Vail Valley Medical Center physicians receive awards |

Vail Valley Medical Center physicians receive awards

Daily staff report

VAIL — Vail Valley Medical Center president and CEO Doris Kirchner and Art Kelton, chairman of the board, honored the 2013 winners of Physician of the Year, Rising Star and the Clinical Excellence awards — Dr. Tracee Metcalfe, Dr. Gayle Braunholtz and Dr. David Ruttum respectively. Dr. Pamela Bock, president of the medical staff, presented the awards at annual ceremony held recently.


The Physician of the Year award acknowledges the physician's abilities in leadership, quality patient care, contributions to the community and hospital, and the utilization of evidenced-based medicine in daily practice. This year's award went to Dr. Metcalfe, Vail Valley Medical Center hospitalist. Metcalfe has been with the hospital since 2008 and while here has worn many hats, including medical director of the adult hospitalist program, chief medical information officer, chair of medicine section for the past four years and medical director of Hospice of the Valley.

She was the recipient of the Rising Star Award in 2010. Metcalfe has worked tirelessly and been instrumental in the improvement of the hospitals electronic medical record system, putting in countless hours and traveling to learn and further develop the system.

"Dr. Metcalfe has built a career around excellence in patient care, continuous learning and teaching and has an impressive work/life balance that inspires those around her to be active and healthy," said Kirchner.

The Rising Star Award is for physicians that embody all of the qualities of Physician of the Year, but have been on staff at Vail Valley Medical Center for five or fewer years. The Clinical Excellence Award is for a physician who has contributed to cutting edge techniques or research.

Recommended Stories For You


The Rising Star Award recipient for 2013 is Dr. Braunholtz. Braunholtz is an emergency medicine physician and medical director of the Gypsum Urgent Care who is continually teaching and working closely with nursing staff to ensure the best possible care for each patient. Braunholtz is a team player and a valued member of the peer-review committee and the hospital as a whole.


The 2013 Clinical Excellence Award was awarded to Dr. Ruttum, anesthesiologist and champion of the new Acute Pain Service, which has made an impact in helping patients manage pain, both in the hospital and once they are back at home. Ruttum helps to educate other staff on approaches to pain management, complicated pain cases and also keeps patient safety as his number one priority.

Their peers, physician leadership and hospital administration choose nominees and winners of each award.

Vail Valley Medical Center has more than 200 physicians that are eligible for these awards. For more information, visit