


The Jeremiah A. Barondess Fellowship in the Clinical Transaction, presented in partnership with the New York Academy of Medicine, invites junior faculty in internal medicine to develop innovative programs that enhance this fundamental element of clinical care through educational innovation.

This year’s recipient is:

Justin Berk, MD, MPH, MBA
Assistant Professor
Division of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University
Providence, Rhode Island

The ACGME is currently accepting nominations for the 2021 Awards cycle through Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The ACGME Board of Directors Awards Committee selects awardees. Learn more on our website. Joint awards are selected separately.