Awards highlighted in our December 2022 WWAMI newsletter

Here is where we list the names of UWSOM faculty who have received awards. The listing comes from our bimonthly Faculty Newsletter. If you know of someone who should be acknowledged, please let us know at

Pediatrician named to Casey Family Programs board

Benjamin Danielson, M.D., has been selected to serve on the Casey Family Programs Board of Directors. Dr. Danielson is a pediatrician and clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Danielson will help the foundation as it works to Build Communities of Hope and achieve the organization’s mission to provide and improve – and ultimately prevent the need for – foster care. You can read much more about the foundation and Dr. Danielson on the foundation’s website.








Courage to Teach Award presented to Dr. Ellenbogen

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has announced its 2023 Award recipients, recognizing the strength, innovation, and commitment to the graduate medical education (GME) community these recipients have displayed.

Meet one of one of 10 recipients of the Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award: Richard G. Ellenbogen, M.D., FACS,  Professor and Theodore S. Roberts Endowed Chair of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Washington, attending surgeon at Harborview Medical Center, Seattle Children’s Hospital and University of Washington Medical Center, Director of the UW Medicine Neurosciences Institute, and Director of the Neurological Surgery Residency Program and Founding Co-Director of the Seattle Sports Concussion Program, a joint program sponsored by Seattle Children’s Hospital and UW Medicine.

The Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award recognizes program directors who have fostered innovation and improvement in their residency/fellowship programs and served as exemplary role models for residents and fellows. Dr. Ellenbogen will be formally recognized with other winners at the 2023 ACGME Annual Educational Conference in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 23 to 25, 2023.

Montana shares WRITE – Excellence in Teaching Awards

The WRITE – Excellence in Teaching honor, awarded by the UWSOM Office of Rural Programs, recognizes WWAMI preceptors with a track record of excellence in teaching medical students as well as service as a leader in the community. Nominations were collected from WRITE students across WWAMI. A selection committee then reviewed all nominations based on five criteria: commitment to student success, effective teaching methods, positive impact in the community, excel­lence as a role model for students, and commitment to continuous improvement.

This year’s award was given two long-time TRUST faculty, Sue Gallo, M.D., of Miles City, left, and Kathi Harder-Brouwer, M.D. of Hamilton, both in Montana. 


Wyoming faculty recognized for supporting student learning

Two University of Wyoming WWAMI Medical Education Program faculty members recently were recognized for their dedication to student learning.

Dana Govaerts, M.D., left, a clinical assistant professor, and Emily Schmitt, Ph.D., Wyoming WWAMI research coordinator and an assistant professor in the UW Division of Kinesiology and Health, were honored by the University of Washington School of Medicine.

Dr. Govaerts received three WWAMI Pro Awards during the May-August 2022 award cycle. WWAMI Pro is a medical student-driven recognition program. 

Dr. Schmitt, right, received a research mentor award, given to faculty members who are mentors of medical students on summer research projects.

You can learn much more about the winners and the awards program on the University of Wyoming website


Shikany Endowment in Spokane recognizes exceptional medical educators

The Shikany Endowment in Spokane recently recognized exceptional medical educators with its Teaching Excellence Award.  Here’s some background on the award:  After “retiring” after practicing primary care in Spokane, Sam Shikany, M.D., was hired by Providence SHMC as the employee health doctor.  In this role, he deferred his salary, which over years became the corpus for the Shikany Foundation.  Core to Dr. Shikany’s vision and his namesake foundation is recognition of medical educators who are paying it forward by volunteering to teach, serving as role models for young physicians and being regularly recognized with excellent reviews from students. 

After a pandemic-related hiatus, the Foundation has recently recognized preceptors across Eastern Washington who embody the above characteristics.  While the Shikany Award for Medical Educators is open to all medical educators across Eastern Washington, UWSOM is exceptionally proud to announce the following faculty preceptors who have been recognized with this award.

The 2022 winners are:

  • Clint Hauxwell, UWSOM-Spokane Faculty, left in the photo
  • Rick Parry, UWSOM MD 2001, right

Other recipients include:

  • CariJean Queen – Shikany Award 2016, UWSOM MD 1994
  • Rita Snow – Shikany Award 2016, UWSOM MD 1985
  • Mike Stephens – Shikany Award 2017, UWSOM MD 1994
  • Mike Gillum – Shikany Award 2018, UWSOM MD 1983
  • Henry Arguinchona, Shikany Award 2018, UWSOM MD 1988
  • Cicily White, Shikany Award 2018, UWSOM-Spokane Faculty
  • Bruce Abbotts, Shikany Award 2018, UWSOM-Spokane Faculty
  • Henry Mroch, Shikiany Award 2018, UWSOM Nephrology Fellow 1996-1998
  • Caitlin Allen, Shikany Award 2019, UWSOM MD 2013
  • Rachel Safran, Shikany Award 2019, UWSOM MD 2012
  • Kate Bruya Reed, Skikany Award 2020, UWSOM MD 2004
  • Janelle Clauser, Shikany Award 2020, UWSOM-Spokane Faculty
  • Denise Pounds, Shikany Award 2021, UWSOM-Spokane Faculty

Wyoming honors College of Health Sciences graduate

The University of Wyoming College of Health Sciences honored alumni including Paul Johnson, M.D. Dr. Johnson earned his undergraduate degree in biology from Baylor University before entering UW’s third class of the Wyoming WWAMI (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho). An active member of the Wyoming Medical Society, he was the first Wyoming WWAMI graduate to serve as president. He is a regular contributor to classroom and clinical teaching in the Wyoming WWAMI Medical Education Program, and he serves as a member of the program’s advisory council.  You can read more about him and the award on the University of Wyoming website



American College of Physicians honors UWSOM Spokane faculty

The Washington chapter of the American College of Physicians Annual Meeting recently honored members during its annual meeting.  Four faculty from UWSOM-Spokane received awards. “While we have known what great Internal Medicine faculty we have, we are glad to see them recognized more widely,” said Darryl Potyk, M.D.,  Assistant Dean for Regional Clinical Education, UWSOM. 

WA ACP Laureate Award:  Matt Hollon, M.D., MPH, FACP  (UWSOM Class of 1993):

“The Laureate Award honors Fellows and Masters of the College who have demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research and in service to their community, their Chapter, and the American College of Physicians  The awardee is a senior physician and Fellow or Master of long-standing, with acknowledged excellence and peer approval in the field of Internal Medicine.” 

Dr. Hollon, a Clinical Professor, is currently head of UWSOM’s Selkirk College.  Dr. Hollon has held a variety of leadership roles including ACP WA Governor and President of the Spokane County Medical Society among others.

WA ACP Golden Apple Award:  Rachel Safran M.D., FACP (UWSOM Class of 2012):

“We honor volunteer teachers who have made substantial contributions to the education of medical or other health profession students in his/her community.  Balancing teaching with all the other demands of our profession is an important contribution to the future of internal medicine.”

Dr. Safran did her IM residency in Spokane and is now a Clinical Assistant Professor.  She has volunteered and serves on the Board of Directors for Camp Stix, a summer camp for kids with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.  She is an outstanding teacher who is committed to outpatient medicine, serving the underserved, and caring for HIV patients.

WA ACP Full-time Clinician-Educator of the year, Michael Kerkering M.D. (UWSOM Class of 1994):

“We honor an academic-based internist considered to be a role model by his or her peers.  Winners possess excellent clinical skills, dedication to patients, enthusiasm for medical practice, leadership, exceptional teaching and mentoring skills, and the ability to maintain humanity and a healthy balance between professional and personal interests that we can all strive to emulate.”

Dr. Kerkering did his IM residency in Spokane and is currently a Clinical Instructor.  He has been in private practice in Spokane for over 20 years before joining the faculty at Spokane’s Internal Medicine Residency Program.  He is passionate about primary care and currently serves as Clinic Director for the Residency.

WA ACP Hospitalist of the Year:  Meghan Roberts, M.D., FACP:

“We honor a hospitalist considered to be a role model by his or her peers.  Winners possess excellent clinical skills, dedication to patients, enthusiasm for medical practice, leadership, and the ability to maintain humanity and a healthy balance between professional and personal interests that we can all strive to emulate. “

Dr. Roberts received her M.D. from the University of Minnesota and completed her IM residency in Spokane.  Dr. Roberts is the lead hospitalist at MultiCare Deaconess Hospital in Spokane.  She is passionate about patient care and providing an outstanding learning environment for students and residents alike.


Montana WWAMI Family Child Medicine Director presented with award

Colette Kirchhoff,  M.D., Montana WWAMI FCM Director, received the Bozeman Business & Professional Women (BPW) 2022 Woman of Achievement award. This award recognizes someone who has made outstanding contributions in professional work and community service and who has been a ground breaker and has impacted those around her. 

If you’d like to see the presentation of the award, you can see Dr. Kirchhoff get the honor on this Facebook video. She is described in the program at about one minute and 42 seconds into the video, and the award is presented to her at about 4 minutes and 45 seconds into the video. To the left, you see a photo of her with her husband, Steve, and grandchild, Herbie.