Leaders in Clinical Excellence Awards

Institutional Service Award

This award honors clinical faculty who consistently share time and expertise in service to internal committees, task forces, and other institutional activities that make a significant impact on the care delivered to UT Southwestern patients.

See our Past Clinical Excellence Award Winners

The 2023 Winners:

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Vanessa Rogers, M.D.

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine
Vice Chair of Education and Faculty Development

Dr. Vanessa Rogers doesn’t list “bridge builder” among the many positions on her CV, but the term easily applies to her work as a facilitator in several roles at UT Southwestern. Her distinctive approach to problem-solving, education, career development, and fostering self-awareness is one of the reasons she was nominated for the Institutional Service Award.

“Dr. Rogers has a unique style, in that her questions to faculty and learners help guide them to the answer, often allowing them to problem-solve and identify solutions on their own, rather than her simply telling them what to do. This helps empower and foster the skills necessary for success in our field,” her nominator wrote. “She recognizes there are more than two sides to a story and ensures support for each side, but also recognizes that the truth is in the middle. This makes her an unbiased and reliable faculty and institutional advocate.”

Little wonder then that Dr. Rogers is frequently sought for inclusion on committees. Her two decades of experience at UTSW have given her valuable institutional knowledge that informs her decision-making. In the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology alone, she has served or serves on the Residency Program Clinical Competency Committee, the Program Evaluation Committee, and the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship Program Clinical Competency Committee. She was the inaugural faculty adviser to Future Residents of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and she currently serves as Chair of the Department’s internal Promotion and Tenure Committee.

Her influence extends outside the Department as well. She sits on Parkland Memorial Hospital’s Obstetric Peer Review and Midwife Surgical Training committees and is a voting member of UT Southwestern’s Promotion and Tenure Committee. She is also Chair of the Graduate Medical Education clinical learning environment subcommittee. In addition, Dr. Rogers is a Cultivating Active Listening in Medicine (CALM) peer supporter.

In January 2020, Dr. Rogers played an integral role in addressing an issue of growing concern in her department: unconscious bias. She teamed with Shawna Nesbitt, M.D., Vice President and Chief Institutional Opportunity Officer, to form Respect the Perspective. The committee developed a two-hour workshop for Department members on unconscious bias and racism. Dr. Rogers took it a step further by attending a workshop led by Associate Dean of Faculty Engagement Quinn Capers, M.D., on the subject so she could lead her own training sessions.

“A number of faculty have reached out to thank her for these efforts, explaining that it has changed how they look at things, which is, of course, the goal of such workshops,” the nominator said.

Even as a trainee, Dr. Rogers’ concern for treating all colleagues and patients with respect was evident. While serving her residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, she received Best Chief Resident in Obstetrics and Most Compassionate Chief Resident awards. She earned her medical degree at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

Today, she continues to empathize with and advocate for her Ob/Gyn patients, not just at the hospital but also at Parkland’s Obstetric Infectious Disease clinic.

“Her passion for treating patients, educating students and colleagues, and approaching committee work in a fair, trustworthy manner sets her apart,” said an Ob/Gyn colleague. “Dr. Rogers’ commitment to bettering our people, and therefore our programs and care, has been vital to the success of our Department. … Her service and dedication to UT Southwestern as an institution and to our people is exemplary and merits recognition.”

In her words: I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Podolsky and the members of the award committee for this honor. Upon my arrival at UT Southwestern as a fellow in Maternal-Fetal Medicine two decades ago, I felt incredibly fortunate to receive training at a world-renowned institution with faculty members who set the benchmark for obstetrics care in the United States. From that point forward, the mission of UT Southwestern became my mission. My subsequent years as a faculty member have provided me with the opportunity to repay this esteemed institution, not just for the opportunities it granted me, but also for the countless learners it has educated and patients it has served. I am forever grateful for the privilege to treat and advocate for the women of Dallas County. It is my sincerest hope that my endeavors and those of the many gifted physicians and scientists of this institution will continue to strengthen the legacy of UT Southwestern Medical Center for generations to come.

Dr. Capers holds the Rody P. Cox, M.D. Professorship in Internal Medicine.

Dr. Rogers holds the Norman F. Gant, Jr., M.D. Chair in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Leaders in Clinical Excellence video: Dr. Vanessa Rogers

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Rinarani Sanghavi, M.D., M.B.A.

Professor of Pediatrics
Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology

Physician well-being, gender equity in business operations, and faculty development. These are some areas of opportunity that Dr. Rina Sanghavi has worked tirelessly to advance through participation and leadership on a variety of UT Southwestern Medical Center faculty committees and groups.

So extensive are the contributions she has made, in fact, that four of her colleagues nominated her for the Institutional Service Award.

“She is a stellar citizen,” said one nominator. “She has never turned down a request to participate on a committee and says yes with enthusiasm, despite a busy clinical volume.”

Among her many roles, Dr. Sanghavi has served as President of the Medical and Dental Staff at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, the first female Chair of the Medical Executive Committee, and Chair of the Children’s Credentials and Peer Review committees.

In addition to serving as Director of the Office of Faculty Engagement and Development for the UTSW Department of Pediatrics, she also is the Pediatrics representative to the Wellness Champions Committee in the Office of Faculty Wellness and clinical representative to the UT System Faculty Burnout Working Group at the state level. She has served essential roles on the UT Southwestern Strategic Planning Committee, the Compensation Equity Committee, UTSW medical student admissions committee, various committees for the new pediatric campus, and the Medical Service, Research and Development Plan (MSRDP) Faculty Compensation Advisory Committee.

She serves as Chair of the Pediatric Business Strategy group, applying her M.B.A. skills to ensure that physician hours, effort, and documentation are accurately counted. “The faculty are now working smarter and getting reimbursed for work they were already doing but was not documented or captured,” continued the nominator.

Physician well-being is a passion for Dr. Sanghavi. “A burned-out clinician is prone to medical errors, and she has worked to continually keep the clinician and their well-being at the center of discussions,” said another nominator.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she ensured physician and patient care needs were met, while also making sure faculty were not isolated but continued to feel connected with the UTSW community. She organized child care for clinical faculty and served to bring telehealth capabilities to the forefront within Children’s Health for UTSW physicians.

Dr. Sanghavi was one of the inaugural members of the UTSW Faculty Compensation Equity Committee. In that role, she analyzed information on faculty compensation and developed hypotheses about variations, which were then tested by the committee.

Through her work, she advocated for using specialty-specific benchmarks to evaluate compensation for all faculty. Dr. Sanghavi’s efforts have helped to narrow the clinical compensation gender gap in Pediatrics by 50%.

She accomplished this change with tact and respect. “Dr. Sanghavi is not afraid to speak up and challenge the status quo. She does so with grace and diplomacy and maintains respectful dialogue that stimulates the thought process of everyone on the committee. She is articulate and can bring consensus among the members of the committee,” said another nominator.

Her efforts on pay equity have been recognized nationally, and she has won awards and been invited to speak at events across the country and globally, such as the premier gastrointestinal meeting, Digestive Disease Week, the Texas Society for Gastroenterology and Endoscopy, and Boston Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School on gender equity.

In line with Dr. Sanghavi’s commitment to equity, she implemented unconscious bias-reduction training in the Department of Pediatrics to improve awareness and quality of care for patients and faculty.

She has championed innovative programs like the Master Mentors Program, which equips senior faculty across the Departments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics with skills to be better mentors and fosters a community of connectedness and collaboration. She worked to enhance engagement among Pediatrics faculty, over 80% of whom responded to faculty engagement surveys this past year.

Dr. Sanghavi is a pediatric gastroenterologist who completed her medical school training at one of the premier institutions in Mumbai, India, her pediatrics residency at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York, and her fellowship in pediatrics gastroenterology at UT Southwestern. She established the pediatric neurogastroenterology and GI motility program at UT Southwestern and has grown it to be one of the leading such programs in the country.

In her words: To serve others is a joy; to serve on behalf of your peers is a responsibility and honor I value deeply. I thank Dr. Podolsky, the nominators, and the awards committee for recognizing this value. Most of all, I am grateful to my fellow UT Southwesterners for trusting me to represent them on various committees. In my service, I advocate on behalf of all, including our staff, clinicians, and patients, to continue to work to make UTSW the amazing institution it is. I am humbled by the award. However, it truly belongs to all of us at UT Southwestern, who in our own way serve every day, shaping the future of our institution and of health care.

Leaders in Clinical Excellence video: Dr. Rinarani Sanghavi