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The Society of Hospital Medicine Announces 2021 Chapter Excellence Awards, Honors Steven Smith, MD, SFHM, With Most Engaged Chapter Leader Award

April 21, 2022

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

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Chapter Program Instrumental for Networking and Community for Society, Especially During Pandemic

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) recently announced the recipients of its 2021 Chapter Excellence Awards at its annual conference, SHM Converge. The annual Chapter Excellence Awards Program recognizes outstanding work conducted by chapters to carry out the SHM mission locally.

“Chapters are an integral part of SHM and serve to bridge the national and local levels of the organization, which has been extremely important during the pandemic to keep our community connected,” notes Eric E. Howell, MD, MHM, Chief Executive Officer of the Society of Hospital Medicine. “Recipients of these awards showcase dedication to SHM’s mission and their local communities by positioning their chapters for long-term sustainability and success.”

The Wiregrass Chapter won the Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award, recognizing its high performance over the past year. The Wiregrass Chapter continuously strives to improve through its work with its members and in its community. Many Chapter members expressed difficulty in growing mentor/mentee skills during the pandemic, so the Wiregrass Chapter applied for and received a $5000 grant from SHM to initiate a six-month collaborative project with The Better Lab, a design and innovation lab associated with UCSF. As a result, they created a mentorship curriculum using human-centered design principles. During the Delta surge, Alabama had one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, coupled with increased hospitalist burnout. They collaborated with community religious leaders to better understand the issue, knowing that these individuals are considered to be de facto community leaders who have a finger on the pulse on conversations taking place in their communities.

The Rhode Island Chapter was named the Rising Star Chapter, a chapter that has been active for two years or less that has made improvements to its leadership, stability and growth, and membership. Soon after officially starting the chapter and seating the Board, the Chapter held an annual meeting with Dr. Win Whitcomb, founding member and past president of SHM and had a thank you dinner with the Governor of Rhode Island. Membership and board members come from major health systems in RI as well as smaller independent hospitals.

The Resiliency Award was presented to the Minnesota Chapter in honor of its ability to withstand and rise above hardships as well to successfully adapt and thrive. Because of the unpredictability of the pandemic, the Minnesota Chapter had to reassess priorities and operations to ensure its success over the past two years. The Minnesota Chapter hosted both annual events that they were unable to host in 2020 as virtual events as well as their second annual diversity and equity event, which focused on “Deconstructing Race and Dismantling Race-Based Medicine.” They also held a poster competition, which had a 175 percent increase in attendees from the previous event.

The Wisconsin Chapter received the Outstanding Membership Recruitment and Retention Award, celebrating its ability to engage existing members while also growing their overall membership. At meetings, Chapter leaders constantly take time to highlight the importance and benefits of SHM membership. In the Chapter’s first ever Poster Competition, they offered a discount code for new members and highly encouraged the poster presenters to join. As a result of these efforts and more, the Wisconsin Chapter membership increased by 14% in just a few months.

The Most Engaged Chapter Leader Award recognizes one leader who has been nominated for this distinction. This recipient has demonstrated how they’ve gone above and beyond in the past year to grow and sustain their chapter while carrying out SHM’s mission. This year’s recipient was Steven Smith, MD, SFHM, former Nashville Chapter President. Dr. Smith has been a member of SHM since 2008. A particularly aspirational characteristic of Dr. Smith’s leadership is his commitment. He is the lead hospitalist at Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, Tennessee, an hour’s drive from Nashville. Despite a full-time administrative and clinical load, he always took a lead role in coordinating chapter duties and traveling to chapter events.

Finally, SHM created four levels of achievement to honor chapters that provide good hospital medicine citizenship while demonstrating innovation and sustainability: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze.

  • Platinum Award Recipients: Atlanta, Connecticut, Hampton Roads, Houston, Kentucky, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Nashville, New Mexico, and Wiregrass.
  • Gold Award Recipients: Blue Ridge, Iowa, Long Island, Maryland, Nebraska, North Florida, North Jersey, New York City/Westchester, and St. Louis.
  • Silver Award Recipients: Boston/Eastern Massachusetts, Charlotte Metro Area, Lake Erie/Northern Ohio, Maine, North Dakota, San Diego, and Western Massachusetts
  • Bronze Award Recipients: Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Knoxville, Memphis, Oregon/Southwest Washington, Rhode Island, South Carolina Lowcountry, South Central Pennsylvania, Southwest Georgia, Tampa Bay Area, and Wisconsin.

For more information on SHM’s Chapter program and the Chapter Excellence Awards, visit