March 21, 2023

Six receive Graduate Medical Education Awards for 2023

The recipients will be honored during a virtual reception on May 1


Four faculty and two staff members from the departments of Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Learning Health Sciences, General Surgery and the Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME), are recipients of GME Awards for 2023. They are: 

Program Director Excellence Award

John Del Valle, M.D., a professor and residency program director in the Department of Internal Medicine, is recipient of the Program Director Excellence Award, which recognizes a residency or fellowship program director who has had a significant impact by optimizing the quality of education in a training program, enhancing the residency/fellowship experience for trainees, helping individuals to reach their greatest potential, and/or enhancing graduate medical education at institutional levels (Michigan Medicine inpatient and outpatient experiences and/or VA Hospital system). 

His nominators wrote: Dr. Del Valle is the consummate physician and educator. He is an outstanding teacher, mentor, and role model for our residents. He is inspirational and an aspirational leader, colleague, and friend. It is his willingness to thoughtfully challenge the status quo, deep commitment, and courage to teach and learn from others that distinguishes his accomplishments. Dr. John Del Valle is a very special educational leader locally and nationally. Throughout the COVID pandemic John has been a fierce advocate for the residents in ensuring their safety as they provided care for very ill patients. Checking in with them routinely to make sure they were feeling supported, making their well-being a priority, and ensuring their medical education training had the least impact possible. I believe John’s commitment to educational excellence, his innovation, and his recognition for such, exceeds the criteria for the GME Program Director Excellence Award. Dr. Del Valle is unfailingly dedicated to the education of each resident he trains. Residents are exposed to diverse, dynamic inpatient and outpatient experiences that prepare them for any post-graduate path, be it primary care, interventional cardiology, or anywhere in between. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Del Valle not only maintained these experiences but took distinct steps to improve them. He is equally committed to both our personal and professional success, recognizing that these two elements are inseparable. Dr. Del Valle ensures each resident knows they are valued as a human being above all else, allowing everyone to bring their whole selves to work each day.

Program Administrator Excellence Award

Lisa Leininger, a GME program administrator for the General Surgery Residency Program, is recipient of the Program Administrator Excellence Award, which recognizes the outstanding skills of program administrators who possess and utilize an in-depth knowledge of graduate medical education, excel in the day-to-day management of a residency or fellowship program, demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills and/or those who have implemented innovative projects to improve graduate medical education, streamline processes or assist in training other GME professionals.

Her nominators wrote: Lisa is the epitome of excellence in all that she does for our general surgery program. She is constantly and consistently aware of every single detail relating to the management of our educational program. In my experience of working in GME over the last ten years at multiple institution, I can say with certainty that Lisa is the best program administrator with whom I have ever worked. Lisa knows every detail of how this program runs, from big things like American Board of Surgery requirements to small things like who to call when your flu shot wasn't entered into the system appropriately. Shehas been successful not only in the day-to-day activities as a program administrator, she also is a published author of 9 peer-reviewed articles which focus on surgical resident education. Lisa is now simply indispensable. She is vital to the day-to-day running of the residency program.

GME Staff Award Recipient 

Joanne Thompson, a senior financial/business analyst in the GME Office, is recipient of the GME Staff Award, which recognizes the outstanding skills of a GME staff member who possesses a commitment to advancing GME, service excellence and collaboration, and/or has implemented innovative processes to improve residency education, streamline processes, or assist programs.

Her nominators wrote: Joanne prepares the annual GME budget with astute attention to detail which results in minimal variance. She has been instrumental in providing input into the development of the majority of the GME guidelines, forms, and job aids. Leveraging her exceptional Excel skills, she independently developed the Holiday Pay Substitution Job Aid. Joanne is constantly seeking ways to streamline and improve GME processes. She is always willing to patiently and thoughtfully share her knowledge to help her GME office team members and GME Community work smarter and more efficiently with the tools available. Joanne is an incredible teammate who is dedicated, reliable, and kind-hearted. She is most comfortable while quietly working behind the scenes “crunching numbers,” but we would like her recognized as a shining star in our GME community, and we are honored to nominate her for the GME Staff Award.

Mentor/Teacher of the Year Award

Marie Claire O’ Dwyer, MB, B.Ch., BAO, MPH, an assistant professor in the Department of Family Medicine, is recipient of the Mentor/Teacher of the Year Award, which recognizes a faculty member who has served as an outstanding mentor or teacher for a resident or fellow trainee through dedication, leadership, teamwork, advocacy, role modeling, instruction in research, clinical care and education.

Her nominators wrote: Dr. O’ Dwyer has a wonderful ability to adapt her style to meet each resident where they are in their understanding of the research process. It is because of her passion, dedication, and motivation that many residents’ complete projects each year that are published, presented at national conferences, and contribute to practice changing policies within the field of family medicine. She positively transforms the way many residents view research projects, turning a requirement into a passion project. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to motivate and empower residents. They can feel that she truly believes in them, and she is there to support them every step of the way. In her role as a clinical preceptor, she is continually noted by residents to be one of the greatest faculty teachers, always making space for effective, evidence-based teaching with every patient encounter.

Faculty Equity and Inclusion Award

Marcia Perry, M.D., a clinical assistant professor and associate chair for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Department of Emergency Medicine, is recipient of the Faculty Equity and Inclusion Award, which recognizes faculty who have fostered an environment of equity and inclusion within their training program in efforts to improve disparities.

Her nominators wrote: Dr. Perry is an excellent clinician who treats all patients, their families, and her staff and peers with respect honest consideration, she also engages trainees at different levels and backgrounds. She has become a major leader for house officer diversity at Michigan and nationally. She has developed and continues to lead programs with proven impact. Dr. Perry has mentored many residents in the care of this very disadvantaged community which has seen more than its share of racism, poverty, and challenging health environment. Dr. Perry serves as a role model who advanced DEI initiatives with courage and intention every day. Sheis a truly active and effective team member in our diversity efforts, and she is largely responsible for increasing the diversity among our house officers. Dr. Perry has established a legacy of advocacy and leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion within not only the Department of Emergency Medicine, as the inaugural Associate Chair for DEI, and throughout the University of Michigan, where she developed and continues to direct the University of Michigan House Officer Programs and the Health Equity Visiting Clerkship program through the Office of Equity and Inclusion.

Faculty Innovation Award

David Marzano, M.D., a clinical associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and learning health sciences, is recipient of the Faculty Innovation Award, which recognizes faculty who have made outstanding and innovative contributions to graduate medical education through areas in evaluation, education, quality, patient safety, leadership skills development, global outreach, and wellness.

His nominators wrote: Dr. Marzano is seen as a national expert in the use of artificial intelligence for applicant review and was asked to present his work recently at the American College of Surgeons meeting. He and the team are reimagining the match process, and the continuum of learning and growth from medical student to residency. He has published twenty-seven peer reviewed publications and frequently includes residents and junior faculty as mentees and collaborators. He exemplifies that an innovator doesn’t have to develop a new device or treatment but can exhibit innovation by figuring out systematic solutions to both help the individual, resident, faculty, patient — and the larger team.

The recipients will be honored during a virtual reception on May 1.