(MINOT, ND)-Trinity Health has bestowed its highest honor on two members of its medical staff. Paul Olson, MD, and Rajiv Bartaula MD, are the first doctors to receive Trinity’s newly established awards for physician excellence. Dr. Olson was named the 2014 Physician of the Year. Dr. Bartaula received the award for Humanitarian of the Year. Both winners were chosen by employees and peers through a nomination process that drew some 99 submissions.
“This is a tremendous honor for both of these individuals,” said Radiology Medical Director Kenneth Keller, MD, who chairs the Physician Loyalty Team, which proposed the awards and oversaw the selection process. “It honors the work they do on a daily basis – work that typically goes unrecognized.” He noted that both awards are significant because they come from the doctors’ peers and fellow staff members. “We didn’t want this to be a popularity contest, which is why we solicited nominations from Trinity Health employees and medical staff based on specific criteria.”
A longtime physician in Trinity’s Emergency/Trauma Center, Dr. Olson was cited for his kindness, intelligence and being the ultimate team player. “Dr. Olson almost always stays late to go the extra mile for his patients, and he’s willing to help out with even the most minute tasks,” said one nomination entry. Another praised him for staying up-to-date with the latest practices and being a great teacher in his work with resident physicians.
A hospitalist at Trinity Hospital, Dr. Bartaula was cited for his exceptional ability to relate to patients and staff with compassion and respect. “He explains things in words patients can understand,” said one of the entries. “He is an exceptional listener and responsive to the concerns of patients, families and nurses.”
John M. Kutch, President and CEO of Trinity Health, stated: “It’s an honor to congratulate both Dr. Olson and Dr. Bartaula, the inaugural winners of our physician recognition program. They define what we mean when we talk about medical excellence. The fact that both of these professionals consistently go the extra mile for their patients and colleagues says much about their personal character and commitment to Trinity’s healing mission.”
Each doctor received an engraved plaque and a $500 stipend to the charity of their choosing. Dr. Olson directed his stipend to the Trinity Health Foundation, and Dr. Bartaula asked that his be given to Kalix ND, which provides residential and vocational services to people with disabilities.
A graduate of the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City, Dr. Olson completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine Southwest Campus in Bismarck. He is board certified in Family Medicine. Dr. Bartaula received his medical degree from B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences in Nepal and completed his Internal Medicine residency at Staten Island University Hospital in New York. He is board certified in Internal Medicine.