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2019 Advocacy Award Winners

ACCE 2019 Tom O’Dea Advocacy Award

​The award is given to an individual who has written articles, given presentations, or led efforts that have advanced the field of CE – particularly in promoting the profession to people in other related fields.


Axel Wirth, CPHIMS, CISSP, HCISPP

​The award winner is Axel Wirth, CPHIMS, CISSP, HCISPP, for being an advocate and spokesperson for medical device cybersecurity in our community. He has also been a major contributor to and promoter of ACCE activities. He has been speaker at several ACCE symposiums and educational sessions.

As Solutions Architect, Axel Wirth provides strategic vision and technical leadership within Symantec's Healthcare Vertical, serving in a consultative role to healthcare providers, industry partners, and health technology professionals.
 
Drawing from over 30 years of international experience in the industry, Mr. Wirth is supporting Symantec's healthcare customers to solve their critical security, privacy, compliance, and IT management challenges. He is an active participant in industry organizations and a frequent speaker at conferences, forums, and webcasts on subjects such as cybersecurity, medical device security, mobile health infrastructure, compliance automation, IT infrastructure optimization, and other healthcare-specific topics.
 
In recognition of his accomplishments, Wirth has been awarded the "2018 ACCE/HIMSS Excellence in Clinical Engineering & IT Synergies Award".
 
His extensive background in the healthcare IT and medical device industries includes engineering leadership as well as strategic business development and marketing roles with Siemens Medical, Analogic Corp., Mitra Inc., Agfa Healthcare, and currently Symantec Corp. His education includes a BS Electrical Engineering degree (EE) from the University of Applied Sciences, Düsseldorf (Germany) and an MS Engineering Management degree (MSEM) from The Gordon Institute of Tufts University.

ACCE 2019 Challenge Award

​This award honors individuals who are not presently an ACCE member, but are eligible for membership, for their achievements within the field of clinical engineering (CE) / health technology management (HTM).


Katelyn Bittleman, PhD

​The Award winner is Katelyn Bittleman, PhD.

Katelyn Bittleman, PhD, is a consumer safety officer at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH).  Soon after joining FDA, she was put in charge of the workgroup responsible for reviewing the comments received on the controversial issue of Servicing of Medical Devices Performed by Third-Party Entities and Original Equipment Manufacturers, as well as the presentations and verbal inputs received during the FDA Public Workshop in 2016.
 
The workgroup led by Dr. Bittleman reviewed systematically, rigorously and impartially all the comments and data provided by the stakeholders and produced a report mandated by the Food and Drug Administration Reauthorization Act (FDARA) of 2017.  This report was extremely impactful for the clinical engineering community because it stated that "the currently available objective evidence is not sufficient to conclude whether or not there is a widespread public health concern related to servicing, including by third party servicers, of medical devices that would justify imposing additional/different, burdensome regulatory requirements at this time." Furthermore, it declared "...the objective evidence indicates that many OEMs and third-party entities provide high quality, safe, and effective servicing of medical devices." Finally, it affirmed "the continued availability of third-party entities to service and repair medical devices is critical to the functioning of the U.S. healthcare system."
 
Without the firm and courageous leadership of Dr. Bittleman, it would have been impossible to produce such an honest and objective report—despite the intense political pressure exercised by some manufacturers and their associations. 
 
Katelyn Bittleman earned a bachelor's degree in Bioengineering from the State University of New York at Binghamton and a doctor of philosophy in Biomedical Engineering from Virginia Tech-Wake Forest University.

ACCE 2019 Lifetime Achievement Awards

​This award is the highest award given by ACCE. It is presented annually to a single individual based on lifelong accomplishments and contributions to the clinical engineering (CE) profession.


Matthew F. Baretich, P.E., Ph.D

​The 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Matthew F. Baretich, P.E., Ph.D. He is president of Baretich Engineering, Inc., in Fort Collins, Colorado. Baretich Engineering provides clinical engineering and forensic engineering services across the United States.

Before starting Baretich Engineering in 1997, Matt worked as a clinical engineer for Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters (Norfolk, Virginia) and the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Denver). He has also conducted health services research at the University of Iowa (Iowa City).
 
Dr. Baretich holds a Ph.D. in Hospital and Health Administration (1986), an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering (1977), and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering (1975). He is a licensed professional engineer (P.E.). He is also a Certified Clinical Engineer (CCE), a Certified Healthcare Facilities Management (CHFM), a Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM), and a Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS).

Dr. Baretich is a founder, past-president, and Fellow of the American College of Clinical Engineering, a Fellow of the American Society for Healthcare Engineering, and a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering. He was the recipient of the AAMI 2017 HTM Leadership Award and the ACCE 2008 Marvin D. Shepherd Patient Safety Award.
 
Recent major publications include the AEM Program Guide: Alternative PM for Patient Safety (AAMI 2018), Computerized Maintenance Management Systems for Healthcare Technology Management (with Ted Cohen, AAMI 2017), and the Electrical Safety Manual (AAMI 2015). He is working on the HTM Service Guide (AAMI) and a book on mitigating and managing medical equipment-related incidents (Elsevier).

ACCE/HTF 2019 Marv Shepherd Patient Safety Award

​This joint award from ACCE and Healthcare Technology Foundation (HTF) will be bestowed on a single individual or one entity who has excelled in the "safety" area related to the CE field. Potential awardees could be a national investigator of accidents, an inventor of a safety device, or an author of books on medical device hazards, etc.


​The award winner is the Department of Veterans Affairs, a team of Biomedical Engineers from the Center for Engineering & Occupational Safety and Health (CEOSH), National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) and the Office of Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) that led the effort to create the Veteran's Health Administration (VHA) Medical Device Incident Investigation (MDII) Guidebook. The team was co-led by Katrina Jacobs and Shelly Crisler who worked diligently on this project and the guidebook was published by VHA on August 30, 2018.  The purpose of the guidebook is to ensure that VHA personnel can organize an effective rapid response to any medical device incident, preserve evidence, and capture detailed information such that it can be analyzed and understood, so appropriate action can be developed for improving patient safety across the health care enterprise.

The comprehensive guidebook includes 8 chapters which include the following:  
  1. Overview
  2. Background
  3. Policies and procedures
  4. Critical Steps for Conducting a Medical Device Incident investigation
  5. Reporting Medical Device incidents
  6. When to involve others
  7. Lessons learned
  8. Incident Response Preparedness
See section reference https://accenet.org/publications/Pages/ReferenceMaterials.aspx for a copy of the guidebook.

ACCE 2019 Professional Achievement in Management/Managerial Excellence Award

​The award is given to an individual for his/her contributions to the CE profession of a managerial nature, such as a paper of significance, solving of a problem or issue for the profession, or the application of new techniques to CE with measurable positive results.


Kimberly Sekiya, CHTM, CHFM

​The award winner is Kimberly Sekiya, CHTM, CHFM.

Ms. Sekiya has dedicated her 30-year Biomedical Engineering career to serving our nation's veterans through various positions with the Department of Veterans Affairs. She currently serves as the VISN 4 Healthcare Technology Manager providing guidance and oversight on healthcare technology and Biomedical Engineering program management to regional and national leadership as well as to the nine VISN 4 medical centers.
 
Ms. Sekiya has provided significant leadership and involvement in multiple national VHA Office of Healthcare Technology Management (HTM) initiatives and projects. For the past four years, she has served as Chair of the VA-Medical Device Nomenclature System and is considered the primary voice of this initiative for VA. In this role, she has served as a consultant for Indian Health Service, Department of Defense and FDA. Additionally, Ms. Sekiya is continuously seeking ways to utilize this project to improve healthcare technology management nationally.
 
Within her own VISN, Ms. Sekiya's record of performance is proven through the various key performance indicators and TJC surveys for the nine facilities she supports. Her region has some of the highest achievement for Biomedical Engineering Operations in VHA in all areas – standardized nomenclature, medical device security, customer satisfaction and patient safety. This is a direct correlation to her dedication in supporting her staff and her ability to use management skills to set objectives and deliverables that support operations. Each of her facilities has expressed to the VHA HTM Program Office their gratefulness for her leadership and support. It is for this reason that Ms. Sekiya has twice been named VHA Biomedical Engineer of the Year 0 the first person to do so in VA history.

ACCE 2019 Professional Achievement in Technology/Professional Development Award

​This award is given to an individual for his/her contributions to the CE profession of a professional or technical nature, such as research or development of a new technique or product, a paper of significance on a technical issue, or "trailblazing" work in a new application of clinical engineering.


Samantha Jacques, PhD, FACHE

​The winner is Samantha Jacques, PhD, FACHE, for being an outstanding thought leader for the healthcare technology management community throughout her career.

As from her nomination While serving as Director of Biomedical Engineering at Texas Children's Hospital, she led the organization's Alarm Management Committee in efforts to adopt new technologies that contributed to a patient-centered approach to clinical alarm management. For this work, she and her team were awarded the 2015 AAMI Foundation and Institute for Technology in Health Care Clinical Solution Award.
 
Already in her short tenure as Director of Clinical Engineering for Penn State Health System, she used her leadership skills to bring several stakeholders together in efforts to synchronize capital spending and projects across different functional departments (Clinical Engineering, IT, Facilities, etc...).

Samantha is an internationally recognized leader in the clinical engineering community. She continues to contribute to organizations outside of her work when not "on the job," showing an incredible commitment to the profession and the advocacy for our field.
Samantha Jacques, PhD, FACHE has been the Penn State Health System Director of Clinical Engineering for the past three years. This non-profit IDN consists of an Academic Medical Center, Children's Hospital, Cancer Center, and Community Hospital, and over 80 academic and community practices across central Pennsylvania. She is in the process of building a second community hospital and conducts all the merger and acquisition activity for the system.
 
She holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, is a Board Member of the American College of Clinical Engineering and a Fellow at the American College of Healthcare Executives. She writes standards with AAMI and works with the FDA to provide guidance on a wide range of medical equipment and cybersecurity issues. Prior to Penn State Health, she was Director of Biomedical Engineering at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston, TX for several years. She is currently finishing a book entitled “Introduction to Clinical Engineering” she is co-publishing with Barbara Christie that should be out next year.

ACCE 2019 CE and HTM Champion Award

​This Award is given to a health delivery system leader - typically a physician - who has championed CE and Health Technology Management-HTM in a manner that has significantly enhanced the status of the profession either in the U.S. and/or around the world.


Julian Goldman, MD

​The 2019 CE- HTM Champion Award winner is Julian Goldman, MD.

Julian Goldman, MD is an anesthesiologist at the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Medical Director of Biomedical Engineering for the Partners HealthCare System, and Director of the Program on Medical Device Interoperability and Cybersecurity (MD PnP) at MGH.
 
Dr. Goldman received clinical anesthesia and medical device informatics training at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, and is Board Certified in Anesthesiology and Clinical Informatics.  He served as a principal anesthesiologist in the MGH "OR of the Future," a multi-specialty operating room that served as a clinical testbed for diverse technologies and clinical practices. The success of the OR of the Future was based on the close collaboration of clinical engineers, clinicians, and manufacturers. In his role as Medical Director of Partners BME, Dr. Goldman bridges clinical and technical perspectives to support the strategic procurement and safe implementation of medical technology.
 
In 2004 Dr. Goldman founded the MD PnP program at MGH to improve patient safety by leveraging interoperability to accelerate innovation. The MD PnP team includes biomedical engineers, computer scientists, clinicians, technologists, and experts in regulation and patient safety. The newly expanded MD PnP Lab provides a pre-clinical virtual hospital "sandbox" for interoperability and cybersecurity research and testing, in collaboration with hospitals, the government and industry partners.
 
Dr. Goldman was a Visiting Scholar in the FDA Medical Device Fellowship Program and a chief medical officer of a medical device company. He serves in leadership roles in medical device standardization committees, including AAMI, ISO, and IEC, and is an Associate Editor of ACM Transactions on Computing for Healthcare.

2019 Antonio Hernandez International Clinical Engineering Award


Elliot Vernet

​The award winner is Elliot Vernet for his leadership at the Mexican Society of Biomedical Engineering -SOMIB and region.

Elliot Vernet earn a biomedical engineering degree with specialization in clinical engineering (CE) from the prestigious Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City. Mr. Vernet currently works as a CE professional. He is the founder of 310MED, medical equipment service company, that provides third-party CE service to a statewide public health institution (ISSSTESON). Mr. Elliot Vernet also works as a professor in CE at the Sonoran State University (Universidad Estatal de Sonora).
 
Mr. Vernet is past-president (2014-2017) of the Mexican Society of Biomedical Engineering (Sociedad Mexicana de Ingeniería Biomédica – SOMIB). During his tenure, he managed to revive and expand SOMIB making it the premier organization for biomedical engineering professionals in Mexico. Since 2014, SOMIB consistently hosted dozens of professionals and hundreds of students, as well as international experts, in their annual national congress. While SOMIB has many members that work in academia and biomedical research, a sizeable portion of its members are CE professionals like Mr. Vernet himself. Therefore, it is not surprising that under his leadership, SOMIB has now a strong, dedicated CE Committee and a focus track in its annual Congress.
 
In recognition for his leadership at SOMIB, Mr. Vernet has been elected Mexican representative to the International Federation of Medical and Biological Engineering (IFMBE) and secretary of the Regional Council of Biomedical Engineering for Latin America (CORAL).
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