Skip to main content

Internal Medicine Shines at SOM Alumni Awards

Dr. David Bjorkman and Dr. Valerie Vaughn Received Awards at SOM Alumni Awards

The Distinguished Alumni Award and the Golden Anniversary Clinical Investigation Award given by the Spencer Fox Eccles School of Medicine recognize individuals whose outstanding contributions have left an indelible mark on medicine. In this article, we celebrate the remarkable achievements of Dr. David Bjorkman, the former Interim Department Chair of Internal Medicine, who received the Distinguished Alumni Award, and Dr. Valerie Vaughn, who was honored with the Golden Anniversary Clinical Investigation Award. Their dedication, passion, and commitment to advancing healthcare have made them true luminaries in the medical community and the Department of Internal Medicine.

Dr. David Bjorkman, a distinguished figure in the world of medicine, recently received the coveted Distinguished Alumni Award for his exceptional contributions to the field of internal medicine. His journey to this prestigious award is a testament to his unwavering dedication and tireless commitment to improving healthcare. 

Dr Bjorkman was Dean of the School of Medicine from 2004-2011. He left the University in 2001 to become Dean of the College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. Dr Bjorkman returned in 2016 as Professor in Gastroenterology. He took an active role as Interim Chair for the Department of Internal Medicine, helping expand our clinical, research, and educational missions while supporting and encouraging more faculty-led and staff-led initiatives. Dr. Bjorkman had nearly 40 years of service under his belt when he retired in 2020.

Dr. Valerie Vaughn's exemplary work has earned her the Golden Anniversary Clinical Investigation Award, a testament to her unwavering commitment to advancing healthcare through rigorous scientific inquiry. A relentless pursuit of excellence marks Dr. Vaughn's journey in the medical field. 

Dr. Vaughn is a practicing hospitalist, an Assistant Professor of Medicine (tenure track), and the Director of Hospital Medicine Research in the Division of General Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine. Her research focuses on improving the safety of hospitalized patients with joint infections, particularly pneumonia and urinary tract infections. She also serves as hospitalist lead for the Antimicrobial Use Initiative within the Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium (HMS), which helps hospitals use their data to improve the care of patients with infection. As Director of Hospital Medicine research at the University of Utah, Dr. Vaughn runs the Utah Quality Advancement Laboratory (UQuAL), which includes a research mentorship program, UQuAL Scholars, to improve the care of hospitalized patients.

The Distinguished Alumni Award and the Golden Anniversary Clinical Investigation Award are prestigious honors that celebrate excellence in the medical field. Dr. David Bjorkman and Dr. Valerie Vaughn, the recipients of these awards, are shining examples of individuals whose dedication, passion, and commitment have advanced healthcare and improved the lives of countless patients.