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Home : News : News
NEWS | May 20, 2022

SAUSHEC honors faculty members for their contributions to military medicine

By Lori Newman Brooke Army Medical Center Public Affairs

San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium held its annual faculty awards dinner May 14 at the Randolph Parr Club. The event honored faculty members for their dedication and expertise in training future military medical and allied health professionals.

“Today, we are here to celebrate the privilege of serving in the educational mission, which perpetuates our professions, enabling the care of our patients not only today, but tomorrow,” said Dr. Mark True, SAUSHEC dean. “We get to enjoy the opportunity to develop skills and instill values in the next generation of professionals that follow us. We as faculty get to take very moldable medical school and allied health graduates and train them into specialists that are incredibly competent professionals, ready to go where our nation needs them, and ready to lead medical teams.”

U.S. Army Brig. Gen. E. Darrin Cox, command surgeon, U.S. Army Forces Command, was the evening’s keynote speaker.

Cox, who is the incoming commanding general for Regional Health Command-Central, shared many insightful aspects of how medicine has transformed through the years, including knowledge and technological changes, and also a greater emphasis on the inter-professional team aspect of health care delivery.

The general congratulated the faculty members, emphasizing that SAUSHEC’s contribution to the Military Health System’s pipeline of physician and allied health providers is impressive, significant and noticed.

The Professionalism Award is presented to a faculty member who exemplifies the professional delivery of health care manifested by accountability, excellence, integrity, service, and respect for others.

This year’s recipient is U.S. Army Lt. Col. A. Elizabeth Markelz, infectious disease staff physician. Markelz was described as a “consummate professional” who exemplifies professionalism and is a role model in how to think, lead, act and speak. Her nomination said, “She is 100 percent committed to patient care, the needs of her subordinates and peers, and teaching.”

The Quality Improvement/Patient Safety, or QIPS Award, recognizes faculty members who have dedicated themselves to identifying systemic issues in quality care and patient safety, learning lessons from these issues and seeking iterative change to form the foundation of SAUSHEC’s culture of safety.

U.S. Army Maj. Megan H. Donahue, pediatric infectious disease physician and current associate program director of QIPS for the Pediatric Residency Program, was selected for this award. Donahue led and mentored multiple QI and research projects, including a project related to telemedicine for directly observed therapy for latent tuberculosis and another related to antibiotic stewardship to reduce antibiotics for viral upper respiratory infections.

The Graduate Allied Health Education Faculty Award went to U.S. Air Force Maj. John A. Blue Star, clinical psychology fellow. Blue Star serves as associate program director for both the internship and the Clinical Health Psychology post-doctoral fellowship. His nomination stated, “His teaching skills are in high demand across the DoD Behavioral Health communities including grant research, interdisciplinary education, international mental health leadership, and clinical bio-feedback care.”

Markelz also received the Lt. Gen. Paul K. Carlton Jr. Award, named in honor of Carlton, former 59th Medical Wing Commander and 17th Surgeon General of the Air Force.

The final award was the coveted Gold Headed Cane Award. Through the years, Gold Headed Canes have been given at many medical schools to singularly outstanding students and faculty members. The Gold Headed Cane has become an annual award that honors an individual who has exhibited sustained professionalism and excellence throughout a military career in the following categories: patient care, resident teaching, clinical research, operational medicine and mentorship.

This award is traditionally presented by the person who received the award the previous year. This year, U.S. Army Col. Matthew Borgman, pediatric intensivist, presented the Gold Headed Cane Award to U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph K. Maddry, Emergency Medicine and Toxicology physician.

Maddry received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University and completed his emergency medicine residency at SAUSHEC and his medical toxicology fellowship in Denver, Colorado. He returned to BAMC where he served as the medical toxicologist for the Emergency Department. He most recently directed the U.S. Air Force En Route Care Research Center from 2015 to 2020 and is currently the deputy commander of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research.

“Congratulations to each of our nominees and recipients in these highly competitive categories,” True said. “You are a credit to our organization and we hope you understand how highly you are valued.

“One of the great triumphs of this year, despite many obstacles, will be graduating over 250 professionals from our wide spectrum of programs in June,” he added. “You made it happen!”

The award finalists were:

Professionalism Award Finalists:

  • U.S. Army Capt. Crystal J. Forman – Internal Medicine
  • U.S. Army Lt. Col. A. Elizabeth Markelz – Infectious Disease
  • U.S. Air Force Col. Shelly D. Martin – Pediatrics
  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Justin G. Peacock – Nuclear Medicine
  • U.S. Army Lt. Col. Timothy J. Vreeland – Surgery

Recipient: U.S. Army Lt. Col. A. Elizabeth Markelz

Quality Improvement/Patient Safety Award Finalists:

  • U.S. Army Lt. Col. Aaron M. Betts - Radiology
  • U.S. Army Maj. Megan H. Donahue - Pediatrics Infectious Disease
  • U.S. Army Capt. Crystal J. Forman – Internal Medicine
  • U.S. Air Force Capt. Morgan C. Jordan – Neurology
  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Joseph M. Yabes – Infectious Disease

Recipient: U.S. Army Maj. Megan H. Donahue

Graduate Allied Health Education Faculty Award Finalists:

  • U.S. Air Force Maj. John A. Blue Star – Clinical Psychology
  • U.S. Air Force Capt. Fern S. Daniels – Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Diego C. Melgar-Gray – Emergency Medicine PA
  • Dr. Tamika D. Person-Knisley, Psy.D. – Clinical Psychology

Recipient: U.S. Air Force Maj. John A. Blue Star

Lt. Gen. PK Carlton Graduate Medical Education Faculty Award Finalists:

  • U.S. Air Force Maj. John C. Hunninghake – Pulmonary Critical Care
  • U.S. Army Lt. Col. A. Elizabeth Markelz – Infectious Disease
  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Justin G. Peacock – Nuclear Medicine
  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Mamie C. Stull – Surgery
  • U.S. Air Force Maj. Sebastian K. Welsh - Pediatrics

Recipient: U.S. Army Lt. Col. A. Elizabeth Markelz

Gold Headed Cane Award Finalists:

  • U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Alice E. Barsoumian – Infectious Disease
  • U.S. Army Lt. Col. G. Travis Clifton – Surgical Oncology
  • U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph K. Maddry – Emergency Medicine & Toxicology
  • U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Renee I. Matos – Pediatrics Critical Care
  • U.S. Army Lt. Col. Luis O. Rohena – Pediatrics Genetics

Recipient: U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph K. Maddry