UF W. Martin Smith Interdisciplinary Patient Safety Awards

Smith Award Status
CLOSED FOR SUBMISSIONS: Next Submission Period is JANUARY 1 – March 31, 2025


The University of Florida W. Martin Smith Interdisciplinary Patient Safety Awards Program is cosponsored by the UF College of Medicine Continuing Medical Education and the UF Self-Insurance Program (SIP). This program provides start-up support for faculty and staff to design and implement projects focused on reducing the likelihood of adverse events or claims and/or patient safety and clinical process improvements. Projects selected for funding may also address national initiatives such as the Partnership for Patients, CMS improvement programs, and IHI and NQF initiatives. Topic-specific calls for project proposals will be made by the program periodically, in response to demonstrated quality and safety enhancement opportunities; however, unsolicited applications are also accepted during the open submission period.

Project requirements:

Smith Awards-funded projects must plan and implement clinical education and process improvement initiatives designed to directly improve patient safety and clinical processes that enhance the delivery of care and minimize the opportunity for claims and litigation. In addition, projects must identify at least one additional anticipated objective for results to be shared in a broader peer-reviewed context, e.g., journal publication or presentation to local, national, or international forum. Any published material resulting from the project must be provided to the Smith Awards program.

Special consideration will be given to applications that include the following features:

    1. Interdisciplinary components, including physicians, residents, nurses, and other health care workers.
    2. Applicable across the educational continuum, including faculty, resident, student, and post-graduate continuing medical education components.
    3. Demonstrates sustainability after completion of the project support period and potential for expansion to other locations.
    4. Potential to serve as a foundation for further funded research.

Award amounts:

Most Smith Awards projects will be in the amount of $25,000 or less over the life of the project.

Project duration:

12 to 24 months.


Submit your Smith Award Applications to SIPSmith@sip.ufl.edu during the open submission period from January 1 through March 31 ONLY.  The selection committee meets once a year, winners will be selected and announced during the month of April.  If selected as a winner, the Principal Investigator or designee will be contacted by an Award Program Administrator. 

Award agreement:

Awardees are required to sign an Award Agreement prior to commencing the approved project.

Eligible applicants:

All UF Health providers, hospitals, and clinics are invited to submit applications.

Budget information:

Smith Awards may be used to support a variety of project-related items, including consumables, data analysis, and limited FTE support. They may not be used to offset capital budget expenses or support expenditures which should be submitted through the regular budget process, such as clinical equipment. Awards monies may not be used to support new FTE lines, existing FTE salaries, or ongoing expense commitments that extend beyond the grant period. Awards monies may not be used for indirect costs (IDC). The use of Smith Awards funds will be limited to those expense items listed in the Awards request budget. Proposed Travel budget expenses to conferences should only be budgeted for accepted peer-reviewed activities on completed projects, with the total amount limited to $5,000 or less. It is also important to follow State and UF Travel requirements, which can be found at: http://www.fa.ufl.edu/departments/travel/

IRB submission:

Smith Awards projects will frequently require data collection involving human subjects (e.g., students, residents, faculty, patients, etc.). Human subject research is subject to review and approval by the UF Health Science Center IRB. Unless your submitted proposal meets the definition of a CQI project, Smith Awards projects approved for funding must be reviewed and approved by the IRB prior to initiating the project.

For answers to common questions about “When is CQI Research?” click here: http://irb.ufl.edu/wp-content/uploads/quality-vs-research.pdf

Many projects will likely qualify for either exempt or expedited review by the IRB, which means they can be reviewed by the Chair or Vice Chairs and do not have to be reviewed by the full Board.

To avoid federal regulatory compliance issues, we suggest that the Gainesville campus contact Peter Iafrate, Chair of the IRB-01, at 352-273-9600 or iafrate@ufl.edu and in Jacksonville contact Dr. Wajeeh Bajwa, DRC Research Regulatory Manager – IRB-03, at 904-244- 9478 or wajeeh.bajwa@jax.ufl.edu. They will advise you about which IRB category your project falls into, the proper IRB forms you need to complete, and to whom to submit it to. It is highly recommended that you contact the IRB Chair when you have completed your award proposal, or even before, to get a head start on the IRB process and minimize any potential for delay.

Project reports:

Awardees must provide brief progress updates and a final project report at the end of the project support period. Due dates for progress reports will be determined once IRB approval is obtained. IRB approval is required prior to release of funds (see IRB Submission). Progress report schedules will be provided to you by an Awards Program Administrator once notification has been received that funds are released and available for access. Ongoing funding is contingent on the receipt of these progress reports. Principal Investigators may be required to present project progress at various UF Health enterprise forums. Please submit completed progress reports and any final reports to the responsible contacts noted below.


For more information, please contact Laurie Brown at (352) 273-7006, or email SIPSmith@sip.ufl.edu.

The Gainesville Smith Award recipients for January 2023.

Principal Investigator: Thorsten Haas, MD.

Additional Team Members: Keith A. Howell, MD

Project: Implementation of a Preoperative Anemia Clinic as part of the Patient Blood Management Program at the University of Florida Health in Gainesville, FL.

The Jacksonville Smith Award recipients for January 2023.

Principal Investigator: Bhakti Chourasia, MBBS, MD

Additional Team Members: John D. Davis, MD; Sonia Rivera, BSMT (ASCP); Melodie Logue, MA, CPHQ, CPXP, LSSGB.

Not Pictured: Steven A. Godwin, MD; Agnes Aysola, MD; Dan Bui, BSIE, LSSGB.

Project: Improving Access to Emergency Blood Products for Labor and Delivery

The UF Self-Insurance Program is excited to announce the launch of our Early Reporting UF W. Martin Smith Interdisciplinary Patient Safety Awards Program (Early Reporting Smith Award). The Award recognizes the department with the lowest average report lag time (time from incident to report) and provides start-up monetary support for faculty and staff to design and implement patient safety projects. Studies consistently show the average claim cost (indemnity + expense) increases as the lag time increases. [i] Early reporting also facilitates effective process improvement.

The winners are ….

• Gainesville Smith Award Recipient: Department of Anesthesia

• Jacksonville Smith Award Recipient: Department of OB/GYN

These departments’ potential claims and adverse outcomes resulting in a SIP Investigation had the lowest average report lag among their peer departments, for FY 2019-2020 and FY 2020-2021. SIP applauds these departments for their early reporting practices and is pleased to reward their efforts.

The Gainesville Smith Award recipients for January 2021.

Principal Investigators: Katharina M. Busl, MD, MS, Marc-Alain Babi, MD, Mackenzie Thompson, PA-C, not pictured: Jeannette Hester, MSN RN, their project is titled CODE-Brain – Emergency Neurological Life Support: What to do (and not to do) in the first hour of a neurological emergency.

The Jacksonville Smith Award recipients for January 2021.

Principal Investigators: Thomas Beardsley, MD, Alexandra Mannix, MD, Linda Edwards, MD, Colleen Kalynych, EdD, not pictured: Timothy Bryant, MBA, CPPS, Carmen Smotherman, MS, MPH, their project is titled Utilization of an Escape Room for Teaching Patient Safety.

The Gainesville Smith Award recipients for January 2020.

Principal Investigators: Rosemarie Fernandez, MD, Med, Carolyn K. Holland, MD, MEd, FACEP, FAAP, Caroline Srihari, MD, Henry Young, MD, Mary Patterson, MD, MEd, Tom LeMaster MSN, MEd, RN, Harvey Norton Jr, MSN RN CCRN-K, Oka Wright, RN, Jennifer (Tamara) Boneta, RN, Hiren Mehta, MD, and Brenda Fahy, MD, MCCM, their project is titled SaFE CARE Simulation for Effective COVID Assessment and Response.

The Jacksonville Smith Award recipients for January 2020.

Principal Investigators: Phyllis Hendry, MD, FAAP, FACEP and Shawn Larson, MD, FACS, their project is titled Taking the “Trauma” out of Florida Pediatric Trauma Preparedness and Management: A Multidisciplinary Educational State Initiative.

The Gainesville Smith Award recipients for January 2019.

Principal Investigators: Brenda Fahy MD, MCCM and Mary D Patterson MD, MEd, their project is titled Deploying In Situ Simulation to Improve Team Performance and Identify Safety Threats.

The Jacksonville Smith Award recipients for January 2019.

Principal Investigators: David Chesire, PhD, Carol Diachun, MD, Patrice Jones, DNP, RN, et al., their project is titled Implementing a Second Victim Peer-Counseling Program and Support Group to Provide Behavioral Support to Treatment Team Members Experiencing Adverse Professional Events.

The Smith Award winner for July 2018.

Principal Investigator: Sharon Y. Byun, MD, her project is titled Labor and Delivery Patient Education Video.

The Smith Award winner for January 2018.

Principal Investigator: David Scott Lind, MD, his project is titled VHs in the Operating Room.

The Smith Award winners for January 2017.

Principal Investigators: Carolina Pereira, MD & Andrew C. Schmidt, DO, MPH, their project is titled EMS to ED Handoffs: A Performance Improvement Initiative.

The Smith Award recipients were notified of their acceptance on January 25th, 2016.

Principal Investigator: Azra Bihorac, MD MS, her project is titled Automated algorithm identifies and communicates risk of acute kidney injury among health care providers and patients.

Other Team Members: Ms. Gloria Lipori, UF Health Chief Data Officer
Ms. Margaret Downey, Director, IT Applications
System Development
Dr. Mark Segal, Chief, Division of Nephrology
Mr. Justin West, Surgery
Dr. Stephanie Markle, Surgery

Principal Investigator:  Mariam Louis, MD, her project is titled Minimizing Post-Operative Risk in Patients with Moderate-Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

Other Team Members:
Dr. Gary Loyd: Attending Faculty
Dr. Peggy James: Attending Faculty
Dr. Kristen Vanderhoef: Attending Faculty
Dr. Juan Mora: Resident
Dr. Austin Pulliam: Resident
Dr. Ezekiel Anderson: Resident
Dr. Avinash Ramdass: Fellow, Pulmonary , Critical Care and Sleep Medicine
Mr. Keith Cason: Director, Respiratory Therapy
Ms. Patrice Jones: Vice-President and CNO
Ms. Marilyn Main
Ms. Valerie Platt: Division Director Perioperative Services and Nursing Specialty Services
Dr. Joseph Costa: Associate Dean of Medical Informatics, Epic Support

Smith Award recipients were celebrated at an early breakfast at the UF Continuing Medical Education College of Medicine office September 1, 2015.



Dr. Heather Vincent and Dr. Kalia Sadasivan- Co-Principal Investigators, their project is titled “An Integrated-Delivery-of-Care-Approach to Improve Patient Outcomes, Safety, Well-Being After Orthopaedic Trauma”



Dr. Melanie Hagen, her project is titled “Advanced Directives Completion Rates and an Intervention to Address Health Literacy in a Clinic Population”

Smith Award recipients were celebrated at Self-Insurance Offices January 27, 2015.

Practice Transformation: Improving Quality and Safety Using a Team-Based Care Approach Dr. Christopher Scuderi, Principal Investigator.

Shooting for the Stars: Promoting a Just Culture and Better Communication in Patient Safety: Susan Hendrickson, MHRD/OD, LSSGB, RN, CHPQ, FACHE(PI) and Christine Miller, DPMK, CWS, FACCWS

Medication Reconciliation in Adult and Pediatric Emergency Departments: Erin Wright, Pharm.D., Kara Krzan, Pharm.D., MS (PI), Irfan Nasir, MD

INCPIRE: Incorporating community pharmacy, quality improvement, and meaningful feedback into the ePrescribing process: Ganesh Omjoy, PharmD, PhD and Anzeela Schentrup, PharmD, PhD(PI)

Improving Communication Among Neuromedicine Patients, Families and Healthcare Providers: An Advisory Panel for the Neuromedicine Interdisciplinary Clinical and Academic Program (NICAP) Jacqueline Baron-Lee, PhD(PI)

Smith Award recipients were celebrated at Self-Insurance Offices August 26, 2014.

Reducing 30-Day Neurosurgical Readmissions: A Quality Improvement Initiative: Dr. Daniel Hoh and Dr. Maryam Rahman, Co-Principal Investigators. Pictured (Left to right): Dr. Daniel Hoh and Jacqueline Baron-Lee, PhD

Evaluate, develop, and implement medication safety measures using medication error claim reporting systems and medical records: Natohya Mallory, Pharm.D. BCACP, Principal Investigator. Pictured (Left to right): Natohya Mallory Pharm.D., BCACP, and Karen Malcolm, Pharm.D.

Improving Geriatric Care through Pharmacist-Physician Collaboration with the Medicare Annual Wellness Visit: Karen R. Sando. Pharm.D. BCACP, CDE/Clinical Professor, Principal Investigator. Pictured (left to right): Anzeela Schentrup, Pharm.D., PhD; Karen Sando, Pharm.D. BCACP and Michelle Knight, Pharm.D.

Maximizing the Electronic Health Record to Improve Hospitalized Patient nutrition and Decrease Errors of Omission: Sandra Wolfe Citty, PhD, ARNP-BC, Principal Investigator. Pictured: Sandra Wolfe Citty, PhD, ARNP-BC

Smith Award recipients were celebrated at an early breakfast at the Shands South Tower on Tuesday, January 28, 2014.

Irene M. Estores, MD for her proposal on Introducing an Innovative Mindfulness Training Program to Improve Teamwork Among Interdisciplinary Health Professionals. Co-Investigators: Nancy Lasseter, Ed.S., LMHC; Lauren Arce, MSN, RN, CNL, OCN

Maureen LaTour, MSN, RN, CNL for her proposal on Simulation Team Training for Interdisciplinary Communication in Emergency Pediatric Situations. Co-Investigators: Shelly Collins, MD; Nora Colman, MD; Betty Jax, MSN, ARNP, RN-BC; Kim Mueller, MSN, ACNP-BC

Maureen Novak, MD for her proposal on Enhancing Inter-Professional Learning to Improve Clinical Care and Patient Safety with Technology. Co-Investigators: Karen Sando; Sara Weitzel; Christine Marin

Michael S. Okun, MD for his proposal on Reducing Parkinson’s Disease Related Future Legal Claims and Preventing Future Patient Injuries Through a Real-Time Quality and Safety Assessment Program. Co-Investigators: Chuck Jacobson; Danielle McGee; Chalice Rahl; Janet Romrell, PA; Pam Zeilman, ARNP; Hok Morita,UF Fellow; Vince Sposato; Cyndi Falck

Kristen Vanderhoef, MD & Adrienne Warrick, MD for their proposal on A Pilot Project for Promoting a Culture of Safety Through TeamSTEPPS and Standardization of Central Line Insertion: An Interdisciplinary Grant for the Department of Anesthesiology and Emergency Medicine. Co-Investigators: Joan Sacerio, RN, MHSA, BSN, CHPN; Steven A. Godwin, MD; Michael C. Lewis, MBBS; David A. Caro, MD; Sharon Edmunds, RN; Ronda Williams, Anesthesiology Technician; Cynthia L. Leaphart, MD

Smith Award recipients were celebrated at an early breakfast at the Shands Cancer Center on July 10, 2013.

Julie Greenwalt, MD for proposal on Reducing Errors in Radiation Treatment through the Implementation of Electronic Safety Checklists within the University of Florida Department of Radiation Oncology. Co-Investigators: Anamaria Yeung, M.D.; Chihray Liu, Physicist and Professor of Physics; Kathryn Mittauer, Physics Graduate Student;


Betty Jax, MSN, ARNP, RN-BC for proposal on Expectation Management and Medical Information (EMMI). Co-Investigators: Cathy Zorilo, MSN, RN, ARNP and Eric Rosenberg, M.D., MSPH, FACP;


Peggy Kalynych, RN, MSN, NE-BC for proposal on Patient Comprehension of Discharge Medication Regimen Post Percutaneous Coronary Intervention. Co-Investigators: Ryan Altman, M.D. and Luis Guzman, Medical Director Interventional Cardiology;

Laila Samiian, MD, FACS for proposal on Can Program Development Improve the Quality of Care for Patients with Breast Cancer? Co-Investigators: Jilma Patrick, M.D. and Katherine Puckett, DO.

Smith Award recipients were celebrated at an early breakfast at the UF Continuing Medical Education College of Medicine office on January 28, 2013.



Sharon Byun, MD for proposal on Implementation of Obstetric Emergency Simulation Drills. Co-Investigators: Denise Vonderstrasse, RN Clinical Leader L&D, Janice Mackenzie, RN L&D Nurse Manager, Tammy Euliano, M.D. Chief OB Division, John Davis, M.D. Director GYN Division, Anthony Gregg, M.D. Director Maternal-Fetal Medicine.



Joan Sacerio, RN, MHSA, BSN, CHPN for proposal on Pressure Ulcers: Crisis of Prevention. Co-Investigators: Donna Geiger, RN, CWON, Sandra McDonald, RN, Pt. Safety Officer, Amy Meyer, J.D. SIP Claims Coordinator, Paul Acedera, CPHRM, Orvin Jenkins, SIP Claims Coordinator.



Cynthia Leaphart, MD for proposal on Building Infrastructure to Develop and Promote a Culture of Safety: A Pilot Program for General Surgery Patients. Co-Investigators: Robert Wears, M.D., Dept. of ED; Sandy McDonald, R.N., Patient Safety Officer, Marilyn Main, MSN, Director Peri-operative Services, Danita Burch, MSN, Clinical Education Specialist, Steven Godwin, M.D, ED Director, Daniel Castillo, M.D., Program Director Anesthesiology Residents, Peggy James, M.D., Assoc. Director Anesthesiology Residency, Michael Nussbaum, M.D., Chair Department of Surgery.



Adrienne DeBerry, PharmD for proposal on Impact of Collaborative Care Services for High-Risk Patients after Discharge from a Large Urban Medical Center. Co-Investigators: Billie Nguyen, Pharm.D., Supervisor Ambulatory Pharmacy, Judella Haddad-Lacle, M.D., Assistant Professor, UF College of Pharmacy, Karen Malcolm, Pharm.D., Manager Ambulatory Care, Ly Nguyen, Pharm.D., Clinical Pharmacist, Russell McKelvey, Pharm D., Drug Information Specialist, Julie Ferm, PharmD., Clinical Pharmacist.


Roberto Zori, MD for proposal on Communication Intervention to Improve Patient Experience during a Genetic Counseling Visit: Pre-Visit Video Pilot Project. Co-Investigators: Yulia Strekalova, MBA, COM-Pediatrics/COJ-Health Communication, Laura Fairbrother, MS, CGC, Pediatrics/Genetics.

Smith Award recipients were celebrated at an early breakfast at the UF Continuing Medical Education College of Medicine office on July 10, 2012.


Sandra Sullivan, MD, for proposal on Best Fed Beginnings: A First Step. Co-investigators: Kati S. Harlan, RN, MSN, LHRM; Mary Ryngaert, ARNP, IBCLC; Meredith Mowitz, MD; Brenda Ray, RN, MSN, CNM; Brenda Owens, RN, BSN, IBCLC and Jessica Essex, Mother Representative.


Amy L. Rosenberg, PharmD, BCPS and Erin Jones, PharmD, for proposal on Medication Error Detection by Hospitalized Patients and Analysis of Patient Satisfaction Using a Daily Medication List. Co-investigators: Kathy Gamble, MN, ARNP, CPN; Gale Danek, PhD, RN, NE-BC, DPNAP; Thomas Johns, PharmD, BCPS and Eric Rosenberg, MD, MSPH, FACP.


Colleen Counsell, RN, MSN, for proposal on Management of the Traumatic Brain Injury Patient in Acute Care. Co-investigators: Julie Smith, RN, BSN, PCCN; Donna York, MSN; Latha Stead, MD; Karly L. O’Brien, Pharm.D.; Morgan Soule, MOT, OTR/L; Peggy Guin PhD, ARNP, CNS-BC, CNRN; Susan Currie, RN, BSN, CCRN; George Conol, RN; Amy Fullerton, MA, CCC-SLP; Dorothea Lever, ARNP and Bill Shreve, RN.

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Christopher Jolley, MD, for proposal on Impact of a Structural Support Group on Quality of Life and Disease Course in Teenager with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Co-investigator: Genie Beasley, MD, Medical Fellow.



Lisa M. Jones, MD, for proposal on Implementation of a Protocol for Early Identification and Management of Sepsis, Severe Sepsis/Septic Shock Patients-An Institution-wide Multidisciplinary Collaborative. Co-investigators: Miren Schinco, MD; Abubakr A. Bajwa, MD; Carol Fultz, MSM, NM and Cynthia Gerdik, MBA, RN.

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Robert Leverence, MD, for proposal on Improving Physician/Patient Communication with AIDET (Acknowledge, Introduce, Duration, Explanation, Thanks). Co-investigators: Nila Radhakrishnan, MD; Christine Cassisi, MBA; Anthony Koffman, MHA; Patricia Stamm, MEd and Kasey Barrett.



William L. Titsworth, MD, PhD, for proposal on The Effect of a Pain Management Protocol on Postoperative Neurosurgical Pain. Co-investigators: William A. Friedman, MD; Robert Hurley, MD; Peggy Guin, PhD, ARNP, CNS-BC, CNRN; Jennifer Bushwitz, PharmD and Justine Abram, MSN, RN, CNRN.

Smith Award recipients were celebrated at an early morning breakfast at the Shands Cancer Center on February 10, 2012.



Nicole Paradise Black, MD for proposal on Improving Patient-and Family-Centered Care: A Family Partner for the Inpatient Unit at Shands Hospital for Children at the University of Florida.



Garth Graham, MD, MPH, FACP for proposal on Implementation of a Hospital Based Discharge Intervention to Improve Heart Failure Readmissions. Co-Investigators: Eric I. Rosenberg, MD, MSPH, FACP and Erin L. Jones, Pharm.D.



Stephen R. Grobmyer, MD for proposal on Implementation of a Prospective Quality Assessment Program for the UF-Shands Breast Cancer Program. Co-Investigators: Martha Comstock, ARNP, Stephen Staal, MD, Judith Lightsey, MD, Julia Marshall, MD and Samer Al-Quran, MD.



Linda Le-Wendling, MD for proposal on Venous Air Embolism (VAE): A Widespread and Likely Fatal Complication and the Development of a Multidisciplinary Simulation Model for the Education of the Physiology, Detection and Management of VAE. Co-Investigators: Dietrich Gravenstein, MD, Morgan Mathie, MD, Sem Lampoteng, PhD, F Kayser Enneking, MD and David Lizdas.



Michael E. Mahla, MD and Virginia Pesata, MSN, ARNP, NEA-BC, DPNAP for proposal on Developing a Second Victim Staff Support Pilot Program for the Consequences of Unanticipated Clinical Events.



Christine Van Dillen, MD for proposal on Prehospital Sepsis Recognition.

SaFE CARE: Simulation for Effective Child Assessment and Response in Trauma

Brought to you by the Gainesville Smith Award winners for January 2019.

RESEARCH POSTER – Computable Phenotyping to Identify and Characterize Kidney Health in Adult Hospitalized Patients

Detailed paper can also be found here: https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.03149

Brought to you by the Smith Award winners for January 2016

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