AAPL Honors Loyola Pathologist’s Wellness Plan, Mount Sinai’s Handoff Fix

By AAPL Staff
May 4, 2019

Dr. Marisa Saint Martin of Loyola Health System in Illinois and Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami earned the association’s annual major awards at its Spring Summit.

A hospital’s new clinician resilience program and a medical center’s innovative platform to improve patient handoffs were recognized Saturday by the American Association for Physician Leadership, which presented its annual major awards at the association’s 2019 Spring Summit in Washington, D.C.

marisa saint martin

Dr. Marisa Saint Martin, assistant professor with the Loyola Health System pathology department, accepts her Schenke Award on Saturday at AAPL’s Spring Summit. | Rachel Gillespie/AAPL

Marisa Saint Martin, MD, ACC, FAAPL, FCAP, FASCP, whose wellness program at Illinois’ Loyola Health System was based on methods modeled from a Wall Street heavyweight, was awarded the Schenke Award, which recognizes individual innovation in the creation of education programs advancing physician leadership and improved health care.

Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, Florida, earned the Leape Ahead Award after implementing a handoff process that improved communication and allowed documentation access to all care team members. The Leape trophy recognizes organizational efforts to improve patient safety and care while developing the skills of medical students and residents.

Saint Martin’s plan was to identify exemplary resilience programs that might serve as a model for Loyola’s pathology department after a 2016 Maslach Burnout Inventory revealed a burnout rate on par to its clinical colleagues. She found valuable takeaways from financial giant Goldman Sachs.

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Chief medical officer Dr. Robert Goldszer accepts the Leape Ahead Award for Mount Sinai Medical Center from AAPL President and CEO Dr. Peter Angood. | Rachel Gillespie/AAPL

“I looked at what they were doing,” says Saint Martin, assistant professor of the LHS pathology department, “and took a lot of their initiatives and applied them to what we are doing in medicine.”



  • 2015 – Scott Ellner, DO, MPH, MHCM, FACS; Saint Francis Medical Group; Hartford, Connecticut
  • 2016 – Larry Feinman, DO, FACOS; HCA West Florida; Tampa, Florida
  • 2017 – Venkat Prasad, MD; UNC Physicians Network; Morrisville, North Carolina
  • 2018 – Samuel Cullison, MD, ABFM, CPE; Methodist Health System, Dallas, Texas
  • 2019 – Marisa Saint Martin, MD, ACC, FAAPL, FCAP, FASCP; Loyola Health System, suburban Chicago, Illinois


  • 2012 – Helen DeVos Children's Hospital; Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • 2013 – Brigham and Women's Hospital; Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2014 – Christiana Care Health System; Delaware
  • 2015 – Northwestern Medicine Academy for Quality and Safety Improvement; Illinois
  • 2016 – Advocate Health Care’s Resident Leadership Development Institute; Park Ridge, Illinois
  • 2017 – MUSC Health at the Medical University of South Carolina; Charleston, South Carolina
  • 2018 – New York City Health & Hospitals/Lincoln; New York
  • 2019 – Mount Sinai Medical Center; Miami, Florida

Saint Martin implemented initiatives that better prepare residents for health care’s exacting workplace environment through resilience strategies at individual, organizational and systemwide levels. Residents surveys later indicated substantial increases in knowledge about the causes of burnout and available related resources, a greater sense that their opinions count, increases in contact with resilience coaches and mentors, and more use of mindfulness techniques.

At Mount Sinai, physicians and residents voiced concern to senior leadership that poor, incomplete, rushed and undocumented communication between team members was contributing to patient handoffs with bad outcomes. It continued with input from nurses, faculty and patients.

After an annual systemwide survey of patient safety culture rated the facility below the national average in handoffs, a multidisciplinary team developed the program, which moved Mount Sinai into the top half of the national rankings.

Improvement occurred after customized I-PASS handoff modules were embedded in electronic health records to facilitate standardized provider communication, easy editing and, when possible, automatic inclusion of intensity and patient description to be used by all clinical teaching program services.

Also receiving special recognition for the Leape award is Devdutta Sangvai, MD, MBA, CPE, FAAFP, who led a team that created a leadership development program for residents at Duke University Health System’s Population Health Management team.


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