Steven Gradwohl "Art of Primary Care" Award

Steven Gradwohl, MD
Steven Gradwohl, MD

The annual Steven E. Gradwohl Art of Primary Care award is presented to an established General Internal Medicine physician who is actively providing direct patient care in the ambulatory care setting. Candidates for this award are nominated by their peers based upon personal and professional qualities consistent with those of the late Steve E. Gradwohl, MD. The awardee demonstrates clinical excellence, enthusiasm for teaching, institutional service engagement, compassion, and positive and respectful interactions with all other faculty and staff.

Dr. Steven Gradwohl was a clinical assistant professor of internal medicine from 1994 - 2013. Known as a "physician's physician", he practiced general internal medicine at the Briarwood Medical Group and was devoted to high-quality patient care and training future physicians. A graduate of Carleton College and the University of Chicago's Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Gradwohl had been named by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America several times. He was a U.S. Army veteran, having served on active duty while in medical residency at the Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, and in medical leadership posts at Fort Lee in Virginia and the Presidio in San Francisco. He came to Michigan in 1994, attracted by the opportunity to take part in medical education in an outpatient setting.

"Being a primary care physician has been unbelievably rewarding for me. There are many other fields with higher pay, and perhaps shorter hours, but none that rivals being a patient's primary health care provider." - Dr. Steven Gradwohl, 2012

2022 Gradwohl Art of Primary Care Award Recipient

Seema Saini, MD
Seema Saini, MD

Seema Saini, MD

Dr. Seema Saini is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine who practices general medicine primary care at the Ann Arbor VA. Dr. Saini received her medical degree from Brown University and completed her residency at the University of Michigan. She is an extraordinary physician and colleague who is dedicated to excellence in patient care and in supporting her colleagues. For many years, Dr. Saini has coordinated education and well-being activities for the VA primary care practice. She took on additional duties during the COVID pandemic, both with respect to patient care and in supporting the well-being of her colleagues. Dr. Saini also serves on the Department of Internal Medicine DEI and Well-Being IMPOWER Council as a representative for VA primary care.

Past Winners

2021 - All General Medicine Faculty

Rather than honoring one primary care physician, the 2020-21 Art of Primary Care Award was presented to all general medicine primary care doctors at U-M Health and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Each site was given a plaque in recognition of the tireless efforts of the ambulatory front line doctors who staffed clinics, conducted thousands of virtual visits, and spent extra time and effort caring for COVID and non-COVID patients throughout those uncertain times. The nursing, medical assistant, clerical, and administrative staff of each general medicine clinic were also recognized for their hard work and sacrifices during this difficult year with gifts of jumbo popcorn and snack boxes.

Eve Kerr, MD, MPH, chief of the Division of General Medicine within the Department of Internal Medicine, shared “Steve was an extraordinary general internist who was completely dedicated to his patients, colleagues, friends, and family.” Dr. Kerr described how difficult these past months have been for everyone and the tremendous efforts our faculty have made to care for our patients and adapt to new ways of providing medical care.

"This year more than ever we need to recognize and celebrate the role of ambulatory general internists. While we may not all have been in the hospital caring for COVID-19 patients, ambulatory general internists have been the backbone of our health system - the ambulatory front line. I know that Steve would have been leading that front line - and would have been proud of the way our division rallied in the face of adversity.” - Dr. Eve Kerr

2020 - No winner due to the pandemic

2019 - Paul Fine, MD

Dr. Paul Fine is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Michigan Medical School. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Michigan in 1992 and stayed on for a year as chief medical resident. He then joined the faculty of the Division of General Internal Medicine and has been a primary care physician at the Taubman Center since then. He attends on resident hospital services and holds a number of teaching positions within the medical school. Dr. Fine is an excellent clinician who is admired by his patients, students, colleagues, and staff. We applaud Dr. Fine and recognize his longstanding commitment to the provision of clinical excellence, education to students and residents, and service to the organization.

2018 - Linda Terrell, MD

Dr. Linda Terrell earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, and completed internal medicine residency training at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Terrell has had both a longstanding personal and professional connection to Dr. Steve Gradwohl and his family. For many years, they were practice partners together at the U-M Briarwood Medical Group where she is currently the Medical Director.  She is a member of the Clinical Excellence Society and she serves on the Physician Wellness Subcommittee. We applaud Dr. Terrell and recognize her longstanding commitment to the provision of clinical excellence, education to students and residents, and service to the organization.

2017 - Julie Morelock, MD
Dr. Julie Morelock earned her undergraduate degree from Northwestern and her Medical Degree here at the University of Michigan. Dr. Morelock completed residency training at the University of Michigan and joined the faculty in 2001. She initially practiced at Livonia and Canton Health Centers prior to moving to the Saline Health Center in 2004. Dr. Morelock has longstanding dedication to resident education. She served on the institutional Primary Care Task Force. She is an active member of the Clinical Excellence Society, serving as Councilor and is also a member of the Mentorship Committee. “Julie’s patients continually rave about her medical knowledge, her ability to navigate through the University of Michigan with referrals and coordination of care, and her caring personality.”

2016 - Thomas O'Connor, MD
Dr. Thomas O'Connor earned his MD, completed his internship and residency, and served as Chief Medical Resident at the University of Michigan. Since joining the faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine in 1985, Dr. O’Connor has had a significant impact on our primary care delivery and educational programs, distinguishing himself as an educator, clinician, and administrator. He served as the Medical Director of the Briarwood Medical Group practice from 1991 through 2015 and as the Associate Division Chief for Ambulatory Care until recently accepting an opportunity to teach medical students in the new M-Home teaching curriculum. As a practicing physician, Dr. O’Connor has managed a large clinical practice of patients who are extremely dedicated to him as their doctor.

2015 - Elisa Ostafin, MD
Dr. Elisa Ostafin was recognized for her strong commitment to the art and practice of primary care. A member of the University faculty since 1985, Dr. Ostafin currently serves as the Medical Director of the West Ann Arbor Health Center and as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Ostafin has taught M1 through M4 medical students, and is currently a Clinical Educator for the Clinical Foundations of Medicine Sequence for the M1 and M2 students. She also supervises M3 students and internal medicine residents in continuity clinics. Dr. Ostafin has been named to the Hour Detroit Top Docs list as well as the Best Doctors in America list. Beyond her role as a Medical Director, Dr. Ostafin serves on the Michigan Primary Care Transformation Steering Committee and filled Dr. Gradwohl’s empty seat on the Executive Committee for Clinical Affairs after his passing.