Awards

Paul Batalden Award

The VA Quality Scholars (VAQS) Alumni Award, now known as the Paul Batalden Award, recognizes a VAQS graduate’s outstanding accomplishments in the field of healthcare improvement and patient safety. The winner of the award is invited to speak at the annual program conference: VAQS Summer Institute.

All VAQS Alumni who completed fellowship May 2014 or earlier are eligible. Current VAQS faculty are eligible to apply if they are VAQS alumni. The award is a cumulative career award and recognizes the individual’s accomplishments throughout their career.

2021 Award Recipient: Dr. Kierstin Kennedy

Dr. Kierstin Kennedy, MD, MSHA FACP SFHM
Birmingham Alumni, 2014

The award recognizes an individual that has graduated from the VAQS program who has made significant contributions in the areas of Quality & Safety, Education, Research, and Leadership. The award is a cumulative career award and recognizes the individual’s accomplishments throughout their career.

Dr. Kierstin Kennedy is a 2014 graduate of the Birmingham VA Quality Scholars Program and currently serves as the Chief of Hospital Medicine and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at UAB Medicine. She has a reputation as an unwavering and enthusiastic physician who is dedicated to the practice of Internal Medicine as well as professional development and mentorship. She guides, sponsors, and mentors underrepresented minorities in medicine and other professions.

Dr. Kennedy has been involved in COVID care, from a clinical and operational perspective. She is an active contributor to community education on COVID prevention and vaccination via local, national and international mainstream media, as well as community lectures via the Health Department and Project ECHO (targeting area skilled nursing facilities).

She has also been relentless in creating the vision of improving safety and education when performing procedures. She is the only fellow at Birmingham who obtained a very competitive educational grant to develop POCUS training for internal medicine residents. Dr. Kennedy’s trajectory of accomplishments since graduating from the program has been exponential – without signs of slowing down!

2020 Award Recipient: Dr. Mamta Singh

2019 Award Recipient: Dr. Suzie Miltner

2018 Award Recipient: Dr. Susan Kirsch

2020 Award Recipient: Dr. Mamta Singh

2019 Award Recipient: Dr. Suzie Miltner

2018 Award Recipient: Dr. Susan Kirsch

Rising Star Award

The Rising Star Award, our newest Alumni Award, recognizes a recent graduate’s outstanding accomplishments in the field of healthcare improvement and patient safety. The winner of the award will also be invited to speak at the annual program conference: VAQS Summer Institute.

All VAQS Alumni who completed fellowship within the past 5 years (no earlier than June 2015) are eligible for the 2021 Rising Star Award. Current VAQS faculty are eligible to apply if they are VAQS alumni. The award recognizes the individual’s accomplishments during and since completion of the fellowship.

2021 Award Recipient: Dr. Deonni Stolldorf

Dr. Deonni Stolldorf, PhD, M.Cur., RN
Nashville Alumni, 2015

The award recognizes an individual that has graduated from the VAQS program in the last 5 years who has made significant contributions in the areas of Quality & Safety, Education, Research, and Leadership. The award recognizes the individual’s accomplishments during and since completion of the fellowship.

Dr. Deonni Stolldorf is a 2015 graduate of the Nashville VA Quality Scholars Program and currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. She conducts health services research with special emphasis on Implementation Science and organizational systems. Dr. Stolldorf is a talented researcher who is making substantial contributions nationally to the study of medication reconciliation, specifically by evaluating what factors affect implementation and sustainability of initiatives in this area.  She is indeed a rising star, having already earning recognition as an outstanding scientist from her peers, supervisors, and external audiences!