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David M. Worthen Award Recipient for 2016

Previous Recipients

For more information on how to nominate a health professions educator for the David M. Worthen Award: http://www.va.gov/oaa/Worthen_nominations.asp


Picture of Worthern Award Receipeint Thomas Houstong

David M. Worthen Award

Thomas K. Houston II, MD, MPH, Selected as Recipient of VA 2016 David M. Worthen Award for Career Achievement in Educational Excellence

Dr. Thomas K. Houston II has been selected by the Under Secretary for Health to receive the David M. Worthen Award for Career Achievement in Educational Excellence for 2016.  

This is the highest award given by the Veterans Health Administration to recognize outstanding achievements of national significance in health professions education.

Dr. Houston has an international reputation for innovations in curriculum development and evaluation; faculty development; and patient education. The innovative use of technology is an important hallmark of his contributions.

Dr. Houston has made significant contributions in the use of technology-assisted continuing medical education programs, made foundational contributions to graduate medical education, was an early pioneer in the use of innovative clinical decision support systems to guide practice, demonstrated the need for competency-based assessments, and created a then-novel curriculum that provided performance-based feedback to residents, which demonstrated improvements in preventive care for Veterans, has been adopted outside the VA and the United States and is considered normal practice in modern graduate medical education.

Dr. Houston’s contributions to the science of patient education are broad, such as the use of patient stories in patient education interventions, Veteran engagement with online health information, and internet training for patients with HIV and hepatitis C. Dr. Houston’s participation in a national faculty development task force and leadership in a number of VA and non-VA professional organizations contributed to the creation of a teaching skills program that involved over 1400 teaching faculty across the nation and led to important policy improvements.

Dr. Houston has a longstanding history of mentorship to students, residents, as well as budding and established researchers, many of whom have gone on to make major contributions to healthcare and research. He has made important contributions to the scholarly and scientific literature, as documented by over 130 publications peer-reviewed publications, including an impressive body of work in innovations in patient, faculty and medical education. 

Dr. Houston is an incredibly productive educator, outstanding collaborator and leader, as well as a truly innovative thinker whose work has had a profound impact on the education of our trainees, the VA and ultimately our Nation’s Veterans.

The Worthen Award may be given annually to recognize a VHA employee from any health care discipline who has made contributions of national significance to education in the health professions. This award, which was first issued in 1988, commemorates David M. Worthen, MD, an inspirational leader of VA’s education mission.