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Awards Program

Awards Program

Call for Awards Nominations

Take time today to nominate worthy recipients.

Our members are heroes every day, not just during a pandemic. We know that you are busy doing extraordinary things serving the house of medicine and improving the health of Washingtonians. Through the WSMA’s Apple Awards and William O. Robertson, MD, Patient Safety Award, we’ll recognize worthy winners for leadership, advocacy, service and patient safety.

It’s easy to make a nomination. Simply go to the links noted below to find out more and complete your nominations before the June 30 deadline. The awards will be presented during the WSMA House of Delegates Annual Meeting in September.

  • President’s Unsung Hero Award: This award recognizes the WSMA member who contributes extraordinary service to the profession and community. Visit:
  • Community Advocate Award: This award recognizes a member of the community who provides extraordinary support to, and advocacy for, the house of medicine. Visit
  • Early Career Member of the Year Award: This award recognizes a WSMA member for their service to the early career sections through mentorship, advocacy, support, and active participation with the early career members. Visit
  • Grassroots Advocate Award(s): This award recognizes WSMA member efforts and activities in supporting WSMA legislative priorities. Visit
  • Wellness Award: This award recognizes an organization that has worked to put the joy back in medicine for Washington physicians. Visit
  • William O. Robertson, MD, Patient Safety Award: This award recognizes patient safety initiatives pioneered in ambulatory care settings throughout Washington state. Visit

Questions? Email Milana McLead at

2019 Apple Award Winners

The 2019 Apple Award winners were recognized at the WSMA Annual Meeting on Oct. 12, 2019 in SeaTac.

This year's winners are:

Darryl Potyk, MD, Spokane internist, received the President's Unsung Hero Award, which recognizes the WSMA member who offers extraordinary service to the profession to make Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care. Dr. Potyk is the chief of medical education for UW School of Medicine-Gonzaga University Regional Health Partnership and associate dean for Eastern Washington for the UW School of Medicine.

Matthew Grierson, MD, Seattle physiatrist, received the Early Career Member of the Year Award, which recognizes a WSMA member for their service to the association's early career members (physicians in their first 10 years of practice, resident physicians, and medical students). Dr. Grierson practices at the Seattle Spine & Sports Medicine clinic.

Five WSMA members received the Grassroots Advocate Award, which recognizes their advocacy efforts and activities supporting WSMA legislative priorities. They include:

Avanti Bergquist, MD, Bellevue psychiatrist, for her support of mental health priorities.

James Burkman, MD, Seattle anesthesiologist, for his work helping the association find a solution protecting patients from unnecessary balance bills.

Lucinda Grande, MD, Olympia family physician, for her advocacy around opioid use disorder treatment.

Alan Melnick, MD, Vancouver preventative medicine physician and Clark County public health officer, for his support of childhood immunizations.

Chelsea Unruh, MD, Olympia family physician, for their support of issues impacting independent physician practices.

The seventh Apple Award, the Community Unsung Hero Award, recognizes community contributions to the health and wellness of our state's citizens and was presented to Pierce County Project Access. PCPA received the award in recognition of its mission to provide donated care for patients in need in Pierce County.

Join or renew your membership today