The Armstrong Award for Excellence in Quality and Safety award is presented to the physician who partners with patients, families, colleagues and staff members to optimize patient outcomes and eliminate preventable harm.
Swetha Paluru, M.B.B.S.
Howard County General Hospital
Chair of Pathology
Swetha Paluru successfully led a multidisciplinary team in implementing the high sensitivity troponin T assay at Howard County General Hospital. The test significantly reduces the time necessary to rule out acute coronary syndrome, decreasing the emergency department length of stay for patients with chest pain. Onboarding high sensitivity troponin is a difficult task because its and the way it is interpreted are different compared to compared to conventional troponin.
Representatives from various divisions, including cardiology, emergency medicine, clinical informatics and laboratory, along with intensivists and hospitalists, collaborated for more than 11 months to build algorithms for both the emergency department and the inpatient areas.
To prepare for implementation, the team members worked together to develop educational materials for physicians and nurses. An extensive communications and education plan ensured that everyone was aware of the transition and educated in time for go-live. Dr. Paluru did an exceptional job engaging various clinical and nursing divisions, and she steered the ship perfectly to achieve a smooth transition to high sensitivity troponin.
Luis Rodriguez, M.D.
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Looking to expand the pediatric neurosurgery team’s ability to recognize and address trends regarding quality metrics related to surgical outcomes and pre-surgical and post-surgical care, Luis Rodriguez, also tri-chair of the Institute for Brain Protection Sciences Safety and Quality Council, developed a new approach for analyzing data and, if a safety event occurs, identifying and addressing probable cause. To launch this process, he created an expanded set of metrics to be monitored, designed an Excel dashboard and spent many hours entering data. His detailed work led to development of a robust electronic version of the dashboard that includes demographic information such as preferred language, ethnicity and ZIP codes. The dashboard provides ready access to data that be used to analyze trends and adjust a protocol or technique. The goal is to identify patients at higher risk for complications, to be able to intervene before surgery and lower the rate of complications and readmissions, leading to improvement in outcomes and patient satisfaction. Dr. Rodriguez’s efforts have helped the team prevent surgical site infection, reduce unplanned returns to the operating room and continue to enhance patient care.
Shaker Eid, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Medical Director, Quality and Patient Safety
Director, Research and Innovation, Division of Hospital Medicine
For years, Shaker Eid has contributed to quality and safety initiatives not just within the Division of Hospital Medicine but throughout Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. He leads the communication and response program, which bridges the relationship between clinicians, patients and families when a harm event occurs. This includes developing and implementing action plans designed to prevent recurrences of harm events, serving as a communication and disclosure coach for clinical teams, and supporting the emotional needs of the patient, family and care team affected by an event.
Dr. Eid also helped develop Johns Hopkins Bayview’s guardianship service — an initiative that streamlines the process of obtaining guardianship for patients, resulting in reduced length of stay and costs. Additionally, he assisted with the recent transition to high sensitivity troponin testing and held multiple training sessions for his departmental colleagues to ensure a seamless transition.
Sujay Pathak, M.D.
Johns Hopkins Community Physicians
Physician, Internal Medicine, Provider Quality Champion
Sujay Pathak took on the role of provider quality champion at the Johns Hopkins Community Physicians (JHCP) practice in Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood with enthusiasm, creativity and drive. He has been tremendously effective and an inspiration to the entire Remington team. By providing motivation with his spirited presentations, the Remington Internal Medicine service went from being a site with lower quality metric scores to one of JHCP’s top performers. He works continuously on quality improvement efforts, problem solves to improve workflows, takes time to carefully explore gaps in care and provides tailored opportunity lists to clinical teams to close those gaps. Dr. Pathak’s dedication to quality improvement resulted in hundreds more patients receiving screenings for breast cancer, colon cancer and diabetic retinopathy during the past year. Dr. Pathak’s work is saving lives.
Dr. Pathak, also an assistant professor in the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has a unique ability to translate quality data into action through infectious energy and persistence, and he is a relentless advocate for quality. He was recently selected as the overall JHCP provider quality champion to continue his work on a larger scale that will impact sites and communities across the organization.
Edana Mann, M.D.
The Johns Hopkins Hospital
Associate Clinical Director, Department of Emergency Medicine
Implementing timely interventions and streamlined care for patients with sepsis is an institutional strategic priority for The Johns Hopkins Hospital. As the lead physician responsible for reviewing sepsis care in the adult emergency department, Edana Mann has played a critical role in identifying and addressing barriers to treatment and promoting best practices to improve patient outcomes and reduce the risk of mortality from this condition.
Dr. Mann encourages a team approach to sepsis interventions and regularly provides direct feedback to residents and other care team members. She has championed numerous interventions, including the launch of the sepsis timer, helpful prompts to prescribers when ordering antibiotics and a redesign of the Johns Hopkins Medicine focused sepsis order set. Dr. Mann’s leadership and expertise in sepsis care has resulted in significant improvements in core quality and safety measures.
Richard Rubin, M.D.
Sibley Memorial Hospital
Cardiologist and Medical Executive Committee Member
Richard Rubin has spent 20 years in utilization review and has provided true leadership as a member of the Sibley Memorial medical staff. Always efficient and ready to help, he serves on numerous committees and is on unofficial second call for them. Dr. Rubin pushes to improve quality and safety at Sibley Memorial, and he is dedicated to the hospital in all its facets as well as to the neighboring community. He has mentored future junior leaders and provides clinical care of the highest quality.
Alexandra Roginsky, M.D.
Trauma and Emergency Surgery
Alexandra Roginsky joined the Suburban Hospital staff in 2020 and quickly distinguished herself as a talented trauma and acute care surgeon who consistently achieves exemplary clinical outcomes and champions best practices. A true caregiver, Dr. Roginsky is responsive to the needs of her patients and their loved ones, always demonstrating empathy and compassion. She is a lieutenant colonel in the United States Army Reserve, she was named a top surgeon by the Consumers’ Research Council of America and she is widely published in multiple fields including minimally invasive surgery and cancer biology.
An expert in minimally invasive and robotic surgery, Alexandra Roginsky strives to find the most effective and least invasive way to treat patients with complex clinical problems. Known for her quiet demeanor, high moral character and well-rounded personality, Dr. Roginsky is admired by her patients and colleagues.