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Larner Celebrates Professionalism with 2024 Awards Ceremony

May 14, 2024 by Angela Ferrante

Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, held its the fifth annual Professionalism Week, providing an occasion for members of the College community to honor exemplary figures and reaffirm their dedication to the principles outlined in the College’s Professionalism Statement.

(From L-R: Professionalism Award recipients Callan Gravel-Pucillo; Kathy Walsh, M.D.; Ryan Hunt; and Kyla Leary pose next to Dean Page)

At the Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont, the fifth annual Professionalism Week, held May 6–10, 2024, provided an occasion for members of the College community to honor exemplary figures and reaffirm their dedication to the principles outlined in the College’s Professionalism Statement. This commitment entails upholding integrity, accountability, compassion, altruism, and social responsibility.

The week-long festivities began on May 6 with a series of special video messages, screen displays, and social media posts spotlighting Larner faculty, staff, and students; all recognized by their peers as exemplars of professionalism.

On May 8, a keynote address—led by Larner’s own Nathalie Feldman, M.D.C.M., director of the learning environment and associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences; Melissa Davidson, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education and professor of anesthesiology and pediatrics; and Karen George, M.D., associate dean for students and associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences—centered on the group’s participation in last year’s Millennium Conference. Hosted by Harvard Medical School’s Shapiro Institute, this summit is a prestigious invitation-only meeting of leaders in medical education. The 2023 Millennium Conference’s theme was “Professional Identity Formation: Evolving Concepts of Professionalism for Physicians in a World with Pandemics and Social and Political Upheaval.” Feldman, Davidson, and George shared takeaways from the event, specifically focusing on the divergence between professional identity formation (PIF) and the concept of professionalism. While professionalism is an outward expression of a community’s norms, PIF involves internalizing and demonstrating the behavioral norms, standards, and values of a professional community such that one comes to “think, act, and feel” like a member of that community.

woman standing at lectern speaking

Dr. Davidson delivers the keynote address, titled "Professionalism in Medical Education: Past, Present and Future"

On May 9, the College celebrated the recipients of the Dean’s Professionalism Awards at an awards ceremony and reception in the Hoehl Gallery. In the nominations for the 2024 award recipients, a recurring theme emerged: individuals who consistently exceeded expectations and embodied values of kindness, compassion, and respect.

Larner College of Medicine dean Richard L. Page, M.D., greeted a robust crowd of faculty, staff, and students at the event. In his opening address, Page emphasized that professionalism transcends appearances and backgrounds, stating, “It’s not about how you look or where you’re from; it’s about how you treat others.”

Honored with the task of reading and evaluating the 2024 award recipient nominations was the Nominations Review Committee. Made up of Larner community members, including past award recipients, the committee was chaired by Nathalie Feldman, M.D. She noted a substantial increase in nominations compared to the previous year and expressed her anticipation of further growth in nominations in future years.

The first award announced at the event was the Medical Student Award, presented to third-year Callan Gravel-Pucillo. Nominees for the award also included Lindsay Aldrich, Anupama Balasubramanian, Eliot Binkerd, Max Breidenstein, Elliot Culleen, Dennis Dea, Dan Fried, Luke Giangregorio, Anirudh Hirve, Molly Hurd, Jharna Jahnavi, Stefanie Kelsey, Sarah Kimambo, Christopher Kruglik, Rebecca Lapides, Than Moore, Karena Nguyen, Neeki Parsa, Alex Poniz, Marwan Ramadan, Javier Rincon, Serra Sozen, Jennifer Toner, Gabriela Sarriera Valentin, Richard Vuong, and Hannah White.

Abby Myers, a graduate student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program, both nominated and presented the Graduate Student Award to Ryan Hunt, a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the neuroscience graduate program. Nominees for the award also included Pauline DiGianivittorio, Emmaleigh Hancock, and Sarah Kimambo.

Pallas Ziporyn, Larner’s M.P.H. program advisor, nominated and presented the Staff Award to Kyla Leary, COM technical support specialist. In addition to Leary, nominees for this award included Kristin Bahn, Megan Bartlett, Tina Blais-Armell, Ashlee Brownell, Colleen Case, Laura Clemmons, Joanna Conklin, Kim Cowan, Dorothy Dickson, Liz Dohrman, Hannah Frering, Beatrice Girard, Rhonda Hanley, Cameron Ishee, Bruce Kimball, Miles Lamberson, Patricia McClellan, Marian Miller, Daniel Mills, Lindsey Moore, Julia O’Connor, Sarah Ringler, Christine Rogers, Brenda Smith, Jason Towsley, Bridget Tully, and Sunday Whipkey.

Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine Laura McPeake, M.D., presented the Faculty Award to Kathy Walsh, M.D., quality director for the Department of Emergency Medicine and assistant professor of emergency medicine on behalf of her nominator, Ashley Weisman, M.D., assistant professor of emergency medicine. Nominees for the award also included Dani Bliss, M.D., Molly Bumpas, M.Ed., Lee-Anna Burgess, M.D., Ben Clements, M.D., Jaina Clough, M.D., Anne Dougherty, M.D., Stephen Everse, Ph.D., Nathalie Feldman, M.D.C.M., Andrew Goodwin, M.D., Abigail Hielscher, Ph.D., Kari Hodge, M.A., Todd Holmes, M.D., Leigh Ann Holterman, Ph.D., Roz King, M.S.N., Brandon Liebelt, M.D., Jacob Martin, M.D., Bruno Martorelli di Genova, Ph.D., Janet Murray, Ph.D., Kristen Pierce, M.D., Marios Prikis, M.D., Hibba Rehman, M.D., Anna Ricci, Ph.D., Anisha Rimal, M.D., Princess Rodriguez, Ph.D., Niki Sidiropoulos, M.D., Brendan Thoms, M.B.B.S., Colin Tkatch, M.D., and James Wallace, M.D.,

A reception and food drive for UVM’s Rally Cat’s Cupboard food shelf took place following the awards ceremony in the Hoehl Gallery.