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Awards Program

The WSMA Awards Program recognizes members for going above and beyond the call of duty in leadership, contributions, and service. The awards are presented at the WSMA Annual Meeting each year.

About the program

We know our members are heroes every day, as you spend your time serving the house of medicine and improving the welfare of Washingtonians in all you do. We also know that everyday heroes like you are busy doing extraordinary things.

Through WSMA's new Apple Awards program, we'll recognize you and your colleagues for going above and beyond the call of duty in your leadership, contributions, and service. You know who you are! Awards are presented each year at the WSMA Annual Meeting.

Questions? Email Milana McLead at milana@wsma.org

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.

Stay tuned for information about how to submit nominations for our 2020 awards.


President's Unsung Hero Award: This award recognizes the WSMA member who offers extraordinary service to the profession and community, going above and beyond the call of duty in furthering the cause of making Washington state the best place to practice medicine and receive care.

Community Unsung Hero Award: This award recognizes a member of the community who provides extraordinary support to, and advocacy for, the house of medicine.

Early Career Member of the Year Award: This award recognizes a WSMA member for their service to the early career section members through mentorship, advocacy, support, and active participation with the early career sections.

Grassroots Advocate Award(s): This award recognizes WSMA member efforts and activities in supporting WSMA legislative priorities.

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