2014 Awardees

Please help us acknowledge and honor the outstanding work of UF Health Shands cancer clinical care givers, researchers and educators! Below are the 2014 award winners.

2014 Award Winners

Golden Glove Award:


Helen Welsh, R.N.

The Golden Glove Award honored Helen Welsh, R.N. Welsh is described as promoting a cohesive team atmosphere and expecting nothing but the best from her 8 East staff, which includes the highest standards of care. Her dedication to quality has been demonstrated by numerous nationally-recognized awards, including her team’s recognition as being among the top 10 percent in the nation for inpatient satisfaction. Colleagues described Welsh as a person of integrity, an outstanding leader, mentor, and manager of one of the most challenging units in the hospital. She is also visible and approachable. Staff and patients step into her office to visit or to seek a strong shoulder or sympathetic ear. Her staff say she is their biggest cheerleader, and that she is compassionate and dedicated. Welsh was recognized with a plaque and $1,000 in professional development and/or program support.



Bench to Bedside Award:

Celebration of Excellence_LB_IMG_8206

Sadasivan Vidyasagar, M.D., Ph.D.

Sadasivan Vidyasagar, M.D., Ph.D., is the winner of the Bench to Bedside Award. He was instrumental in the discovery and product development of Enterade, which reduces the side effects of radiation treatment by helping the body more rapidly rehydrate. One nominator noted Vidyasagar as a great humanitarian due to his effort to educate parents in three villages in Bangladesh on holistic ways to keep children hydrated during bouts of diarrheal disease. This parent education led to a reduction in infant mortality from an average of four infant deaths each month to none. The World Health Organization and the American Red Cross have expressed interest in partnering with him to advance these efforts in other communities with high rates of infant diarrheal mortality. Vidyasagar is currently partnering with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation to develop new and innovative ways to treat the disease. His achievement was acknowledged with a plaque and $2,500 for professional development and/or program support.


Mentoring Outside the Box Award:

Xin (Cindy) Qi, Ph.D.

This year’s Mentoring Outside the Box Award honored Xin (Cindy) Qi, Ph.D., for inspiring her students to use their talents to the best of their capacity. One student said Qi teaches in terms of familiarizing students to operate various instruments and hands-on biological and chemical procedures. Her warm and genuine personality, commitment to her research, and teaching style inspire her students. She teaches her students practical lab and research skills but also fosters independent thinking and self-direction, according to one nominator. Another nominator wrote, “I found myself immediately immersed in the research, since she is exceedingly hands-on with her students. When I talk to my undergrad peers who also perform research, they are surprised to hear how much time my P.I. invests in me.” Qi was recognized with a plaque and $1,000 for professional development and/or program support.


MVP Award:

Craig H. Fletcher, M.D.

Craig H. Fletcher, M.D.

Craig H. Fletcher, M.D., was awarded the MVP Award. One nominator wrote that his open mindedness and progressive thinking is instrumental in significant changes that improve patient care by initiating new processes and streamlining old ones. The nominator wrote, “I have never nominated anyone for this award but when I received this email I just felt compelled to complete this nomination form for a person I feel exceeds in every aspect of his job. He has made a profound contribution to the department of pathology and to transfusion medicine.” Fletcher has been proactive in educating residents and teaching them how to deal with real-life scenarios. Another nominator described Fletcher as loving any opportunity to help others and always being available to guide faculty and house staff in the often difficult task of ordering the appropriate blood products and clinical tests. Fletcher was recognized with a plaque and $1,500 in professional development and/or program support.


Top Team Effort Award:

Phillip Pirgousis, M.D., D.M.D.,O.M.S., and Rui P. Fernandes, M.D., D.M.D., FACS

Phillip Pirgousis, M.D., D.M.D.,O.M.S., and Rui P. Fernandes, M.D., D.M.D., FACS

The Top Team Effort Award is meant to reward work groups for achieving challenging goals and making significant, positive impact on organizational business, research and/or patient care objectives. UF Health Jacksonville’s Head and Neck Cancer Program, led by Rui P. Fernandes, M.D., D.M.D., FACS, was honored with this year’s award. The team is recognized for its excellence in patient care and one that draws patients from across the nation. They meet weekly to discuss cancer patients’ care and treatment plans, including specialists from surgery, radiology, radiation oncology, pathology, and basic researchers. Each member of the team is passionate about their patients. Their dedication to patient care has been recognized by Dr. David Guzick, UF Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and President of UF Health. Team members include: Phillip Pirgousis, Curtis Bryant, William Mendenhall, Nelson C. Goldman, Roi Dagan, Carmela L. Monteiro, Robert Malyapa, Sukhwinder J. Sandhu, Lara Zuberi, Sarah Reising, Stephanie L. Davis, and Nauman Nisar.



UF College of Medicine Superior Accomplishment Award:

Wendy Malorzo

Wendy Malorzo, Senior Grant Specialist

Wendy Malorzo, UF Health Cancer Center senior grant specialist, was honored with a University of Florida 2013-2014 Superior Accomplishment Award. The award recognizes faculty and staff who have shown efficiency or economy in their work, have contributed outstanding and meritorious service, or who have improved the quality of life provided to students and employees. Each winner was nominated by supervisors, peers and customers who wrote glowing letters of recommendation on their behalf. She was awarded $200, a framed certificate and a commemorative coffee mug, and will be considered for university-level awards.

View last year’s winners!

To view more photos from the Celebration of Excellence award ceremony, click below.