Skip to content

Welcome to Society of Hospital Medicine

Your Browser Is No Longer Supported. Please upgrade your browser from Internet Explorer 10 to Internet Explorer 11 or higher

Society of Hospital Medicine Celebrates 2020 Awards of Excellence Recipients and Notable Contributions to Hospital Medicine

July 21, 2020

About SHM

Representing the fastest-growing specialty in modern healthcare, the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is the leading medical society for hospitalists and their patients.

Learn More

New Category Honots Contributions to the Field in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) Awards of Excellence Program celebrates members who have made exceptional contributions to hospital medicine in a wide variety of categories, including Clinical Leadership for Physicians, Excellence in Teaching, Outstanding Services in Hospital Medicine, Excellence in Research and others.

“It is important for all of us to publicly recognize the accomplishments of those individuals and teams that have made significant contributions to the field of hospital medicine. Our awards are also an important way for the Society to reaffirm our commitment to diversity and many interests that comprise our inclusive organization,” says Howard Epstein, MD, SFHM, Chair of SHM’s Awards Committee. “The awards serve as a visible reminder that SHM and the field of hospital medicine provide unlimited possibilities for each and every one of us to excel in our careers and in our service to our patients, our organizations and the communities in which we live and work.”

In 2020, SHM welcomed the newest cohort of 11 award recipients:
  • Clinical Leadership for Physicians: Karen Smith, MD, MEd, SFHM
  • Excellence in Teaching: Kathleen M. Finn, MD, M.Phil, SFHM
  • Excellence in Teaching: Juan Nicolas Lessing, MD
  • Outstanding Service in Hospital Medicine: Efren Manjarrez, MD, SFHM, FACP
  • Excellence in Research: Shoshana J. Herzig, MD, MPH
  • Clinical Leadership for NPs/PAs: Ilaria Gadalla, DMSc, PA-C
  • Leadership for Practice Manager: Douglas G. Philpot, MHA, MBA, MHR, FACHE
  • Excellence in Humanitarian Services: Khaalisha Ajala, MD, MBA
  • Excellence in Diversity Leadership: Kimberly D. Manning, MD, FACP, FAAP
  • Excellence in Teamwork in Quality Improvement: Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium
  • Junior Investigator Award: Valerie Vaughn, MD, MSc
Khaalisha Ajala, MD, MBA of Grady Memorial Hospital and Emory University School of Medicine and 2020 award winner of Excellence in Humanitarian Services describes 2020 as a ‘big pivot year’ for hospitalist patient care practices and the reimagination of an equitable healthcare system.

“This has been the year of COVID-19 and the unearthing of systemic racism as a public health crisis. Hospital medicine has had to lock arm-in-arm with our partners in public health, infectious disease, critical care and other disciplines in order to pivot our approach to the pandemic, health inequities and our own mental health,” Dr. Ajala comments. “Hospitalists continue to lead as we grow. We have risen to the challenge even when it’s not always been comfortable, and at times, scary.”

Despite the uniqueness of this year, Dr. Ajala says that it was humbling to receive recognition and support for her efforts in social determinants of health from the Society and surrounding hospital medicine community.

“In a year where we have had to practice social distancing and celebrate one another from afar, I have still felt the support from our community for such a prestigious award. I have formed new partnerships and created new connections. Being honored with the 2020 Award for Excellence in Humanitarian Services during such a historical year has encouraged me to keep moving forward in service to my community.”

SHM’s Awards of Excellence nomination categories have expanded with the ongoing evolution of the field of hospital medicine. In recent years, new nomination categories have been added, including Excellence in Management in Hospital Medicine, Excellence in Humanitarian Services and Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership.

“I am in awe of each category’s awardees and their achievements. As a previous recipient of the Clinical Leadership for Physicians Award, I’m always particularly interested to see who is recognized in that category each year,” says Dr. Epstein. “However, this has been a year like no other in our lifetimes. I’m keenly interested to see how our members have risen to the enormous challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice in our society and in our healthcare system in particular, and in how we have served the underserved and neediest among us in our communities and across the world.”

With nine unique award categories including SHM’s newest award, Excellence in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Leadership, nominations for the 2020-2021 Awards of Excellence are open through October 5, 2020. Winners will be notified end of January 2021.

For more information about SHM’s Awards of Excellence, visit