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Office of Academic Affiliations


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Call for 2017 Nominations:

David M. Worthen Award for Career Achievement in Educational Excellence

Previous Recipients

January 16, 2017    

Chief Academic Affiliations Officer's

Announcement of the David M. Worthen Award
for Career Achievement in Educational Excellence

David M. Worthen AwardThis letter announces the 2017 David M. Worthen Award for Career Achievement in Educational Excellence. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is recognized nationally as a leader in the education of health care professionals. This contribution was greatly enhanced through the dedication of the former head of Academic Affairs, the late David M. Worthen, M.D., whom the award commemorates.

Dr. David M. Worthen, a board-certified ophthalmologist and established academician, surgeon, and researcher retired from VA in 1987 after 17 years of dedicated service. Dr. Worthen left his mark in 3 distinct areas of medicine and education: government (particularly VA); American medical practice through his teaching, research, and practice of ophthalmic surgery; and health policy through his membership and leadership on national boards and commissions.

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. The recipient shall receive a plaque and a cash award of $7,500. A plaque is also presented to the facility at which the recipient is employed.

A nominee must be employed at least 5/8-time in VHA as of the application closing date of April 13, 2017. Nominees may be employed in any health profession. Previous nominees are encouraged to reapply. Updated nomination packages are required for previous nominees. Each facility may submit only one nomination each year.

These materials should be submitted as part of the nomination package:

a. A current curriculum vitae, resume, or other summary of education and pertinent work history.

b. Up to 6 letters of support (each no longer than 2 pages) that specifically comment on the nominee's contributions to the educational mission of VHA.

3 letters must be from:

  1. Designated Learning Official (DLO). In the case that the DLO is the nominee, the requirement for the DLO letter will be eliminated.
  2. Medical Center Director
  3. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center leadership (other than the Medical Director), Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) leadership, or VHA Central Office Program Office staff.

Additional letters from non-VA sources, such as the Dean of an affiliated university or an Academic Partnership Council, are also encouraged in addition to the three required letters listed above.

c. Description of significant achievements that have enhanced educational programs within VA, such as leadership on national taskforces, accreditation bodies, or educational organizations; publications combining education, learning, and healthcare; or implementation of educational innovations that influenced other programs over time.
The submission must address each of the following categories (NOTE: The nomination will be rejected if any other format is used).

(1) Statement of Goal or Problem Addressed by the Contribution.
(2) Summary of the Contribution.
(3) Process or Method of Accomplishment.
(4) Description of the measurement of the education improvement due to this contribution.

Nominations will be evaluated on these criteria:

a. Significance of the educational endeavor (such as publication or presentation at regional/national/international conferences).
b. Contribution to VHA's educational mission (impact on VHA training standards or processes) and its VHA-wide impact.
c. Extent to which the contribution strengthens existing, or encourages new, beneficial relationships between VHA and other educational organizations.
d. Originality, creativity, and innovation of the achievement.
e. Nominee's national stature.
f. Evidence that the nominee is the major motivational force behind the achievement.
g. Potential for transferability to other learning organizations.
h. Nature and extent of tangible and intangible benefits of educational achievements.
i. Complexity of the subject(s) addressed by the achievement.

The completed nomination package must be submitted through the VHA Office of Academic Affiliations web-based system no later than April 13, 2017. Faxes and paper submissions will not be accepted.

Click here to view a list of past participants:

Questions may be directed to Nancy Harada, PhD, PT (562) 826-5293 or e-mailed to

Submission Instructions:

  • Access: for web-based data entry through the Office of Academic Affiliations Support Center. It is strongly recommended that education coordinators at facilities who already have access should be the focal point for submission of nominations. It should not be necessary to have multiple individuals applying for access to the Support Center.
  • Select "Log In" and enter your User Name or E-mail Address and Password. If you have forgotten your password, select "I Forgot My Password." If you are a first time user, select "I Need to Register."
  • After login, select Enter for the "Worthen Award Nomination" database. The screen will then default to the Worksheet which will provide further instructions.
  • For technical difficulties with the submission, please contact the OAA Support Center at
    314-894-5760 Option 2.