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Walter Reed Bethesda Recognizes Master, Associate Master Clinicians


By Bernard S. Little

WRNMMC Public Affairs staff writer

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center recognized more than 50 of its clinicians with Master and Associate Master Clinician distinctions during a ceremony June 16 in Memorial Auditorium.

WRNMMC’s Executive Committee of the Medical Staff selected the recipients for the honors based on their “significant contributions to the mission of the medical center,” stated Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Satyen Gada, president-elect of the Medical Staff.
“Specific criteria for the selection include proven excellent outcomes, superior patient satisfaction, high clinical volume, and contributions to training, education and research,” Gada added. He called those honored, “Walter Reed’s finest.”
Current president of the WRNMMC’s Medical Staff, Navy Cmdr. (Dr.) Randy S. Bell said Navy Capts. John Bassett and Jared Antevil started the annual Master Clinician Recognition Ceremony at the medical center three years ago. He added the Master Clinician Program has “its genesis in the Army’s A Designator, the Air Force Medical Corps ME and MF Special Experience Identifiers, and Master Clinician Recognition Programs that currently exist at other military treatment facilities around the country.”
Bell said the purpose of the program is to recognize military and civilian providers who achieved excellence based on their clinical, research, teaching, mentorship and other performance.
“This year individuals come from specialties that include pediatrics, internal medicine, hematology/oncology, radiology, trauma surgery, pathology, neonatal intensive care, cardiothoracic surgery, psychology, physical therapy and [other specialties]. They were nominated by their department or service chiefs based on their superlative and sustaining clinical research, teaching and performance that exceeded the top 15 percent of providers at this command,” Bell explained.
“The nominations were then evaluated, discussed and voted on by the Executive Committee of the Medical Staff and in total, there were over 50 honorees,” Bell added. “Their selections truly represent the best of what Walter Reed has to offer our patients, their families and our staff.”
Army Col. (Dr.) Michael Heimall, then-WRNMMC director, described the Master and Associate Master Clinician distinctions as “lifetime achievement awards,” earned based on the recipients’ contributions to their specialties over the course of their time at the medical center. He called receiving the award “a milestone” in the recipients’ careers.  He also encouraged those honored to seek out and groom other Master Clinicians and Associate Master Clinicians at WRNMMC.
The distinction between Master Clinician and Associate Master Clinician is to achieve the former, the clinician not only had to achieve the productivity metrics, but also must have been out of residency and/or training for at least eight years. The Associate Master Clinician recognition has the same clinical productivity requirements, but the honoree must have been out of residency and/or training for at least four years.
Antevil, chief of cardiothoracic surgery, earned Master Clinician distinction this year. “This is certainly a meaningful designation in that it reflects clinical and academic achievement in the eyes of my peers,” he stated. “It stands apart from most other means of recognition in military medicine, which are focused more on accomplishments in leadership and administration. Although these are both important areas for a successful military medical officer, we also take pride in delivering outstanding care to our patients, and imparting the right knowledge and values in our future successors. The Master Clinician program is unique and important in emphasizing these critical elements of a dedicated and successful military provider,” he added.
Retired Navy Capt. (Dr.) Jeffrey Greenwald, of Newborn Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics, was recognized as a Master Clinician during the ceremony. “I appreciate the honor and it is nice to know that the command recognizes those of us who provide patient care and clinical teaching,” he stated.
Susan Marullo, diabetes nurse practitioner in General Internal Medicine Service, agreed, adding, “I felt overwhelming joy and gratitude when I received the Master Clinician award. I have enjoyed working as an NP at WRNMMC for the past 24 years, and this was the highlight of my career.  This award felt like my professional ‘Lifetime Achievement Award,’ and I am so honored to have been recognized. It has been my honor and privilege to provide medical care to our military service members and their families, and to be part of a medical organization which gives me so much pride," she concluded.