Brittney Bernardoni and Hani Kuttab receive 2024 UW Health Physician Excellence Awards

Dr. Brittney Bernardoni (left) and Dr. Hani Kuttab were honored at the UW Health Physician Excellence Awards Ceremony on May 15. (John Maniaci / UW Health)

Two BerbeeWalsh Department of Emergency Medicine faculty were among those honored at this year’s UW Health Physician Excellence Awards ceremony, held May 15, 2024, in Madison. The prestigious, peer-nominated awards recognize physicians who demonstrate exceptional skills in clinical practice, education, leadership or regional services and a commitment to the institution’s mission, vision and values.

Brittney Bernardoni, MD – Rising Star Leadership Excellence Award

Dr. Brittney Bernardoni’s visionary leadership has advanced patient care and has grown UW Health’s reputation as a recognized destination for multidisciplinary critical care providers. She joined UW Health in 2021 as an emergency intensivist and not long after, she was promoted to Assistant Medical Director for Quality for Med Flight.

Dr. Bernardoni has built a nationally respected quality improvement program for Med Flight that includes formal peer review—something that is quite rare. And, she has catapulted UW Health’s reputation as a national center for ECMO life-support technology – saving some of UW Health’s sickest patients.

A strong fellowship program is essential for recruiting outstanding intensivists, and Dr. Bernardoni led a herculean effort to launch a two-year Emergency Medicine–Anesthesia Critical Care fellowship and now serves as Associate Program Director.

As Dr. Andrew Cathers shared: “I have not met another physician who has a comparable combination of clinical excellence as well as administrative and leadership skill.”

Hani Kuttab, MD – Rising Star Clinical Practice Excellence Award

Dr. Hani Kuttab was a standout clinician from the early stages of his emergency ultrasound fellowship with the Department of Emergency Medicine. He joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor and Assistant Ultrasound Director in 2020 and became Medical Director of East Madison Hospital Emergency Department three years later.

Dr. Kuttab has transformed the clinical experience for patients living with sickle cell disease. The inherited blood disorder affects 8-10% of African Americans and causes intense flare-ups of pain that often require emergency care.

To address delays in care, Dr. Kuttab led a multidisciplinary team in creating individual pain management plans easily accessed in each patient’s electronic health record and launched a Rapid ED Pain Management Plan. To reduce bias and stigma, he coordinated the grand round presentation “Humanizing Medicine: Learning from Patients with Sickle Cell Disease.” His gift for making people feel seen and supported has made him an extraordinary agent for change.

This year marks the 14th annual Physician Excellence Awards at UW Health.