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.

2022 David M. Worthen Award Recipients

Portrait of Laura Zambrano-Vazquez

Laura Zambrano-Vazquez, PhD

2022 David M. Worthen Rising Star Award

Laura Zambrano-Vazquez, PhD is the Program Manager, Director of Training, Education & Dissemination Core for VHA’s VISN 17 Heart of Texas Health Care Network Center of Excellence for Research on Returning War Veterans.

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portrait of Dr. Caputo

Laura Caputo, MD

2022 David M. Worthen Innovator Award

Laura Caputo, MD is a hospitalist at the Durham VA Medical Center (DVAMC) located in Durham, North Carolina. She also serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. At the DVAMC, Dr. Caputo led a faculty development project focusing on inpatient medicine attendings who round with undergraduate and graduate physician trainees.

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B.V. Watts Portrait

Bradley "Vince" Watts, MD, MPH

2022 David M. Worthen Career Achievement Award

Bradley “Vince” Watts, MD, MPH is the Director of the Rural Health Resource Center within VHA’s Office of Rural Health in Washington, DC. Dr. Watts is a national leader and scholar-practitioner in quality improvement and patient safety teaching and throughout his VA career, Dr. Watts led several large multisite fellowship programs in VA, including the Interprofessional Advanced Fellowship in Patient Safety, Health Systems Engineering Advanced Fellowship, Health Professions Education Evaluation and Research Advanced Fellowship and the Chief Resident in Quality and Patient Safety (CRQS) program.

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Previous Awardees

Click here to see a listing of previous awardees.

Nominations for the Worthen Awards

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