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Excellence in Service and Professionalism

The Excellence in Service and Professionalism award is presented to the physician who actively promotes a culture that embraces, expects and rewards the delivery of patient- and family-centered care.

James Withey, M.D.

Howard County General Hospital: James Withey, M.D., Internal medicine

A consummate partner and physician, James Withey is unfailingly collegial and collaborative. He sees a high volume of patients in the emergency department and triages them for admission/observation, earning the trust of his colleagues with his excellent clinical skills and assessments. When developing plans of care for patients, he is always cooperative, amenable to doing what the patient needs and exceedingly kind. Accommodating and flexible, Dr. Withey remains calm and efficient — whether he has one patient or 20 to see — and manages to maintain his sense of humor, even at 3 a.m.

James Withey, MD


E. Leila Jerome Clay, M.D.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital: E. Leila Jerome Clay, M.D., Director of Sickle Cell Program, Cancer & Blood Disorders Institute

At Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital for less than two years, Leila Jerome Clay has quickly established an excellent working environment for those caring for patients with sickle cell disease. She introduced the latest guidelines for patient care, created an atmosphere of collegiality and brought many services together. She has played an integral part in adolescent care, transitioning patients from pediatric to adult care. When she joined Johns Hopkins All Children’s, Dr. Clay became a site principal investigator for the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration EMBRACE project on improving access to care for sickle cell disease. She is also a site principal investigator for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute ST3P-UP study. Dr. Clay has established her research in sickle cell disease, and her primary professional objective is to translate her clinical research to the field.

E. Leila Jerome Clay, M.D.


Edward Bessman, M.D.

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center: Edward Bessman, M.D., Emergency Medicine

Under Edward Bessman’s leadership, the state-of-the-art emergency department at Johns Hopkins Bayview was designed, built, tested and launched. He oversaw creation of the Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant Residency Program at Johns Hopkins Bayview, one of the first nonmilitary clinical emergency medicine physician assistant residency programs in the country. The Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, the state agency tasked with reviewing and certifying Maryland emergency departments, has repeatedly recognized the scope and detail of the programmatic accomplishments achieved under Dr. Bessman’s leadership by extending an unrestricted, full five-year certification for the emergency department’s EMS Base Station program. Dr. Bessman’s accomplishments are a testament to his vision and dedication to creating the optimal ED environment for patient-centered care.

Edward Bessman, MD


Ayesha Butt, M.D.

Johns Hopkins Community Physicians: Ayesha Butt, M.D., physician, Johns Hopkins Community Physicians — Greater Dundalk

Ayesha Butt has been an integral member of the Greater Dundalk team since she joined the team several years ago. She consistently achieves top Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) scores and top quality scores, all while serving a population with significant health disparities and challenges related to social determinants of health.

Ayesha Butt, MD


Kimberly Peairs, M.D.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital: Kimberly Peairs, M.D., clinical director, general internal medicine at Green Spring Station

Kimberly Peairs has built a large panel of patients who respect and rely on her clinical acumen and judgment. A true “doctor’s doctor,” other faculty frequently ask to be added to her patient panel. An inaugural Johns Hopkins Hospital inductee into the Miller-Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence, Dr. Peairs is seen as a role model by a number of young faculty and trainees and is sought out as a clinical mentor. A nationally renowned expert in the care of cancer survivors, Dr. Peairs has published on this topic and built one of the few internal medicine cancer survivor programs in the country.

Kimberly Peairs, MD


Amy Chused, M.D.

Sibley Memorial Hospital: Amy Chused, M.D., hospitalist/director of clinical informatics

Amy Chused is a physician with a broad skill set that includes a sharp clinical acumen, expertise in informatics and what colleagues often describe as a heart of gold. She knows her patients’ clinical and emotional needs and makes a point of addressing them all. Besides her routine delivery of excellence in clinical care as a busy hospitalist, Dr. Chused is medical director of clinical informatics. In this role, she leads hospitalwide and systemwide IT initiatives to solve evolving challenges.

Amy Chused, MD


Daniel Valaik, M.D.

Suburban Hospital: Daniel Valaik, M.D., assistant director of orthopaedic surgery

An excellent surgeon, Daniel Valaik earns top patient satisfaction scores and maintains a low complication rate. As medical director of his unit, Dr. Valaik leads by example, improving collaboration between the full-time and part-time medical staff of his division and increasing clinical volumes.

Daniel Valaik, MD

View the other 2019 Clinical Awards recipients