Celebrating the 2017 Cefalo House Officer Awards

Each year, the Robert Cefalo House Officer Awards are presented to resident physicians who have demonstrated the highest standards of patient care and maintained exemplary professional and interpersonal interactions with colleagues, staff, patients, and visitors. This year’s six winners certainly meet and exceed those standards.

Celebrating the 2017 Cefalo House Officer Awards click to enlarge (L to R): Krishna Aluri, Megan Quintana, Mary Cefalo, Jasmine Johnson, and Sam Bores. Catherine Coe and Arun Kannappan were unable to attend the ceremony

The awards are named in honor of Robert C. Cefalo, MD, who served with distinction over 25 years as the director of residency and fellowship programs at UNC Hospitals. Cefalo passed away in 2008 after a battle with cancer.

A selection committee of physicians, nurses, and other clinical and administrative staff selected this year’s five honorees, who will each receive a monetary award of $1,000 to cover expenses associated with professional development.

This year’s winners:

Krishna Aluri, MD

Krishna Aluri, MD, is a PGY-3 in the combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency program. In nominating Aluri for this award, faculty and colleagues praised his professionalism and skill as both a physician and a teacher. They also highlighted his poise and calm demeanor under pressure. As one nominator wrote: “He exudes grace and compassion, and brings hope and palpable empathy to our profession and the spaces where he stands.”

Sam Bores, MD

Sam Bores, MD, is a resident in Emergency Medicine. Bores excels in and out of the emergency department, helping to ease the minds of patients with his calm demeanor. Bores has dedicated himself to improving care for psychiatric patients in the ED, serving for the past two years on the Emergency Behavioral Health Task Force. He is also dedicated to service. He serves his community as a volunteer physician at Samaritan Clinic in Durham. And he will serve his country when he joins the Air Force in July.

Catherine Coe, MD

Catherine Coe, MD, is a third year resident in Family Medicine. She is a highly skilled physician who also possesses an incredible ability to listen and communicate with patients and their families. She demonstrates a high level of empathy, allowing her to bond with apprehensive patients. She is also a great teacher, leader, and advocate. She has worked as the resident liaison for the FIRST Program, serving as a wonderful mentor for those medical students.

Jasmine Johnson, MD

Jasmine Johnson, MD, is a resident in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Johnson was described as a “doctor in demand.” Those who nominated her for the Cefalo Award said patients are drawn to her because of her empathy and her dedication to finding solutions, no matter how difficult the problem. In addition, Johnson is an example to others. Her “MrsMommyMD” blog, where she shares her experiences as a mother and a resident has received national attention and helped to inspire many of her readers.

Arun Kannappan, MD

Arun Kannappan, MD, is a resident in Critical Care/Pulmonology. In his nomination, he is described as a physician who always goes above and beyond for his patients. He makes a point to personally update families two or three times per shift because he understands that new questions are likely to arise during the day. He is also a trusted colleague, known for his skill in interprofessional collaboration and communication. Many of his nominators are members of the nursing staff, who all praised him as someone they trust during a difficult situation. As one wrote: “I have walked into the room of a frustrated patient to find Arun telling the patient ‘You are in good hands because she is an exceptional nurse.’ I have never heard another physician affirm his colleagues’ practices as much as Arun.”

Megan Quintana, MD

Megan Quintana, MD, is Chief Resident in the Surgery Residency Program. During her residency, she has dedicated herself fully to making sure that all of her patients are fully cared for. Not just her day-to-day responsibilities, but developing relationships with patients and listening to and responding to their needs. She is also exceptional, according to her nominators, at developing meaningful relationships with other members of the care team, which leads to better teamwork and improved patient outcomes. Finally, she is recognized for her skill as a teacher, taking the time to clearly explain the rationale behind every aspect of a patient’s treatment plan.

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