The theme of compassion—brought to life through advocacy, influence and change—wove through the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health’s (DFMCH) annual McGovern-Tracy and Student Scholars awards ceremony, held May 17, 2017, at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison.

The awards program honors medical students or family medicine residents who exemplify outstanding community service, outreach, and leadership.


Patricia Tellez-Giron, MD, with Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, MA
« of 11 »

Shiva Bidar-Sielaff Speaks on Being a Compassionate Citizen of the World

William Schwab, MD, a professor and the DFMCH’s vice chair for education, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. He introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, UW Health Chief Diversity Officer Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, MA.

Bidar-Sielaff gave an inspiring presentation that began with the story of her childhood in pre-revolution Iran. She recalled how, at the age of eight, she and her mother and brother fled the country for Spain, where she lived as “a Farsi speaker in a French school in Spain.”

Navigating those early experiences as a linguistic and cultural “translator” fostered Bidar-Sielaff’s ambition to become a professional interpreter; later, recognizing that many people struggle with access to health care due to language barriers, she focused her career on medical interpreting. She developed UW Health’s interpreter-services program and is an organizational leader on matters of cultural competency and diversity.

Bidar-Sielaff is also deeply engaged in community service: she has served on the Madison Common Council for eight years, co-chairs the Latino Health Council of Dane County and is on the boards of many area nonprofit organizations.

During her presentation, she explained how every citizen has circles of influence that start with one-on-one advocacy and radiate out to include community and public health, policy shaping and political service. “Are you really influencing as much as you can at all these levels?” she asked the audience, encouraging each person to root their actions in compassion.

“Don’t ever forget the word compassion, because that should always be your center,” she concluded. “Hold on to that as your anchor and keep changing the world.”

Meet all the Winners

Congratulations to the 26 health sciences students and residents who received awards at this year’s ceremony. To learn more about them, read the event program.

Complete list of award winners:

Compassion in Action
Nnenna Ezeh

Compassion in Action Community Health Leadership
Vy Dinh
Nailah Cash‐O’Bannon

Compassion in Action International Health Leadership
Elizabeth Abbs

Lester Brillman Scholarships
Andrew Beine
Tricia Brein
James Ircink
Kristin Magliocco
Kelsey Schmidt

Lester Brillman Leadership and Advocacy Award
Sabrina Martinez

Lester Brillman Mentorship in Family Medicine
Jonas Lee, MD

Founders Award (WAFP)
Cameron Blegen

Robert and Irma Korbitz Endowed Scholarships
Lindsey Anderson
Abigail Navarro
Ngoc Pham

Vogel Foundation Scholarship
Justin Meyers

Martin and Charlotte Gallagher Scholarship for Prolotherapy
Michael Braunsky, DO

Jan Ashe Memorial Award for “Excellence in Community Radiography”
Marrae Keith

McGovern-Tracy Student Scholars
Katie Eszes
Matt Guerrieri
Manu Habibi
Kali Kramolis
Jacqueline Mirr

McGovern-Tracy Resident Scholars
Jared Dubey, DO
Jody Epstein, MD
Jasmine Wiley, MD

The McGovern-Tracy and Student Scholars program is named for Isabel McGovern Kerr and Michele Tracy. McGovern Kerr endowed the DFMCH in 1998 to establish scholarships in memory of the McGovern family who pioneered in Wisconsin and were some of its first family physicians. Michele Tracy was a second-year UW medical student who was killed while participating in an educational service program in Malawi, Africa, in July 1999.

Published: June 2017