WMed Faculty-to-Faculty award recipients named

Dr. Hal B. Jenson
Hal B. Jenson, MD, MBA

The results of this year’s Faculty-to-Faculty Awards have been announced.

The award recipients, who were named in May, included Katharina Elliott, MD, William “Bill” Fales, MD, and Dean Emeritus Hal B. Jenson, MD, MBA. The Faculty-to-Faculty Awards, which are handed out by the medical school’s Office of Faculty Affairs, recognize faculty who were nominated by their peers for significant professional achievements, as well as contributions and service to WMed and the wider community.

Dr. Jenson, who retired as the founding dean of WMed this summer, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. The award recognizes a faculty member who is nearing retirement and has amassed significant achievements and contributions to the medical school.

In his letter nominating Dr. Jenson for the Lifetime Achievement Award, Keith Kenter, MD, associate dean for Clinical Affairs and chair of the medical school’s Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, said Dr. Jenson “has an impressive ability to create strategies in finding solutions for very complex problems in a rapidly changing environment.”

“Our School of Medicine is fully accredited and is quickly becoming nationally recognized because of an innovative curriculum that he helped develop,” Dr. Kenter said. “He has brought in outstanding educators and researchers and has motived them to further his vision. He has created this strong foundation that can only be built upon and should allow the school of medicine to develop beyond our humble beginnings.”

Dr. Bill Fales
William Fales, MD

Meanwhile, Dr. Fales, who is a professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, received the Distinguished Service Award. The award recognizes a faculty member who has provided significant service to WMed, the community, and the medical community at the local, regional, national, and international levels.

Dr. Fales was nominated for the award by David Overton, MD, MBA, associate dean for Graduate Medical Education and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine. In his nomination letter, Dr. Overton said Dr. Fales’ “contributions to the community, through his support and development of EMS systems at the local, regional, statewide, and national levels, are unparalleled.”

Dr. Overton noted the numerous leadership roles Dr. Fales has taken on as EMS medical director for the Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority and regional medical director for the 5th District Medical Response Coalition. Additionally, at the statewide level, Dr. Fales serves as the state medical director for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness, a role in which he has played a key role in guiding the state’s approach and response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The description of this award is as follows: ‘The faculty member provides significant services to WMed, the medical community at the local, regional national, and international levels; and the community,’” Dr. Overton said. “I can think of NO other WMed faculty member more deserving … Dr. Fales has served the Kalamazoo community for over a quarter of a century, building a high performance, state-of-the-art EMS system with outcome metrics among the best in the country.”

Dr. Katharina Elliott
Katharina Elliott, MD

Dr. Elliott, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, received the Faculty of the Year Award. The award recognizes a faculty member whose work exemplifies the mission and values of WMed.

In her letter to nominate Dr. Elliott, Kelly Quesnelle, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, noted that Dr. Elliott serves as the clinical co-course director for the Hematology and Oncology course since 2014 and has been actively involved in the course design, as well as content, administration, and oversight.

“WMed students have also noticed and appreciated the extensive time that Dr. Elliott has dedicated to the course since its inception,” Dr. Quesnelle said. “Dr. Elliott consistently reviews student feedback and incorporates changes into both her teaching and the overall design of the course. Student performance in the Blood and Lymphoreticular subsection of the USMLE Step 1 exam has also shifted … to one of the highest in 2020.”

In addition, Dr. Quesnelle said Dr. Elliott has provided outstanding service to the local and regional medical community throughout her career.

“As you can see, Dr. Elliott is an outstanding servant of her patients and her community, as well as a strong representative of Kalamazoo as she engages in service at the state and national level,” Dr. Quesnelle said. “She contributes much more of her time than is required in her role as the clinical co-course director for the Hematology and Oncology course, and this piece of our curriculum would not be where it is today without her expertise or her passion.”