We are delighted to announce that two of our physicians will be recognized for their exceptional level of service and professionalism by receiving the distinguished Armstrong Awards for Excellence in Quality and Safety and Excellence in Service and Professionalism. 

Armstrong Award for Excellence in the Quality and Safety Award

Dr. Clarita G. Frazier Dawson is a clinical associate at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Division Chief at Howard County Medical Center. 

She earned her M.D. from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She completed her residency at Tufts-New England Medical Center and performed a fellowship in anesthesiology at Brigham and Women’s University.

When a patient’s treatment requires the administration of opioids at the hospital, crucial safety protocols come into play. A study conducted by Clarita Dawson helps identify potential at-risk populations for opioid overdose. Examining naloxone use monthly in various clinical departments will help practitioners at Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center understand how to modify prescribing practices, thereby improving the safety profile of opioid use.

The study, which began in 2019, captures information on all patients who received naloxone within 24 hours of facility-administered opioids. Analysis of this infrequent event attempts to identify patient-specific factors that may affect opioid absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. This proactive approach includes presenting data and providing education to the medical staff not only about the properties of various opioid formulations but also about nonpharmacologic analgesic management alternatives with comparative opioid potency. Continued focused review of naloxone administration identifies educational opportunities that will improve patient outcomes.

Excellence in Service and Professionalism Award

Dr. Samuel Vanderhoek is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is an attending anesthesiologist at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and he provides anesthesia in the pediatric operating rooms and sees patients in the pre-operative clinic. He is also a member of the pediatric liver transplant anesthesia team.

Dr. Vanderhoek received his medical degree from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and he completed his residency in anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital, followed by a fellowship in pediatric anesthesia at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is board-certified in both anesthesiology and pediatric anesthesiology.

Samuel Vanderhoek specializes in providing anesthesia and care for infants, children, and adolescents during and after surgery. As director of pediatric perioperative ambulatory services, Dr. Vanderhoek developed the Johns Hopkins Health Care and Surgery Center at Green Spring Station in Lutherville, Maryland, to be a premier surgery center for children in the region. He has worked collaboratively with each surgical division at the surgery center, and he helped spearhead the development of a database with successful anesthetics. In addition, he developed a preoperative screening program that enables practitioners from the anesthesia department to review every chart for each patient to help ensure appropriate work-up is conducted and avoid last-minute cancellations. These protocols and guidelines help make anesthesia care safer and more efficient.

Dr. Vanderhoek is also a mentor and the coordinator for anesthesia for residents moving through their pediatric anesthesia rotation. The love of his work permeates his practice as a clinical physician, researcher, and teacher. His strong leadership skills set a framework and improved the quality of care provided to pediatric patients.

Congratulations Clarita and Sam – we are so proud of you and your accomplishments.