Drs. Ryan Coller, Michael Wilhelm and Melissa Cercone Receive UW Health Physician Excellence Awards

Three Department of Pediatrics faculty were among those honored at this year’s UW Health Physician Excellence Awards ceremony, held June 14, 2018, at the Health Sciences Learning Center. The peer-nominated awards recognize those who demonstrate exceptional performance in clinical practice, education, leadership or regional services and a commitment to our mission, vision and values.

Ryan Coller, MD, MPH (Assistant Professor, Division of Hospital Medicine)

Ryan Coller, MD, MPH (on right) receives a Rising Star Clinical Excellence Award from UW Health Senior Vice President Nizar Jarjour, MDDr. Coller (pictured on right with UW Health Senior Vice President Nizar Jarjour, MD) received the Rising Star Clinical Excellence Award, which honors outstanding clinicians and educators who have, in a more limited tenure at UW Health and SMPH, demonstrated exceptional and measurable contributions to clinical practice.

He is described as one of few remaining “triple-threats” in an era of increasing specialty, excelling in clinical practice, teaching and research. He is an exceptional complex care physician, attending to the most medically fragile children in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Family-centered care comes naturally to Dr. Coller, who always considers the values, home environment and resources of the family in crafting care plans.

His arrival at UW Health coincided with the launch of the UW Pediatric Complex Care Program, and Dr. Coller deftly assumed management of the evaluation component of the HCMS Health Care Innovation Award, a multi-million-dollar collaboration with the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Special Needs Program. And as research director, he has successfully created a nationally-recognized reputation of excellence.

Michael Wilhelm, MD (Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine)

Michael Wilhelm, MD (on right), receives his Clinical Practice Excellence Award from UW Health CEO Alan Kaplan, MD

Dr. Wilhelm (pictured on right with UW Health CEO Alan Kaplan, MD) received a Clinical Practice Excellence Award, which honors outstanding clinicians who demonstrate an extraordinary commitment to safety and quality patient- and family-centered care.

He is known to be a superb pediatric interventionist, someone who provides excellent care to neonates, infants, young children and adults with an in-depth understanding of physiology and safe delivery of care.

He is respected by his peers for his intelligence, compassion and integrity. He is described as a physicians’ physician and someone who can push established subspecialists to the limit of their knowledge. He has earned a reputation as the one to go to when the complexity is high and an ability to think holistically is needed. His mantra is that there is no reason why we can’t be better at what we do.

As Medical Director for the PICU, he is known for his skill in articulating a clear vision and helping everyone find their place. His training as a scientist and rigorous and passionate commitment to continuous improvement have resulted in an improved quality of care in our PICU that makes us among the best in the country.

Melissa Cercone, MD (Clinical Assistant Professor [CHS], Division of Pediatric Critical Care Medicine)

Melissa Cercone, MD, receives a Clinical Educator Excellence Award from UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden, MD

Dr. Cercone (pictured on right with UW School of Medicine and Public Health Dean Robert Golden, MD) received a Clinical Educator Excellence Award, which recognizes clinicians who show remarkable skill in teaching the next generation of physicians, interdisciplinary team members, patients and families.

She is widely respected for her role in developing the UW Pediatric Residency Simulation Core Curriculum. Using simulation, she creates events that trainees use to practice their skills and clarify their thinking related to time-sensitive medical decision making.

She regularly shares her skills to educate nursing and other ancillary staff within UW Health, teaches regionally at multiple hospitals, and is regularly invited to present at national and international conferences, but she is particularly invested in the education of trainees within the department of pediatrics.

As a clinician, she is recognized for her compassionate care of children and her ability to educate families, especially when the diagnosis or prognosis is particularly difficult. As one trainee said, “Her lessons that mean the most cannot be found in a book. She has taught me that it is okay to not always know the answer, that doctors also grieve, and that there are things worse than death. It is these lessons that truly improve the quality of tomorrow’s doctors.”

Physician Excellence Award Honorees

In addition, Paula Cody, MD, MPH (Assistant Professor [CHS], Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine) and Gregory Rice, MD (Associate Professor [CHS], Division of Genetics and Metabolism) were honorees at this year’s awards.

See full list of winners on u-Connect (login required)