AAMI News, June 2014

AAMI Salutes Eight Professionals for Contributions

Each year, AAMI honors leaders, visionaries, and innovators who have made a positive difference in healthcare technology. The AAMI Awards Committee sifted through scores of nominations to consider who is most deserving of the honors, which are formally handed out at the Annual Conference. This year’s recipients have diverse interests and areas of expertise, but share one common value: a commitment to excellence.

Matthew B. Weinger, MD—A Fidelity to Science

AAMI Foundation’s Laufman-Greatbatch Award

  Matthew B. Weinger, MD
  Matthew B. Weinger

An overwhelming number of tributes poured in for Matthew Weinger, MD, a professor and vice chair at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, praising him for his tireless work in human factors to enhance the safety of medical technology. His work includes co-chairing AAMI’s Human Factors Engineering Committee and making presentations on the topic at various events.

“Dr. Weinger has made significant, singular, and global impacts on the advancement of patient safety and care through his work on human factors; medical device design and interoperability; international standards; use of simulation for training; leadership in national professional organizations; and clinical research and publications,” said Tim Vanderveen, vice president of the Center for Safety and Clinical Excellence with CareFusion.

Hospital Quality Institute President and Chief Executive Julie Morath, who formerly worked with Weinger at Vanderbilt, hailed him for “his fidelity to science, commitment to patient safety systems design and research, and his passion for teaching.”

Weinger has participated in a range of AAMI activities, including presenting at the October 2012 AAMI/FDA Interoperability Summit. He also sits on the AAMI Board of Directors.

Ismael Cordero— A Career of Humanitarian Work

AAMI Foundation & ACCE’s Robert L. Morris Humanitarian Award

Ismael Cordero  
Ismael Cordero  

For more than 20 years, Ismael Cordero has traveled the world to teach healthcare technology management (HTM) professionals about medical equipment, particularly in the area of ophthalmology. He has performed work for ORBIS International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing blindness, and its Flying Eye Hospital. In addition, he has completed mission work in Haiti, Guyana, and many other countries. Currently, Cordero is a biomedical services manager at Gradian Health Systems in New York.

Many of his peers have been impressed by his dedication to help those he taught. Cordero often returns to those countries to ensure what he has taught has been implemented. “This is an unusual event for many of us who have done the work, seeing what we taught being used by people in all levels of healthcare technology,” said Dave Harrington, executive director of the American Medical Resources Foundation.

Cordero is “teaching our profession principles without expectation for reward or recognition. He has done it over many years without a letdown on his efforts and in many global locations that are in much need for technical guidance and networking,” wrote Yadin David, principal at Biomedical Engineering Consultants, LLC.

Robert D. Butterfield— A Natural Storyteller

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

  Robert D. Butterfield
  Robert D. Butterfield

Robert Butterfield, engineering research fellow at CareFusion, has spent his more than 40-year career solving patient safety issues, particularly those related to drug infusion.

Early in his career, Butterfield investigated doctors who had to amputate a newborn’s arm after an infusion pump delivered intravenous fluid into the infant’s tissue. “From that very day, Bob has worked to help prevent infiltrations from causing such devastating results,” wrote Vanderveen.

Erin Sparnon, engineering manager, health devices at ECRI Institute, added that Butterfield is an excellent storyteller, and she has learned many of her “what not to do” examples from him. “Bob’s passion for finding the underlying causes of infusion errors and applying engineering solutions to them makes him an excellent candidate for the Clinical Solution Award,” she added.

Butterfield also is involved in the Harvey Mudd College Clinic, a collaborative effort between the school and the medical device industry. “As a clinic liaison, Bob brings his infectious enthusiasm to all aspects of the project. He consistently demonstrates his commitment to training young scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, who in turn are clearly affected by his commitment to improving healthcare,” wrote Professors Richard Haskell and Rachel Levy.

Mark E. Bruley, CCE— Working to Prevent Surgical Fires

AAMI & Becton Dickinson’s Patient Safety Award

Mark E. Bruley  
Mark E. Bruley  

As ECRI Institute’s vice president for accident and forensic investigation, Mark Bruley is known as a leading expert on surgical fires. But he is much more than that, as his colleagues noted.

Bruley’s vast experience includes supervising ECRI’s medical device problem reporting and hazard reporting systems, serving on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Hospital Bed Safety Workgroup, and sitting on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Postmarket Surveillance of Pediatric Medical Devices.

“I have worked with Mark for more than four decades and witnessed firsthand his progress from a young biomedical engineer to the world’s foremost authority on medical device-related patient and hospital staff injuries and deaths,” said Joel J. Nobel, MD, founder and president emeritus at ECRI.

“He has investigated more medical device accidents than anyone in the industry [and] has trained healthcare professionals all over the world,” added Jim Keller, vice president of health technology evaluation and safety at ECRI.

Jeffrey Feldman, MD, division chief with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, also praised Bruley, calling him “a talented engineer and a unique individual” who has used his knowledge to help patients.

Patrick K. Lynch, CCE, CBET, MBA— Working Nonstop to Promote the Field

AAMI’s HTM Leader of the Year

  Patrick Lynch
  Patrick K. Lynch

Pat Lynch, a biomedical support specialist at GMI (Global Medical Imaging), has long served as a champion of the HTM field. During his career, he has risen from BMET to regional director, and for many of those years, instructed the next generation of HTM professionals on how they can excel.

He is a regular contributor to BI&T, AAMI’s peer-reviewed journal, offering insightful stories that entertain while shedding light on important topics in the field. “Few colleagues have the mix of experience and capability, or consistently made themselves available for such continuous, broad, and relevant service,” said Tom Judd, national project director, Kaiser Permanente Clinical Technology.

“He is widely recognized as one of the premier advocates for HTM,” added retired consultant Bob Stiefel.

Chad Sinclair— Taking Charge

AAMI and GE Healthcare’s BMET of the Year Award

Chad Sinclair  
Chad Sinclair  

Letters supporting Petty Officer First Class Chad Sinclair’s nomination for the BMET of the Year Award consistently mention one attribute: leadership.

“As acting biomedical engineering program manager and leading chief petty officer from March 2013 to October 2013, Petty Officer Sinclair meticulously led a team of 15 active-duty and civilian biomedical equipment technicians in the maintenance support of 6,100 medical and dental equipment items valued at more than $44 million,” wrote F.M. Ferrer, program manager at the Naval Hospital in Jacksonville, FL, where Sinclair is the lead biomedical equipment technician (BMET).

He also demonstrated his leadership when he was stationed at Rota, Spain, and convinced his superiors to allow his BMETs to take the certification exams, Bo Redona, who served with Sinclair, wrote. He organized a review class that allowed everyone to meet without disrupting their normal routines. “When I heard that the whole shop received their certifications, I said to myself, ‘He did it!’” Redona added.

“Petty Officer Sinclair is exactly the type of person we need to lead the biomedical engineering community into the future. He is the ultimate team player who exemplifies dedication and professionalism,” wrote Lt. John Stage, team lead, Family of Field Medical Equipment, Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, VA.

Shelly Crisler, CCE— A Rising Leader

AAMI’s Young Professional Award

  Shelly Crisler, CCE
  Shelly Crisler

A huge issue facing the HTM community is the aging of the field. However, the winner of AAMI’s Young Professional Award, Shelly Crisler, demonstrates that there is plenty of talent among the next generation of HTM leaders.

A biomedical engineer with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in St. Louis, MO, Crisler has shown project management skills that have earned her the respect of her colleagues. “Shelly is clearly an outstanding professional, mentor, and colleague, but I believe she should be viewed first as an outstanding leader,” said Tandi Bagain, director of human factors engineering at the VA National Center for Patient Safety.

“While she is a natural leader and enthusiastically offers to manage projects, no matter the size, she also is content to take a supporting role and accomplish any task needed to bring forward success,” said Michelle Bacquie, biomedical engineer and healthcare technology manager at the VA Office of Healthcare Technology Management.

Outside the VA, Crisler often speaks at local universities about the clinical engineering profession. She also serves on the AAMI Wireless Strategy Task Force—providing the perspective of the end user—and sits on the U.S. Board of Examiners for Clinical Engineering.

Alan Lipschultz, CCE, PE, CSP— A Familiar Face

The Spirit of AAMI Award

Alan Lipschultz  
Alan Lipschultz  

A charter member of the Technology Management Council (TMC), Alan Lipschultz, president of HealthCare Technology Consulting, is a familiar face to AAMI members. His devotion to enhancing patient care through standards has won him the respect of his colleagues.

“Alan has always exhibited an unswerving commitment to improving patient safety, as demonstrated by his tireless and effective work on the AAMI Standards Board, the TMC, and numerous other AAMI committees and projects,” said Chuck Sidebottom, managing partner at PPO Standards, LLC.

“What I like about Alan is that he doesn’t just sit on these committees—he’s always engaged, always ‘present’, at them,” said Pat Baird, engineering director at Baxter Healthcare.

In addition to sitting on numerous standards committees, Lipschultz represented AAMI at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s battery management workshop last summer. He also has offered his expertise during educational sessions at several AAMI conferences, and he is a featured columnist in BI&T.