Leaders in Clinical Excellence Awards

Patient and Family Recognition Award

This award honors clinical faculty whose dedication to the compassionate, respectful delivery of exceptional patient care has garnered the highest degree of patient trust and satisfaction. Recipients are faculty who are routinely honored by patients and family members through written feedback, commendations to UT Southwestern leaders, or other demonstrations of appreciation.

The 2018 Winners:

John Andersen, M.D.

Vice Chair for Clinical Operations
Pediatrics – Gastroenterology

Patients, families, and colleagues commend Dr. Andersen for the focused attention they receive from him and for his drive to go the extra mile. He is always willing to take a call from a colleague or accept an extra patient who needs attention, and when he is not in the clinic, he makes sure that patients are able to contact him. 

“John is a humble man who carries himself with the attitude of a traditional small-town doctor,” his nominator wrote. “He listens intensely and without distraction, transmitting a clear sense that he is not only genuinely interested in what the patient or the parent wants to say, but also that their interaction is not limited by time or schedule.”

In addition, Dr. Andersen serves as an excellent role model for junior faculty, who view him as a paradigm of good doctoring, and has worked to foster the growth of fellows. His genuine and comprehensive dedication earned him the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America in 2016 and multiple Best Pediatric Specialist recognitions from D Magazine

Dr. Andersen is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and completed postgraduate work in internal medicine, pediatrics, and gastroenterology. He also served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force. 

In his words: "It is quite an honor to be recognized by one’s colleagues for just doing what a physician does: Helping patients entrusted to his care. However, successful patient care is the result of a team – including my physician-colleagues at UT Southwestern and clinical staff at Children’s Health – who make me look good."

Rachel Wooldridge, M.D.

Assistant Professor
Surgery – Division of Surgical Oncology 
Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center

As a breast cancer specialist, Dr. Wooldridge combines her expertise in the latest techniques with a genuine, supportive attitude to deliver exceptional care to her patients. She balances data-rich decision analysis with an emotional connection that allows her to reach all of her patients and meet them exactly where they are in their breast cancer journey. Patients value Dr. Wooldridge’s confident yet humble demeanor and appreciate her warm sense of humor. Her nominator notes that you’re very likely to spot Dr. Wooldridge sharing a hug or a laugh with a patient she met just 30 minutes prior. 

Colleagues commend her for her incredible empathy, extraordinary knowledge of breast surgery, and commitment to doing everything right the first time for every patient. 

Dr. Wooldridge earned her medical degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. She completed a residency in general surgery at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York and performed her fellowship in breast surgical oncology at UT Southwestern.

In her words: “I am overwhelmingly humbled by the receipt of this award. The relationships I have with my patients and their families are the reason I love my job, and I am so honored by their trust in me. I often meet someone on one of the worst days of their life. I always remember to walk a bit in their shoes that day, doing my best to provide hope and strength in their time of need. Kindness, in any measure, is a powerful enemy of despair.”

Philippe Zimmern, M.D.

Department of Urology

Dr. Zimmern is praised by colleagues for his patience, compassion, and unwavering dedication to patients and families. He is frequently asked to see patients for a second or third opinion. Patients commend him for his extensive knowledge, explanations of care, follow-up advice, and genuine concern. 

His expertise has led Dr. Zimmern to serve as a visiting professor all around the world. He received medical training and completed his residency at the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris, France. He completed his urology training and fellowship at UCLA and practiced eight years at a Kaiser Hospital in Los Angeles, California, before joining the faculty at UT Southwestern in 1995. He holds the Jane and John Justin Distinguished Chair in Urology, in Honor of Claus G. Roehrborn, M.D.

In his words: “As it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes a village to produce this type of recognition. In my book, this village is led by our President and his team, who decided to honor all of us who deliver care at UTSW. He is followed by our inspiring Chairman, Dr. Claus Roehrborn, and all of our teams – in clinics at Aston/WCB3 and in the OR, residents, fellows, and colleagues – who continuously strive to provide the best possible care and experience to our patients. In this regard, I am especially grateful to my own nurses who have been the face of my practice for the past 23 years.”