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Published on September 24, 2021

Cone Health Medical Staff Honors Its 'Health Care Heroes'

The inaugural Bill Bowman Life of Service Award was presented to Dr. Patrick Wright during the second Cone Health Physician Awards. 

Greensboro – Dr. Patrick Wright was honored as the first recipient of the Bill Bowman Life of Service Award. Wright received the honor during the second Cone Health Physician Awards on Thursday night. 

The Bill Bowman Life of Service Award is named for the late general surgeon who also served as an executive at Cone Health. While other awards presented on Thursday were selected by the entire medical staff, the recipient of this lifetime achievement award was selected by the Cone Health Physician Awards Committee. 

Wright was honored for his influential work at Cone Health, including serving as medical director of Cone Health’s Mobile Medicine program and helping to create the hospital system’s monoclonal antibody infusion center, which offers accessible care to patients battling COVID-19, preventing hospitalizations and death. 

“Thank you, Dr. Wright, for being who you are and doing what you do,” said Dr. Matt Manning, Cone Health chief of oncology and chair of the awards committee, during Thursday’s ceremony. “You practice medicine in a way that we all admire and in a way we should aspire to emulate.” 

The Cone Health Physician Awards was created last year to acknowledge the dedicated physicians who have earned the respect and appreciation of the Cone Health Medical and Dental Staff. “The awards help us pause and acknowledge the excellent care provided by our own doctors,” Manning said. “In addition, these awards speak to our committed pursuit of high-quality care, good communication and celebrating the best in each other.” 

A total of 162 physicians and advanced practice providers nominated their peers in the following categories: 

Hospitalist of the Year: Hospitalists are the unsung heroes of medicine. They help manage the acute care of all our patients when they are sick in the hospital. Their work helps the rest of our physicians focus on their clinics and their families. Recipient: Dr. Jeffrey McClung 

Best Consulting Physician: During the complex medical care of patients in the clinic or hospital, sometimes doctors need to request consultation visits from specialists. This category celebrates a consulting physician who is the very best. Recipient: Dr. Robert Buccini 

Innovations in Clinical Care: This category celebrates physicians who are always on the cutting edge of new clinical developments, active in research and promoting new tools for better outcomes. These winners are often luminaries in their specialty nationally and admired by their colleagues in their hospital. Recipient: Dr. Murali Ramaswamy 

Excellence in Quality and Safety: This physician demonstrates an enduring commitment to safety. The quality and safety winner helps co-author our safety protocols and quality improvement work. Recipient: Dr. Edmond Fitzgerald   

APP of the Year: This award celebrates Cone Health’s advanced practice providers. They are physician assistants (PA), nurse practitioners (NP) and clinical pharmacy practitioners (CPP).  All APPs have been heroes through the pandemic, playing a pivotal role in our response to COVID-19. APPs sometimes team up with physicians and sometimes operate independently as circumstances demand. The APP of the year is recognized by the medical staff as the best of the best. Recipient: Lindsey Causey, MSN, APRN 

Physician of the Year: During another unprecedented year in the practice of medicine, some true heroes have emerged to inspire us. The physician of the year represents the best of the best. This year, recipients were selected from across the organization. Recipients: Dr. Courage Emokpae, Hospitalist (Annie Penn); Dr. Ripudeep Rai, Hospitalist (Wesley Long); and Dr. David Joslin, Anesthesiology (Moses H. Cone).