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Armstrong Award for Excellence in Quality and Safety

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.

Anirudh Sridharan, M.D.

Anirudh Sridharan, M.D.

Howard County General Hospital

Hospitalist, Chief Medical Information Officer

Every year, thousands of patients get deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) — both of which can cause significant injury and even death. Typically, patients get medication while in the hospital to prevent DVT/PE. However, forgetting to provide appropriate prevention of DVT/PE is a common source of medical error. Anirudh Sridharan, chief medical information officer, identified the need to standardize progress notes and the process for how DVT/PE prevention is ordered and documented. He developed a progress note that requires daily updating of DVT/PE data for core measures and does not allow the provider to cut and paste the information. That note is now used by the entire Howard County General Hospital hospitalist team. Through this simple yet ingenious fix, Dr. Sridharan has prevented many patients from being harmed by avoidable DVT/PE complications.

COVID-19 Analytic Response Team

Allison Messina, M.D.

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital

Chief of the Division of Infectious Disease, and the COVID-19 Analytic Response Team

The COVID-19 analytic response team quickly aggregates data that influence key decisions related to COVID-19. Allison Messina, medical director of infection prevention, and the infection prevention team collaborated with occupational health, analytics and hospital leadership to determine what information was essential to evaluating COVID-19’s impact on patients, hospital personnel and local communities. They created a COVID-19 employee and patient monitoring dashboard that aggregates and tracks trends in employee and community test results (including from neighboring counties where the hospital has outpatient facilities), and information on patient testing and hospitalization by unit. The use of community testing data helps the team make inferences regarding employee positivity rates and decisions that impact staffing and visitation policies, as well as share information with local communities and media. As new variants emerge, hospital leaders will continue to use the dashboard to make data-driven decisions about patient, family and employee safety.

Robert Sterling, M.D.

Robert Sterling, M.D.

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

Robert Sterling has been instrumental in developing and enhancing protocols to streamline, optimize and ensure adherence to best practices. He has worked closely with other disciplines to improve value-based care by providing an evidence-based framework for reducing unnecessary laboratory expenses, safely reducing length of stay for patients receiving total joint arthroplasty and those who have trauma, and decreasing blood transfusions according to recommended system guidelines. As a result, health outcomes have improved, patient satisfaction has grown and complications have declined over the same period.

Also, Dr. Sterling has been critical in obtaining recognition as a total joint arthroplasty center of excellence. He has implemented a preoperative process that not only optimizes clinical care pathways for arthroplasty but also uses this multidisciplinary format to streamline perioperative care and postoperative rehabilitation, resulting in decreased length of stay, lower cost, and improved patient outcomes and satisfaction.

Cherilyn Hall, M.D.

Cherilyn Hall, M.D.

Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

Physician, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

In October 2020, Cherilyn Hall took on the new role of provider quality champion with passion, determination and focus. In the midst of the pandemic, she made a significant difference in the engagement of front-line providers. From surveying them to identify opportunities for improvement and knowledge gaps, to supporting a provider work group to prioritize and offer focuses for site-level work, she has brought a commitment to quality on every project and serves as a valuable connection to providers for the quality and transformation team. Located in the Johns Hopkins Community Physicians (JHCP) White Marsh, Maryland, office, Dr. Hall has also helped achieve positive outcomes in core metrics that are part of the strategic priorities of JHCP and that align with value-based programs. As the provider lead at one of JHCP’s largest sites, she has advocated for quality workflow improvement. That practice’s high performance has shown the results of her work and that of her clinical team. 

John Probasco, M.D.

John Probasco, M.D.

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Vice Chair, Quality, Safety and Service
Department of Neurology

John Probasco has worked hard to streamline both inpatient and ambulatory services that had been fraught with complexities. Working with the Department of Medicine and the emergency department during the COVID-19 pandemic, he helped improve inpatient and ambulatory functions through the use of telemedicine, by devising emergency backup structures for house staff and faculty, and with strategic allocation of resources.

Probasco is the director of the Johns Hopkins Division of Advanced Clinical Neurology and medical director of the Johns Hopkins Inpatient General Neurology Service. He co-directs the Johns Hopkins Encephalitis Center and the Johns Hopkins Center for Refractory Status Epilepticus and Neuroinflammation. His research interests include increasing care value through improving outcomes, a process that includes incorporating patient disease and treatment experience, and more efficient care delivery and diagnostic test use. In particular, he has improved testing regarding autoimmune and paraneoplastic neurological syndromes, including encephalitis.

As a faculty member, he was inducted into the Miller Coulson Academy of Clinical Excellence in 2019. He is editor-in-chief of NEJM Journal Watch — Neurology.

Scott Osmun, M.D.

Scott Osmun, M.D.

Sibley Memorial Hospital

Chair of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department

While childbirth can be remarkable and magnificent, rare complications can arise that alarm patients, providers and staff members. Scott Osmun, along with the women’s and infants’ services team, quickly sprang into action to mitigate risks and help ensure patient safety and quality of care after a sentinel event occurred. Dr. Osmun championed a change recognized as best practice for an electronic hand-off tool for providers to avoid potential communication gaps. This quick action and teamwork prevented future recurrence.

Amirali Nader, M.D.

Amirali Nader, M.D.

Suburban Hospital

Medical Director, Intermediate Medical Care Unit
Intensivist Program

Noted for his compassion and reliability, Amirali Nader is tireless in providing excellent patient care and leads by example. Nader has continued to take a leading role during the COVID-19 pandemic and has spearheaded the use of many new therapies for patients in a controlled and thoughtful manner. He was the critical care COVID-19 lead and implemented infection control measures with COVID-19 patients. He also spearheaded the scarce resources team at Suburban Hospital, and represents the hospital at monthly meetings focusing on the sepsis initiative.

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