Faculty, staff and friends of the UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH) gathered at the Pyle Center on November 6, 2019, to honor the recipients of the 2019 Marc Hansen, MD, Lectureship; the John H. Renner, MD, “Wisconsin Idea” award; and several other awards.

Ronni Hayon, MD, with William Schwab, MD

Above, from left: Marc Hansen Lectureship Award Winner Ronni Hayon, MD, with William Schwab, MD.

Hansen Lecturer: Ronni Hayon, MD

Following a welcome by DFMCH Chair Valerie Gilchrist, MD, DFMCH Vice Chair for Education William Schwab, MD, introduced Hansen Lecturer Ronni Hayon, MD, noting her leadership in reproductive and transgender health. “Ronni embraces people who painfully wondered if they were embraceable and that is a profound gift,” said Schwab.

After receiving her medical degree from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Dr. Hayon completed her family medicine residency and one-year academic fellowship at DFMCH. She currently provides full-spectrum care at the Northeast Clinic and has specific interests in women’s health, OB care, LGBTQ health and adolescent medicine.

In her humorous and touching presentation, “Exquisitely Tender,” Dr. Hayon described her journey from a kid in a loving “nerd herd” family to a physician who uses the language of medicine to engage her patients.

Dr. Hayon was intrigued by language from an early age. Before starting medical school, she worked as medical assistant and patient educator at Planned Parenthood where she noticed how patients use language and how clinicians can understand or misinterpret their intended meanings. She believes clinicians can use language to illuminate or obscure and gave the example of a heart murmur; to “appreciate” a heart murmur in a medical record means you heard it, but the word “appreciate” also means grateful.  “Could someone be grateful for a heart murmur?” she pondered.

In closing, Dr. Hayon asked the audience to reflect on the words “exquisitely tender.” Clinicians use these words to describe severe pain, but Dr. Hayon sees even deeper meaning.  She noted the grief of losing someone or the beautifully excruciating experience of becoming a parent as exquisitely tender spots in her own life.  “Showing our tender spots allows a deeper relationship with family, loved ones and patients,” she said. “Tenderness is not a weakness, “she concluded,” it’s what makes this professional life so exquisite.”

Above, from left: Marc Hansen Lectureship Award Winner Ronni Hayon, MD, with William Schwab, MD
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AAFP Meritorious Service Award: Louis Sanner, MD, MSPH

Louis Sanner, MD, MSPH, director of the Northeast Family Medical Center and co-director of the Rural Health Equity Track (RHET) program, received the American Academy of Family Physicians Award (AAFP) for Distinguished and Meritorious Service to Family Medicine.

DFMCH Chair Val Gilchrist, MD, presented the award to Dr. Sanner for his long-time dedication to advancing, contributing, and supporting to the AAFP and the specialty of family medicine.

Richard Roberts, MD, JD, Clinical Excellence Award: David Ringdahl, MD

Richard Roberts, MD, JD, presented the inaugural award bearing his name to David Ringdahl, MD, calling him a “doctor’s doctor who is as loyal to his patients as they are to him.”

Dr. Ringdahl practices full scope family medicine at the Deforest-Windsor Clinic where he devotes 100% of his time to patient care.  As the first recipient of this award, Dr. Ringdahl expressed his gratitude and said he was “fortunate to have landed in DeForest. It’s a wonderful place!”

Robert Drachenberg Staff Excellence Awards: Sue McGuire, Jenny White, and Skyla Witkowski

Sue McGuire, medical program assistant, received her award from Business Office Manager Julia Smith, who praised her years of service and dedication to the DFMCH.

Jenny White, senior student services coordinator, was recognized by Ildi Martonffy, MD. Dr. Martonffy commended Jenny for her excellence and professionalism in her work with the Madison Residency Program.

Skyla Witkowski, medical assistant, was honored by Kate Porter, DO, who noted her superior patient care. Skyla works with Dr. Porter at the UW Health Yahara Clinic.

William Scheckler Awards for Research: Andrew Quanbeck, PhD, and Ellen Goldstein, MFT, PhD

Drs. Quanbeck and Goldstein each received the William E. Scheckler, MD, Outstanding Research Publication Award.  Dr. Quanbeck’s paper, “A Randomized Matched-Pairs Study of Feasibility, Acceptability, and Effectiveness of Systems Consultation: A Novel Implementation Strategy for Adopting Clinical Guidelines for Opioid Prescribing in Primary Care,” showed that implementation strategies including audits and feedback, academic detailing and external facilitation may improve the implementation of prescribing guidelines for opioids.

Dr. Goldstein’s paper, “Mediational Pathways of Meditation and Exercise on Mental Health and Perceived Stress: A Randomized Controlled Trial” suggests that mindfulness and exercise training share similar mechanisms that can improve mental health.

James E. Davis, MD, MS, Quality Improvement Award: UW Health Yahara Clinic

Yahara Clinic Medical Director Matthew Swedlund, MD, and Clinic Manager Stephanie Carney accepted the award on behalf of the Yahara Clinic. Faculty and staff at the Yahara Clinic received this award for their collaborative work to improve patient experiences with appointment scheduling.  The Direct Scheduling Workflow to Improve Patient Access for Problem Visits tool was developed to expand the baseline range of symptom based complaints that could be scheduled directly by receptionists in order to assist with improving patient satisfaction with appointment availability, reduce unused slots, and reduce triage volumes for RNs.

Chair’s Awards: Linda Haskins, MBA, Sandra Kamnetz, MD, and William Schwab, MD

DFMCH Chair Val Gilchrist, MD, presented the awards to Vice Chair for Clinical Care Sandra Kamnetz, MD, Vice Chair for Education William Schwab, MD, and acknowledged Administrator Linda Haskins, MBA, who was not present.  Dr. Gilchrist praised their work and support.

Renner Award Winner: Cynthia Haq, MD

Cynthia Haq, MD, received the John H. Renner, MD, “Wisconsin Idea” Award for her exemplary commitment to family medicine and underserved areas in Wisconsin where she practiced in rural Belleville and urban Milwaukee.  Currently chair of the University of California—Irvine Department of Family Medicine, Dr. Haq opened her lecture by noting that “once you’re from Wisconsin, you’re always from Wisconsin.”

In her presentation, “Amplifying the Wisconsin Idea,” Dr. Haq showed a slide of a drop of water to represent how one small drop, one small idea, one small conversation can spread outward.  This concept is the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea.  She explained how DFMCH residency founder Marc Hansen, MD, encouraged her to pursue an elective in Uganda where she worked on programs that helped improve child mortality rates and brought a passion for helping people facing health disparities back to Wisconsin.

Dr. Haq helped launch the first family medicine residency programs in Pakistan, Uganda and Ethiopia, and created and directed the Training in Urban Medicine and Public Health (TRIUMPH) program at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health. A lifelong advocate for global health, she was also the founding director of what is now the University of Wisconsin-Madison Global Health Institute.

“It’s that ripple of tenderness, compassion and caring,” she concluded, “that has the power to change the world”

Congratulations to all the winners!

Watch ceremony recording: 2019 Renner Hansen Awards »

Published: December 2019