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Awards and Recognition

A central mission and philosophy of the Office of Professional Oversight at Saint Louis University School of Medicine is to recognize and reward excellent professionalism. There are many individuals who go above and beyond to actively promote a culture of care, compassion and excellence in all they do. These awards all come with community recognition, a letter of appreciation and a monetary award. 

OPO sponsors three professionalism awards:

Excellence in Professionalism Award

The SLU School of Medicine's Office of Professional Oversight (OPO) wants to know and recognize educators (faculty, fellows, trainees, students, nurses, administration, etc.) who exceptionally model the core principles of professionalism:

  • Investment and engagement in learner education
  • Practices civility and an understanding of respect in modeled
  • Recognizes and honors the vast diversity within our learning environment
  • Displays patience, empathy and care
  • Is trustworthy and committed to the practice of medicine

This nomination will be reviewed by the Office of Professional Oversight and shared with the nominee. All nominees will be recognized on the OPO website. The nomination process is rolling and will be marketed monthly. Each month, one individual will receive the “Exceptional Professionalism Award” and be recognized via Newslink. The recipient will also receive a certificate and token of appreciation from the OPO. 

Use the link below to share your story regarding the individual that you are nominating. Explain how they embody characteristics related to professionalism and how they have impacted your experience at SLU. With the nominator’s permission, each story will be forwarded to the nominee. 

Make a Nomination for Excellence in Professionalism

Recognition Program

The Office of Professional Oversight in the School of Medicine has launched a new initiative to recognize members of the medical school community who have made a positive impact within the school’s learning environment.

Read About the Recognition Program Launch 


  • January: Wissam Kiwan, M.D.
    Advanced Endoscopist, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine Gastroenterology
  • January: Aaron Miller, M.D., M.S.P.H.
    Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric infectious Diseases
  • February: Saida Kent, M.D.
    Faculty, Internal Medicine
  • June: Joseph Espiritu, M.D.
    Faculty, Internal Medicine
  • July Raymond Okeke, M.D.
    Chief Resident, Division of General Surgery
  • August: Vimita Patel, M.D.
    Resident, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
  • October: Samuel Rhinehardt, M.D.
    Faculty, Colon and Rectal Surgery
  • November: Kevin Jagessar, Ph.D.
    Research Scientist, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • January Recipient: Alejandro Mendez-Castillo, M.D.
  • February Recipient: Farzana Hoque, M.D.
  • March Recipient: Amanda Partee, M.S.N., A.-G.N.P.-C.
  • April Recipient: Saindeep Jain, M.D.
  • June Recipient: Malia Gresham, M.D.
  • July 2022 Recipient: Louisa Ragsdale, M.D.
  • August 2022 Recipient: Erick Messias, M.D.
    Professor and Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
  • September 2022 Recipient: Lisa Velez-Velez, M.D.
  • October 2022 Recipient: Amy Mosman, P.A.-C.
  • November 2022 Recipient: Meadow Campbell, Ph.D.
  • December 2022 Recipient: Shannon Grabosch, Ph.D.
  • July Recipient: Amy Gallop, M.D.
    Resident, Psychiatry 
  • August Recipient: Ghassan Daher, M.D.
    Faculty, Internal Medicine
  • September 2021 Recipient: Neal Weber, M.S.Ed.
    Director of Instructional Design
  • October Recipient: Sameer Siddiqui M.D.
    Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery
  • November Recipient: Raymond Akinnawo
    Resident, Department of Department of Emergency Medicine
  • December Recipient: Wilson Rodriguez, M.D.
    Resident, Department of Neurology
  • January Recipient: Chintalapati Varma, M.D. 
    Associate Professor, Abdominal Transplant Center
  • February Recipient: Sagun Goyal, M.D.
    Division Director, Internal Medicine Hematology/Oncology
  • April Recipient: David A. Wathen, D.O
  • May Recipient: Dr. Bruce Kraemer
  • June Recipient: Dr. Jane Yoon
  • July Recipient: Dr. Sara McBride
  • August Recipient: Dr. Gabriela Espinoza, Associate Professor Ophthalmology
  • September Recipient: Dr. David Picker, Assistant Professor Pulmonology
  • October Recipient: Dr. Timothy Havens, Assistant Professor Emergency Medicine
  • November Recipient: Dr. Zachary Hamilton, Assistant Professor Surgery - Urology
  • December: Amir Mohebbi, Resident Psychiatry

Staff Pillar of Professionalism

The Office of Professional Oversight (OPO) is committed to honoring the contributions of the exemplary staff within the SLU School of Medicine and the academic practice of SSM Health. In doing so, the OPO will award one staff member monthly for their achievements in the areas listed below.

Recipients of the Staff Pillar of Professionalism Award will be nominated by colleagues and/or managers for their contributions. Nominees should be staff (full-time or part-time) of either SLU or SSM, and can fall within any of the following categories:

  • Members of academic departments
  • Health care professionals residing in both inpatient and outpatient clinical environments
  • Departmental staff within the School of Medicine and SSM communities who do not fall in the above categories
  • Criteria for the Staff Pillar of Professionalism Award:
  • Strong nominations will address the nominee’s ability to rise above their peers in one or more of the following categories.
  • Collaborates with internal and/or external stakeholders
  • Fosters positivity and a supportive work environment
  • Significantly contributes to established unit goals
  • Role models professional behavior
  • Leads with courage
  • Commitment to creating an inclusive working environment
  • Dedication to individual growth and professional development


  • January: Madeleine Rowe
    Clerkship Coordinator, Division of General Internal Medicine
  • January: Joann Biehl
    Information Technology Site Support Specialist
  • March: Matt Olwig
    Project Manager
  • June: Mersiha Skokic, RN
    Oncology Nurse Navigator
    SSM Health- SLUCare Physician Group
  • July: Patricia Anderson
    Program Coordinator, Center for Anatomical Science and Education
  • August: Bernadette Wylie
    Technologist I, IT End User Services
  • October: Emily Hines
    Director, Office of Admissions
  • November: Denise Parker
    Business Manager, Office of Curricular Affairs

The Positivity Project

The Positivity Project is a student-run initiative that aims to acknowledge those students who go above and beyond for their peers. Whether it be a small favor or a significant accomplishment, the goal is that this recognition will help students feel appreciated and understand the impact they have on their communities. The ultimate goal of the project is to foster a positive and collaborative environment for students as they grow into medical professionals.

Participation in the project is easy! If you see a student making a difference, submit an anonymous nomination with a short description of what the student did. Nominations are received monthly with two winners announced at the end of the month. Winners receive an Amazon gift card and an official letter from the Office of Professional Oversight.

Please click the link below to learn more, nominate a student and be entered into a raffle for an Amazon gift card for your participation.

Nomination for Student Positivity Project