Nominations are now open for RISE’s annual Martin L. Block Award for Innovation & Excellence. RISE’s highest honor recognizes excellence and clinical leaders’ passion to improve patient care.

The annual award is dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Martin L. Block who made it his mission throughout his career to improve the delivery of quality patient care.

This prestigious award acknowledges an individual’s effort to enhance the lives of America’s seniors through clinical leadership, policy vision, and by superior example of RISE’s mission to promote continuous improvement in the health care system.

Eligible nominees:

  • Must work within the clinical field as either an MD, NP, RN, PA, DO, or otherwise clinically credentialed
  • May work for a health plan, provider organization, accountable care organization, or a vendor-supplier to the health care marketplace
  • Must have fulfilled one of the following criteria: Contributed to significant process improvement in the care of seniors and/or dedicated more than 10 years to exemplary work in this industry

The nomination form (click here and scroll to the bottom of the page) must be filled out completely with necessary documentation by December 31, 2021 in order to be considered by the committee. The award will be presented at RISE National 2022 on March 7-9, 2022 in Nashville.

Past award winners

Previous award winners include Dr. Heather O'Toole, chief medical officer with Innovation Care Partners; Mark Dambro, M.D., senior vice president of health informatics for Signify Health; Dr. Manjusri Vennamaneni, chief medical director and chief quality director for Access Health Care Physicians, LLC.; Michelle Lupoli, R.N. vice president of medical management for Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island; and Dr. John Broderick, regional medical director of Landmark Health.

In 2020, as we faced the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, RISE decided to waive the traditional criteria of the Block award and dedicated it in honor of health care professionals who contracted and died from COVID-19.

About the Dr. Martin L. Block Award

The award is given in honor of the late Dr. Martin Block, pictured right, a regular speaker at RISE National (formerly known as RISE Nashville), and an expert in the risk adjustment industry who had a natural ability to engage and inspire audiences and a passion to improve patient care.

Dr. Block, or Marty, 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 and began his private practice in Riverside, Calif., where he was active in the medical community.

Dr. Block’s focus on delivering quality patient care led him into healthcare 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.

As a certified professional coder, Dr. Block gained critical insights into risk adjustment, quality, and outcomes management. He eventually moved to Scottsdale, Ariz., and went on to earn several awards for his dedication and passion.

Dr. Block died in October 2013 of brain cancer at the age of 62. In recognition of his contributions to innovations in risk adjustment, and to honor his life’s work, the RISE Association named the award in his honor and posthumously recognized him with the first Martin L. Block Award in March 2014.