Profiles of excellence

By Kirstin Grace-SimonsJune 22, 2022

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MADIGAN ARMY MEDICAL CENTER, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. – Madigan Army Medical Center on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., is the largest Army training hospital with hundreds of residents, interns and fellows at any given time.
Each of its graduates has completed an impressive set of achievements including clinical rotations, research and numerous examinations. Overall, Madigan’s graduates maintain exam scores in the high 90th percentile and an equally first time pass rate on their board exams.
It would not be possible to highlight the vast number of accomplishments of our graduates. The profiles you will find at the link are just a few brought to the fore by their program directors. Enjoy!

Capt. (Dr.) Sean Scott, graduating emergency medicine resident, Col. Robert Skelton Award for an outstanding resident in a two or three-year program

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Lt. Col. (Dr.) Jillian Phelps is an emergency medicine physician who has recently led the Andersen Simulation Center and is currently the program director for the Emergency Medicine Residency.

She is no stranger to excellence in emergency medicine. She proudly presented the Col. Robert Skelton Award for an outstanding resident in a two or three-year program to Capt. (Dr.) Sean Scott.

“Capt. Scott is everything that embodies the professionalism of both the military and medical world,” said Phelps, noting his clinical excellence as well as his dedication to service.

He consistently tested above the 95th percentile on his annual in-service training exam; he published and presented research at the national level, proving his clinical knowledge and expertise.

Moreover, he is a dedicated and selfless leader.

He served as the vice president and president of the resident council, then was selected as chief resident, all with the goal of improving Madigan for its residents. On his own time, he completed a nationally-recognized fellowship in wellness leadership, brought this new knowledge back to Madigan, making curriculum changes to have lasting impacts to the residency program. Additionally, he developed and sustained a military curriculum impacting over 100 medics across the installation, intending to foster growth across the Army medical community as a whole.

He repeatedly proved his commitment to helping people in all possible scenarios, responding to and assisting with an in-flight emergency as well as assisting an older hiker Scott and his wife, a resident Preventive Medicine program, came upon who was having a heart attack.

Maj. (Dr.) Theodore Crisostomo-Wynne, graduating urology resident, Maj. Gen. Floyd L. Wergeland Award presented to an outstanding resident in a four-year or greater program.

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As the recipient of the Maj. Gen. Floyd L. Wergeland Award that is presented to an outstanding resident in a four-year or greater program, Maj. (Dr.) Theodore Crisostomo-Wynne had to be a clear standout among his peers.

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Ryan Speir, the program director for the Urology Residency, showed nothing but enthusiasm for his graduating mentee in his nomination of the major for this award.

“His performance was without question the best I've seen of a chief resident in the 8 years I have been at Madigan Army Medical Center,” said Speir.

In the task of outlining Crisostomo-Wynne’s strengths and achievements in categories such as professional and teaching ability, self-improvement, research and interpersonal relations, Spier enumerated an impressive array of notable highlights.

During his 5-year residency, he completed over 1,200 urological cases, contributed to five active research protocols, presenting this research at nine conferences, mentored more than 20 residents and medical students through their rotations and scored 100th percentile nationally for three out of his five years on the annual in-service exam. Going forward, a device Crisostomo-Wynne has been active in developing has a patent application under consideration and he is slated to undertake a fellowship at the University of Washington in andrology and infertility.

“He leads by example and this translates into an atmosphere of trust and cohesion of those around him. Throughout his 1 ½ years serving as the chief resident during this pandemic, he was reliable, motivated and found the positive when others waivered,” said Speir. “Crisostomo-Wynne is the most complete Urology resident to come through this program in the past 10 years. I would be hard pressed to imagine a graduating resident more deserving of this award than him.”

Capt. (Dr.) John Malone, graduating internal medicine resident

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Lt. Col. (Dr.) Tatjana Calvano, the program director for the Internal Medicine Residency, had a dozen excellent candidates from which to choose when queried on a good example of a standout graduating resident in the program. She sent Capt. (Dr.) John Malone’s name forward.

“Capt. Malone has demonstrated admirable commitment to promoting esprit de corps and wellness across the Madigan GME,” said Calvano. “He also distinguished himself by educating concepts of officership and familiarization with Army policies.”

The aspects of his residency and what made him stand out from the crowd are one and the same.

“The culture in our Internal Medicine Residency is very collegial, everybody’s out to help everybody else, pushing each other to do better,” said Malone.

When asked what from this residency he wants to bring forward to his future work, that culture of collegiality is what he identified.

His focus, aside from the strictly academic and clinical work of his residency, was on wellness and education.

He led his colleagues in getting involved in the JBLM Commander’s Cup series of sports competitions. The goal was to find a way to spend time as a cohort and build a solid team. Still, the team he helped assemble won their first competition – Ultimate Frisbee. Then, they realized there is a sport going on all the time. So, what started as a way for Internal Medicine residents to hang out turned into a way for all residency programs to work on physical and mental fitness together.

“That's kind of our way of staying active and staying social,” Malone said.

Though the residents come into the military as doctors and captains, they know little of the Army and its systems. Malone set out to tackle that challenge as well.

Interested in finance in addition to wellness, he conducted professional development sessions for his colleagues to share what he learned regarding subjects such as leave use and retirement planning.

As Malone and his wife, who is an Army veterinarian, head off to Germany soon, they both have good reason to be considering the future as they are also about to have their first child.

This will surely serve to provide Malone with more opportunities to both learn and teach.

“I think that's the great thing about residency – we all learn different things, we all see different patients and we all have different passions,” he said.

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Erika Petrik, graduating preventive medicine resident

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Lt. Col. (Dr.) Erika Petrik comes highly recommended by her residency program director, Lt. Col. (Dr.) Luke Mease, a preventive medicine physician. His department has shouldered considerable weight during the pandemic. It has seen significantly increased workload with all that has been necessary to respond to the health crisis in our community.

After offering a slew of highlights of Petrik’s activities during her time with him, he ended with, “. . . and of course doing uncountable projects/work in public health COVID response.”

Petrik’s schedule on Friday was particularly busy; she had two graduation ceremonies to attend. First, there was the Healthcare Professionals Graduation 2022 at Carey Theater, then she and her family were off to attend her graduation from the University of Washington.

She found that these endeavors dovetailed quite nicely.

“This is the happiest I've been in my career, doing these efforts working with the local health department, having had my practicum at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, having this incredible opportunity to get a master's in public health – in global health – at the University of Washington. And being able to collaborate with individuals that have had incredible experiences worldwide in the very things that I hope to do in my career. This has been just a joy,” said Petrik.

Petrik joined the Army as a nurse then took advantage of a scholarship program to get her doctoral degree and become a family medicine physician. Now, she sees her move into public health to be a natural outgrowth of the expansion of concern for individual patients to whole communities of potential patients.

“I feel like this is more of a continuity than a change really, it's more a continuation of my career in that I'm focusing more on larger populations now and preventive efforts rather than episodic or individual care,” she said.

She chose this residency program after researching and coming to believe that these programs represent the best preventive medicine training in the world. She still feels that way.

In addition to her clinical and chief resident duties, she completed a research project that explores the potential pitfalls of short-term medical missions aimed at pre-med students looking to gain clinical experience. She also did a practicum at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department where she studied and produced community and provider education that came to be known as Syphilis 101.

Throughout her education and career, Petrik has displayed an ability to bring cohesion to her interests and goals. As a mother of a special needs daughter who was just a toddler when Petrik started her career, she has produced a podcast on public health topics that she brought her daughter onboard to produce. It is daughter China’s passion to be a DJ. She and her mom practiced so that she could interview her mom for this podcast.

Through those tough early years as a single mom, Petrik felt that she had to succeed in her studies and work because she had a future to build together, with her daughter, calling her a great motivator who is very driven herself. Now the mother of three, she’s excited to attend her son’s graduation from his college program the day after her own graduation ceremonies.

“Lt. Col. Petrik has remarkable emotional intelligence, which has allowed her to provide optimal care in the most challenging of circumstances,” said Mease.

Capt. (Dr.) Mindy Park, emergency medicine resident, Lt. Col. (Dr.) Aicha Hull, emergency ultrasound fellow

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Capt. (Dr.) Mindy Park, an emergency medicine resident, and Lt. Col. (Dr.) Aicha Hull, a fellow in emergency medicine ultrasound, displayed the collaboration that is a hallmark of the Madigan experience.

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Jillian Phelps, the program director for the Emergency Medicine Residency, noted the extensive effort Park and Hull put into their project together.

“In concert with another EM staff, [Park and Hull] dedicated over 100 hours of work to collate and provide historical data and align policies and procedures to allow Madigan to achieve national certification in geriatric and palliative care for the emergency department,” said Phelps.

Initially looking to build more geriatric and palliative care information into the hospital’s MHS GENESIS electronic medical record, that plan grew over time.

“It kind of evolved into a curriculum where we were able to present geriatric and palliative care-focused lectures to grand rounds for the residents and then geriatric and palliative care-focused skills for the nurses, such as falls risk and assessing them for poly pharmacy,” Park said.

Park recognized that Madigan’s patient population has a fairly significant split when it comes to age, and that the accreditation process could highlight the needs of the older portion.

“We have two main groups – we have people in their 20’s and then we have our retirees. So, it kind of focuses on helping that group,” she said.

Their focus paid off.

“Then we applied for the American College of Emergency Medicine Geriatric ED Accreditation,” added Hull. “We were able to achieve our accreditation, which is really exciting, and we were the first DoD MTF (Department of Defense military treatment facility) to get the accreditation.”

Both Park and Hull have found their choice of Madigan for their training to be a satisfying one.

Park has been able to be close to family by doing her residency here.

“It’s one of the most pivotal periods of my life. I’ve been working towards this period and to have it be done at Madigan is pretty special,” she said.

This was Hull’s second time as a trainee at Madigan, having graduated from her residency in 2011 and now completing her fellowship.

As a graduate from Madigan for the second time – from her residency in 2011 and now from a fellowship – she has seen the support firsthand.

“They call it the Madigan family,” she said. Having been stationed a few places since graduated a decade ago from residency originally, Hull knows the enduring value of the Madigan community. “I’ve been able to reach back to the individuals here. That’s been helpful because these folks are always there to support us. I have really appreciated the support I’ve gained from Madigan and the experience I’ve had here.”

Capt. (Dr.) Mathew Saab, emergency medicine resident

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Capt. (Dr.) Mathew Saab was busy during his emergency medicine residency. He detailed three major initiatives.

“We get a lot of imaging done in the emergency department,” he said. “If you image enough people you’ll find incidentally a lot of people have nodules in their lungs.”

These nodules have the potential of developing cancer. Follow up is necessary and may get missed since the imaging was not initially part of regular care in the patient’s clinic. Saab worked with colleagues to ensure that nodules found in the ED get a follow-up appointment and re-imaging down the line.

Saab also is proud of his residency’s track record in the in-training exam.

“Overall, as a program, nearly 40 percent of us scored in the upper 90th percentile nationally, which is a great achievement. It kind of speaks as a testament to our program, we’re high achievers,” he said.

Lt. Col. (Dr.) Jillian Phelps, the program director for the Emergency Medicine Residency, was particularly keen on highlighting the effort Saab was crucial to completing that improved Madigan’s boarding policy.

In part due to COVID-19, the emergency department experienced an increase in boarding of patients. When a hospital gets busy, as it did during COVID surges, it can become difficult to place patients in rooms as quickly as they are needed. In that case, a patient may spend more time in the ED, which is known as boarding.

Saab was a key part of a working group that established a plan to place orders in the MHS GENESIS electronic medical record, as well as update hospital policy, to manage these patients more efficiently.

This plan became the standard for the entire Defense Health Agency.

A clear champion of emergency medicine, Saab noted the drive of the ED physician.

“The mission of our program is to ensure that we can train people to perform emergency medicine in any environment, anywhere, at any time - to render care in an emergent situation, no matter what the means are and what capabilities you have. What that means to me is that would be kind of a Swiss Army knife of a doctor and be able to operate in whatever environment I’m thrown into. I think that’s an important capability as an Army physician to have,” he said.

Maj. (Dr.) Danny Lammers, graduating general surgery resident

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Maj. (Dr.) Quintin Hatch, the program director for the General Surgery Residency, watched Maj. (Dr.) Danny Lammers impress again and again over his residency.

“Danny has been the driving force behind the Surgery department's research productivity during his 6-year tenure as a resident. In total, he has secured over $1.5 million in grant money for our research department while compiling over 30 original research publications, 2 textbook chapters and 17 podium presentations,” said Hatch.

Madigan’s research endeavors are well-known. Some are truly cutting edge.

“One of the main research projects I’ve been working on over the course of the last three years is on developing in vitro blood products – the ability to create blood in the lab – for use in deployed settings so we don’t have to rely on getting blood donations from patients,” said Lammers.

So far, the research team has created a component of blood – the coagulation factors – and is now turning its attention to platelets and red blood cells.

As with many conducting research at Madigan during the pandemic, Lammers responded to the unique needs presented by COVID.

“Through innovative technology and dogged determination, he rapidly designed a 3-D printed face mask, evaluated proof of concept for protection against COVID-19, and executed high-level briefings with Army CENTCOM which culminated in the rapid distribution of these masks to at-risk Soldiers in austere areas,” said Hatch.

Like so many others, Lammers already recognized the benefit of being part of the “Madigan family.”

“I think one of the most important things at Madigan, outside of the unparalleled training opportunities, is the community of colleagues and friends that I’ve built. The Madigan family spans very, very far. Some of my mentors from here are now at a multitude of different places across the globe, but they’re just one call away and always happy to help whether that’s when we’re deployed or back stateside, I think that the network of folks, or the family tree, if you will, of people that we’ve fallen into by being a part of Madigan is a truly special one,” Lammers concluded.

The surgical residency is the longest and yet, his dedication to building his skills has him heading to a two-year trauma fellowship next. He appreciates his time at Madigan, though.

“It’s definitely been a lot of learning and growing as a surgeon scientist, but it’s been long ride, but one that I’ve really enjoyed,” he said.

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