Clinical Center News
October / November 2023

Clinical Center spotlights exceptional contributions

Portrait of Dr. Richard Chang
Dr. Richard Chang
Staff Clinician of the Year
Portrait of Elaine Cochran
Elaine Cochran
Physician Assistant / Nurse Practitioner of the Year
Portrait of Stacey Solin
Stacey Solin
Physician Assistant / Nurse Practitioner of the Year
Portrait of Marcus Means
Marcus Means
Administrator of the Year
Portrait of Dr. Katie Roth Stagliano
Dr. Katie Roth Stagliano
Administrator of the Year

An interventional radiologist, a nurse practitioner specializing in diabetes care, a scientist-administrator ensuring the hospital's laboratory testing for all Clinical Center patients runs smoothly, a nurse practitioner who helps assess patient needs and an administrator who manages thousands of hours of volunteer time were selected for their outstanding efforts as a part of the NIH Clinical Center's 2023 Clinical Recognition award program.

The program was launched in 2018 and initially recognized NIH's outstanding staff clinicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. In 2019, the program expanded to include outstanding administrators at the hospital as well.

The year's winners come from a variety of backgrounds.

Dr. Richard Chang, a senior clinician in the hospital's Radiology and Imaging Sciences Interventional Radiology section was selected as Staff Clinician of the Year.

Chang was cited for his groundbreaking work in low-dose thrombolysis – which uses medications or a minimally invasive procedure to break up blood clots and prevent new clots from forming – as well as his work in endocrine sampling and localization.

Chang has spent "countless" hours in support of patient-specific techniques and patient-specific tools for IR procedures, because he sees the person under the patient's skin. And he has helped many staff members and patients through difficult times with a sense of humor and warm comments that "make him a great intuitive physician and a great man."

"Dr Richard Chang has become synonymous with quality and skilled patient care and federal service in the NIH Clinical Center for almost four decades," said his nominator, Dr. Bradford Wood.

"His selfless and tireless dedication to our patients, our stakeholders, our teams, our researchers, our ICs and our staff has been an inspiration and a motivation for what NIH physician service looks like."

This year, there were two co-selections for the category of Physician Assistant / Nurse Practitioner of the Year

Elaine Cochran, is a pediatric nurse practitioner-advanced diabetes management nurse practitioner for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases' Diabetes, Endocrine and Obesity Branch.

Cochran, one of two certified diabetes educators at NIH, provides superior clinical care and educates pediatric and adult endocrine fellowship trainees. She has been instrumental in running the Blood Glucose Management Service, managing over 200 inpatient consults per year in the Clinical Center. She was key to starting an outpatient diabetes clinic to serve the long-term care needs of Clinical Center patients who develop diabetes due to their underlying conditions or due to treatment of those conditions, filling a critical unmet need of the hospital.

"Elaine has been an advocate for building and strengthening the Blood Glucose Management Service team. This interdisciplinary team does not rotate, providing continuity of care for patients, and patients benefit from the strengthened and diversified team," said her nominator Dr. Rebecca Brown.

"In her role she prevents problems for people with insulin pumps and daily sees errors in insulin ordering and works within the system to make concrete fixes, thus preventing future medical errors."

Stacey Solin, is a certified registered nurse practitioner for the hospital's Internal Medicine Consult Service.

Solin has forged great relationships with collaborating teams, and proactively assesses medical charts to determine if patients have co-morbidities, arranging for appropriate records and labs to be ordered so that when the medical team sees the patient, they're better informed and prepared.

Her work ethic was also cited, relaying that Solin is not directly involved with patient care, she spends much of her time doing continuing medical education, reading up on cases or discussing patient care, demonstrating a commitment to clinical excellence and professionalism.

"Stacey keeps her word and is reliable. Whenever I have asked for her assistance, whether it's following up on a lab result or obtaining outside records, she helps enthusiastically. I know that if she says she will do something, she will do it," said her nominator Dr. Suma Singh. "She deserves recognition for her tremendous work ethic and her steadfast dedication to patient care."

There were two co-selections for the category of Administrator of the Year.

Marcus Means, is the volunteer coordinator and a program analyst for the hospital's Office of Hospitality and Volunteer Services at the NIH Clinical Center.

Means has served as the hospital's volunteer coordinator for five years, managed the program throughout the pandemic, providing valuable guidance to the participants, and increased the number of volunteers from the retiree community.

Means also assists with the four program areas: Hospitality services, the Edmond J. Safra Family Lodge at NIH - which offers a home-like place of respite for families and loved ones of adult patients receiving care at the NIH Clinical Center, the hospital's Patient Library and the Clinical Center's Messenger and Escort Services.

"Marcus' leadership skills allow him to network with many of the departments in the Clinical Center to find volunteer placements. And from networking he has built beautiful long-lasting relationships to sustain the program," said his nominator, Crystal Thomas.

"He is a valuable player on our team as he is the glue that keeps us together and operating."

Dr. Katie Roth Stagliano, is the Deputy Laboratory Chief of the Clinical Center's Department of Laboratory Medicine (DLM).

Stagliano plays a key role in the service that provides lab results for Clinical Center patients, supervising ten direct senior staff reports and more than 200 indirect staff, while helping manage a $40 million budget and ensuring that the Department of Laboratory Medicine continues to operate 24/7 to support the Clinical Center.

Stagliano was cited for creating an atmosphere that encourages bilateral communication, promotes creativity, and develops leaders through mentoring and guidance of staff at all levels. Her work consistently promotes and enhances a culture of high reliability and effectiveness in support of patient safety; she exhibits remarkable skill, efficacy, and compassion in dealing with emergency or critical situations at the Clinical Center and coaches and mentors all levels of staff from senior staff to the most junior with regard to leadership, and professional development showcasing her commitment to their individual success.

"Katie is a transformational leader," said Dr. Adrian M. Zelazny, who serves as chief of DLM's Microbiology Service and was one of seven co-nominators, all from the Department of Laboratory Medicine.

"She has shown remarkable leadership in advising and supporting the Department of Laboratory Medicine Chief as well as the entire staff by creating and implementing strategies related to organizational structure, management, human resources, and team development. Her unrelenting positive energy and compassion, combined with her intuitive ability to navigate complicated problems spanning the breadth of the department, is remarkable."

Know someone who deserves recognition? Find out more about the program and the award criteria (Staff only).

- Donovan Kuehn

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