Legacy of Superior Quality Patient Care Lives on in Annual Award
Nominations are Now Being Accepted for the 2023 Award
Some people remember the late Dr. Martin L. Block’s natural ability to engage and inspire audiences. Others recall his knack for simplifying keen industry insights for risk and quality professionals. But most people reminisce about how his passion to improve patient care influenced them.
In the spirit of the RISE mission to encourage continuous improvement in the health care system, The Dr. Martin L. Block Award for Innovation & Excellence is presented to an esteemed nominee each year at RISE National. This prestigious accolade acknowledges an individual’s effort to enhance the lives of America’s seniors through clinical leadership, policy vision and by superior example. Check out the 2022 award ceremony in the video below.
A Dedicated Life and Career
Dr. Block’s focus on delivering quality patient care led him into health care administration early on in his career. As a doctor of 35 years, his dedication to improve medicine fueled his rise among the ranks of several major health plan management companies, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Aetna and United Healthcare. No matter his title – medical director, chief medical officer or vice president of clinical services – he stayed fixated on his mission to improve quality of care, and he worked long hours every day to develop and improve processes that benefit patients and healthcare professionals.
Dr. Block graduated from Northwestern University Medical School with a Doctor of Medicine degree. He completed his internal medicine residency in 1978 at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. He began his private practice in Riverside, CA, where he was active in the medical community. As a certified professional coder, Dr. Block gained critical insights into risk adjustment, quality and outcomes management. He eventually moved to Scottsdale, AZ, and went on to earn several awards for his dedication and passion.
A regular speaker at RISE National, Dr. Block passed away from brain cancer at the age of 62 on Oct. 28, 2013. In recognition of his contributions to innovations in risk adjustment, and to honor his life’s work, the RISE Association, Dr. Block was posthumously recognized with the first Martin L. Block Award in March 2014. His wife, Rita, and daughter, Abbey, accepted the award on his behalf.
The 2022 award recipient is Dr. Tiffany C. Pankow, associate chief medical officer of HonorHealth Medical Group. In her nomination, Dr. Pankow was touted as a strong contender for the award because of her long-standing dedication to excellence, spirit of continuous improvement, and her commitment to equity across HonorHealth, a community-based, nonprofit teaching hospital system that includes six acute care hospitals, HonorHealth Medical Group, a research institute, cancer center, 11 graduate medical education programs, center for nursing education, and a robust community benefit program addressing the social determinants of health.
The 2021 award recipient is Dr. Heather O'Toole, Chief Medical Officer with Innovation Care Partners. In her nomination, Dr. O’Toole was touted as a strong contender for the Dr. Martin L. Block Award because of her long-standing dedication to excellence with her leadership spanning a broad range of colleagues including practicing physicians, care coordinators, and analysts. Dr. O’Toole has made a significant impact in the care of seniors in a relatively short time, working in the areas of palliative care, transitional care management, clinical work groups, and quality metrics in the ambulatory setting.