For Immediate Release
April 25, 2018
Contact
Amber Logan, alogan@aami.org 703-253-8262

AAMI Names 2018 Award and Scholarship Winners



An impressive lineup of healthcare technology experts and innovators, along with clinicians, patient safety champions, standards developers, young professionals, and students is set to receive an AAMI award or scholarship this year at the association’s popular annual conference. The honors recognize these individuals’ leadership, dedication, and contributions to the association and to the healthcare technology community as a whole.

AAMI President and CEO Robert Jensen offered his congratulations to all the winners.

“Being able to recognize the best and the brightest in healthcare technology is an honor and, honestly, one of the highlights of AAMI’s year,” Jensen said. “This year’s award and scholarship recipients have demonstrated exemplary passion and dedication to helping make healthcare technology safer and more effective. It’s our pleasure to offer our thanks for all of the incredible work they have done and all that they continue to do to elevate and grow the field.”

The winners will be formally recognized during a ceremony at the AAMI 2018 Conference & Expo in Long Beach, CA, on June 2. The conference will run June 1–4.

AAMI Award Winners

The AAMI Foundation's Laufman-Greatbatch Award

Lauren C. Thompson, PhD, director of the Department of Defense/Department of Veterans Affairs Interagency Program Office

AAMI’s most prestigious award is named after two pioneers in the field—Harold Laufman, MD, and Wilson Greatbatch, PhD. It honors an individual or group that has made a unique and significant contribution to the advancement of healthcare technology and systems, service, patient care, or patient safety. This year’s award will be presented to Lauren Thompson, who has dedicated her 30-year career to providing world-class healthcare to U.S. service members, veterans, and their families by supporting national health data-sharing efforts and promoting interoperability among the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and their private partners.

Thompson was greatly influential in leading the DoD’s and VA’s collaborative efforts to ensure both departments’ electronic health records were fully interoperable and shared an integrated display of data. According to colleagues, the realization of this goal continues to promote patient-centric healthcare experiences, seamless care transitions, and improvements in health outcomes for the more than 15 million patients who receive care from both departments.

The AAMI Foundation & ACCE's Robert L. Morris Humanitarian Award

The late Robert M.S. Dickinson, owner, consultant, and trainer at Fairmed

This award—honoring the late Robert Morris, a longtime AAMI member, cofounder of the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE), and humanitarian—recognizes an individual or organization that has leveraged healthcare technology to improve global human conditions. This year’s winner, Robert Dickinson, grew up in Zimbabwe and spent his more than 30-year career as a biomedical engineer providing training on healthcare technology management (HTM), anesthesia, and critical care systems in more than two dozen countries, working with groups such as the World Health Organization, International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering, Engineering World Health, Orbis Flying Eye Hospital, Operation Smile, and the Gradian Health System. Dickinson also worked with local and international universities to teach and support their biomedical engineering and HTM students, international medical equipment companies to provide training and technical support for their products, and multilateral organizations and NGOs to undertake healthcare technology–related assignments in low-resource countries. Dickinson was told of his award before he died of cancer on April 6.

The AAMI Foundation & Institute for Technology in Health Care's Clinical Solution Award

A multidisciplinary team from Beebe Healthcare, which serves Sussex County in southern Delaware, and RENOVO Solutions, which is based in Irvine, CA

This award honors a healthcare technology professional or group that has applied innovative clinical engineering practices or principles to solve a significant patient care problem or challenge facing a patient population or community. This year’s winner is a multidisciplinary team that is meeting the challenge of supporting and securing medical devices and systems from ever-growing cybersecurity threats while simultaneously meeting interoperability and clinical needs. The team, which consists of IT security experts, HTM professionals, and leadership staff from Beebe Healthcare and RENOVO Solutions, has implemented a process that brings medical device security to the forefront of operational, capital, and strategic decisions. This partnership has been used as a model for other hospitals, helping HTM departments better prepare for and address future technology issues.

The team includes four members from RENOVO Solutions: Joseph Happ, executive vice president and chief information officer (CIO); Gregory Scott, director of IT infrastructure and support; Bishal Basnyat, a clinical engineer; and Richard Toth, an area manager, as well as two members from Beebe Healthcare: Michael J Maksymow, vice president and CIO, and Glenn D. Stover, an IT security manager.

AAMI & Becton Dickinson's Patient Safety Award

Frank Overdyk, MSEE, MD, professor of anesthesiology

This award recognizes outstanding achievements by a healthcare professional who has made a significant advancement toward improving patient safety. AAMI & Becton Dickinson’s 2018 Patient Safety Award will be presented to Frank Overdyk, who has dedicated his career to studying opioid-induced respiratory depression (OIRD) and seeking to prevent OIRD-related injuries and deaths through the use of continuous electronic monitoring. Overdyk is an internationally recognized expert—and advocate—in this field and has served as the clinical lead for the AAMI Foundation’s National Coalition to Promote the Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids since 2014. Under his leadership, this coalition has brought together a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses, pharmacists, HTM professionals, risk managers, and vendor representatives to share and disseminate best practices and make the business case for the implementation of continuous monitoring technology in hospitals. Overdyk has published numerous articles related to OIRD and is the medical director of an ongoing international study designed to assess the frequency of this issue and the impact of continuous monitoring on patient safety.

AAMI’s HTM Leadership Award

Jennifer Jackson, director of connectivity at Masimo

This award, which honors individual excellence, achievement, and leadership in the HTM field, will be presented to Jennifer Jackson for her work to bring device integration to the forefront of the HTM profession. In 2015, Jackson led one of the first enterprise-wide deployments of bidirectional infusion pump integration in the country, further closing the medication administration loop. She also has worked with industry leaders to promote the adoption of flexible and open device integration platforms, which allow for more seamless and vendor agnostic connectivity, serving on the inaugural Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise Patient Care Device and Medical Device Plug-and-Play committees.

Jackson has been a leader in several national organizations, serving as a past president of ACCE, chairing the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s task force for medical devices and patient safety, and serving on AAMI’s Clinical Engineering Productivity & Cost Effectiveness Committee and the BI&T Editorial Board. In addition, she is a sought-after speaker on topics such as device integration, CE-IT synergy, and women in HTM, and is the associate editor of the Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine.

AAMI & GE Healthcare's BMET of the Year Award

J. Scot Mackeil, CBET, senior anesthesia biomedical engineer at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston

This award is given to a biomedical equipment technician (BMET) to recognize his or her dedication, achievement, and excellence in the HTM field. J. Scot Mackeil has been on the front lines of hospital biomedical engineering for more than 26 years, most recently as a member of the anesthesia clinical engineering team at Massachusetts General Hospital where he supports anesthesia and surgical systems in the operating room. Mackeil is a vocal advocate for the HTM field and spoke at the FDA’s 2016 workshop on the refurbishing, reconditioning, rebuilding, remarketing, remanufacturing, and servicing of medical devices by third-party entities and original equipment manufacturers. He also is an outspoken supporter of two pending pieces of "right to repair" legislation in his home state, proposals which he believes would "greatly benefit" the HTM field. Mackeil has contributed to and written articles for 24x7 and TechNation, many of which focus on the “right to repair,” and is an active member of the New England Society of Clinical Engineers and ACCE. He also strongly believes in mentoring up-and-coming HTM professionals and the need to support programs that help HTM departments in developing countries acquire technology, training, parts, and service information.

AAMI's Young Professional Award

Clarice Holden, chief biomedical engineer at the VA North Texas Healthcare System

This award is presented to a healthcare technology professional under the age of 35 who has a history of exemplary accomplishments and a strong commitment to the field. This year’s winner, Clarice Holden, has already made a lasting impact during her short career in the Veterans Health Administration. Holden, 28, was recently promoted to chief biomedical engineer at the VA North Texas Healthcare System. In her previous role as supervisory biomedical engineer at the VA Great Los Angeles Healthcare System, she oversaw a team of 15 BMETs and biomedical engineers at one of the VA’s largest healthcare facilities, as well as an inventory of medical equipment valued at more than $130 million.

Holden is committed to advancing HTM as a profession, chairing ACCE’s Advocacy Committee and serving as a member of AAMI’s Annual Conference Program Committee and the VA National Documentation of Services National Advisory Board. She also contributes to 24x7 and BI&T and works with high school and college students, encouraging them to enter the HTM field. In the last five years, Holden has mentored four University of Connecticut master’s degree students and has assisted in training eight VA Technical Career Field interns.

The Spirit of AAMI Award

David Giarracco, vice president of global market development at Medtronic

David Giarracco has been selected to receive the Spirit of AAMI Award based on his passion for patient safety and his championing of three AAMI Foundation initiatives: the National Coalition for Alarm Management Safety, the National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids, and the National Coalition to Promote the Safe Use of Complex Healthcare Technology. In order to transform healthcare further together, Giarracco made the case to financially support these coalitions, and he also volunteered his time and biomedical engineering expertise to produce deliverables that healthcare organizations could use. In addition, Giarracco serves on the AAMI Foundation’s Industry Council, which provides guidance to the Foundation on which issues to tackle and assists in the kick-off events that bring together the nation’s experts.

AAMI's HTM Association of the Year Award

California Medical Instrumentation Association (CMIA)

This award recognizes an HTM association that distinguishes itself through outstanding society operations and meetings, as well as a commitment to elevating the HTM field at a local level. This year’s winner, CMIA, promotes the education and development of its more than 300 members through bimonthly local chapter meetings, workshops, training sessions, and the association’s annual conference and vendor fair. In 2017, CMIA’s nine local chapters hosted nearly 70 educational events, covering topics such as infection control, cybersecurity, alternative equipment management strategies, and networking. In addition to education and training, the CMIA provides its members with resources such as a leadership guide book and assistance in meeting standards, as well as gives back to its local community through scholarships and donations to organizations such as Toys for Tots.

AAMI Standards Award Winners

AAMI’s Standards Developer Award recognizes major contributions to the development or revision of a specific AAMI or international standard. This year’s recipients are:

  • Nancy Chobin, CEO of Sterile Processing University and a sterilization and reprocessing consultant, for her leadership and contributions to the development of ANSI/AAMI ST91, the “gold standard” for endoscope reprocessing, and other documents that have increased worldwide understanding and importance of device reprocessing.
  • Kelly Coleman, a distinguished scientist and technical fellow at Medtronic where he serves as the chief toxicologist, for co-directing an international in vitro irritation round-robin study that proved that reconstructed human epidermis tissues were suitable replacements for the rabbit skin irritation test. The results of this validation study, one of the largest in International Organization for Standardization (ISO) history, formed the basis for the new ISO 10993-23 standard on irritation testing of medical devices. 
  • Conor Curtin, an independent expert, for his more than 25 years of service to the advancement of standards related to medical devices and technologies used in renal care, as well as medical device alarms, small-bore connectors, electrical safety, human factors, interoperability, and information technology.
  • John Kowalski, president and principal consultant for microGAMMA, LLC, for the development of the VDmax method for substantiating a radiation sterilization dose, which has been incorporated into several international standards.

AAMI Foundation Scholarship Winners

Since 2009, the AAMI Foundation has awarded scholarships to outstanding students aspiring to become HTM professionals. This year’s winners are:

  • Montana Rae Delk, who is studying healthcare engineering technology management at Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis in Indiana.
  • Benjamin Hebel, who is studying biomedical engineering technology at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City.
  • Alexis Henry, who is earning a master’s degree in biomedical/clinical engineering at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.
  • Bradley Klauss, who is studying biomedical equipment technology at Penn State University.
  • Christopher Moreau, who is earning a master’s degree in engineering/healthcare engineering at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX.
  • Baily Williams, who is studying biomedical electronics at Western Technical College in La Crosse, WI.

The AAMI Foundation also awards a scholarship in partnership with the Health Systems Engineering Alliance to help support the adoption of a systems approach to healthcare technology. This year’s winner is:

  • Kahkashan Afrin, who is earning a PhD in industrial and systems engineering at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.

AAMI (www.aami.org) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1967. It is a diverse community of approximately 7,000 healthcare technology professionals united by one important mission—supporting the healthcare community in the development, management, and use of safe and effective healthcare technology.