The Dr. Martin L. Block Award for Innovation & Excellence

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. 

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2024 Award Recipient

2024 Dr. Martin L. Block Award Recipient

Dr. Amy Boutwell
Founder and President
Collaborative Healthcare Strategies

The 2024 award recipient is Dr. Amy Boutwell, founder and president of Collaborative Healthcare Strategies. She was chosen for her work and commitment to transform health care delivery, developing models to reduce readmissions, accelerate the development of community hospitals’ ability to transition to value-based payment models, and transform care for multi-visit patients (MVPs) who experience a cycle of recurrent acute care utilization. After accepting the award, Dr. Boutwell said she felt privileged to be honored in Dr. Block's legacy. She described her work in the last 15 years as fun, helping health care teams and those who pay for health care improve the care of people with cognitive impairments and mobility issues. "Every single initiative starts with a team," she said, adding that she believes health care transformation occurs from cross-continuum team providers and those who share in their care.

Past Award Recipients

  • 2023: Elizabeth Haynes, Director of Risk Adjustment and Stars for Government Programs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City (BlueKC)
  • 2022: Dr. Tiffany C Pankow, Associate Chief Medical Officer, HonorHealth Medical Group
  • 2021: Dr. Heather O'Toole, Chief Medical Officer, Innovation Care Partners
  • 2020: Frontline Workers Who Died During the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • 2019: Mark Dambro, M.D., Senior Vice President of Health Informatics, Signify Health 
  • 2018: Dr. Manjusri Vennamaneni, Chief Medical Director and Chief Quality Director, Access Health Care Physicians, LLC
  • 2017: Michelle Lupoli, RN
  • 2016: Dr. John Broderick
  • 2015: Dr. James M. Taylor
  • 2014: Dr. Martin L. Block

The RISE Health Care Hero Award

RISE is pleased to present the RISE Health Care Hero Award to an esteemed nominee who has made a significant impact on the lives of underserved populations through health care and/or social services interventions, and through superior example of the RISE mission to promote health equity among all patients.

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Health Care Hero Award Winner

2024 Health Care Hero Award Recipient

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche Etheridge
Primary Care Provider and Assistant Professor
Meharry Medical College
Sr. VP Health Equity and Diversity Initiatives

Dr. Kimberlee Wyche Etheridge, Primary Care Provider and Assistant Professor at Meharry Medical College, and Sr. VP Health Equity and Diversity Initiatives at ASTHO, is the 2024 RISE Health Care Hero Award recipient. Dr. Etheridge’s nomination highlighted just how extensive her work to support underserved populations has been over the years: a fatherhood program as a maternal health initiative to address the absence of fathers in the most at-risk households; state-policy work to positively impact health equity; the establishment of a health equity training certificate and lectures across the country; community health events connecting medical students with the community members who may one day be their patients; the establishment of the GIRLS powered by STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Arts/Math) program to introduce and keep girls of color interested in math, science, and art in middle school and high school; and the Teens to Queens program, a workshop for girls and their maternal figures to learn to communicate, dream, and understand their health. 

Past Award Recipients

  • 2023: Rick Whitted, CEO, U.S. Hunger
  • 2022: Mariam Merced, MA, Director, RWJUH Community Health Promotions, New Brunswick, Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Health

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