David M. Worthen Awards for Excellence in Health Professions Education - Office of Academic Affiliations
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David M. Worthen Awards for Excellence in Health Professions Education


The David M. Worthen Awards are the highest honors given by the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) to recognize outstanding achievements in health professions education. Established in 1988, this award program was named after the late David M. Worthen, MD, former Associate Chief Medical Director for Academic Affairs, board-certified ophthalmologist, established academician, surgeon, researcher, and inspirational leader of the Department of Veterans Affair's (VA) education mission. VHA education champions are honored in three categories including: Rising Star, Career Achievement, and Innovator in Health Professions Education.

Nominations for the Worthen Awards

Visit our nomination page for information about how to nominate health professions educators for the 2022 David M. Worthen Awards.

2021 David M. Worthen Award Recipients

Andrew Grock, MD

2021 David M. Worthen Rising Star Award

Andrew Grock, MD, Staff Emergency Medicine Physician at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, received the 2021 David M. Worthen Rising Star Award recognizing him as an early career champion of health professions trainee education.

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Jessica Feinleib, MD, PhD, CHSE, FASA

2021 David M. Worthen Innovator Award

Jessica Feinleib, MD, PhD, CHSE, FASA, Staff Anesthesiologist at VA Connecticut Healthcare System (VACHS) and VHA SimLEARN’s Out of Operating Room Airway Management (OORAM) national course director, received the 2021 David M. Worthen Innovator Award recognizing her for sustaining and expanding a significant educational innovation for health professions trainee education. Dr. Feinleib, who is also on faculty at the Yale School of Medicine, has advocated and produced simulation-based education for health professions trainees and practicing clinicians in VHA, nationally and internationally.

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Ismene Petrakis, MD

2021 David M. Worthen Career Achievement Award

Ismene Petrakis, MD, Chief, Mental Health Services at VA Connecticut Healthcare System in West Haven, received the 2021 David M. Worthen Career Achievement Award recognizing her as an outstanding health professions trainee education champion whose lifetime contributions have profoundly advanced and impacted the educational mission of VHA.

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Previous Awardees

Click here to see a listing of previous awardees.