Sponsored by the Miller family, the Maria and Sam Miller Professional Excellence Awards are presented annually to Cleveland Clinic physicians, nurses, scientists and other professional staff who demonstrate exemplary service and dedication to excellence.
Recipients epitomize leadership, talent, innovation, commitment, and outstanding outcomes. They are nominated by their peers and selected by a committee of Cleveland Clinic leaders.
Thanks to the generosity of the Miller family, each recipient is honored at the professional staff awards reception with both a monetary gift and commemorative plaque.
James B. Young, M.D.»
James B. Young, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Executive Dean of Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine as well as Chairman of the Endocrinology and Metabolism Institute. Additionally, he is a founder of Cleveland Clinic’s Kaufman Center for Heart Failure and holds the George and Linda Kaufman Chair.
Recognized for his role in advancing cardiac transplant medicine, Dr. Young is Study Chairman of the NIH, FDA and CMS Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS). He has joint appointments in Cleveland Clinic’s Transplant Center and The Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute.
Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Young has served as a principal or co-principal investigator for numerous multicenter clinical trials and published more than 650 manuscripts and several textbooks. His research has focused on heart failure, mechanical circulatory support and cardiac transplant therapeutics. He has collaborated extensively with basic science researchers on translational research, particularly the molecular biology of cardiac remodeling, allograft arteriopathy and cardiac allograft rejection.
Gosta B. Pettersson, M.D., Ph.D.»
Gosta B. Pettersson, MD, PhD, is Vice-Chairman of Cardiovascular Surgery and Section Head of Congenital Heart Surgery at The Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute. He also holds the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower and Family Endowed Chair in Cardiothoracic Research. His special interests include: congenital heart surgery, adult acquired heart disease, reconstructive aortic and mitral valve surgery and replacement, heart and lung transplantation, and endocarditis.
Dr. Pettersson has authored or co-authored numerous articles and papers in leading scientific journals and textbook chapters on congenital heart surgery, adult cardiac surgery, general thoracic surgery, and heart and lung transplantation.
Born, raised and trained in Sweden, Dr. Pettersson completed a clinical and research fellowship at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He then became a professor and chief surgeon of cardiothoracic surgery at the State University Hospital (Rigshospitalet) in Copenhagen. In 1999, Dr. Pettersson joined Cleveland Clinic as cardiovascular surgery staff. He served as Surgical Director of Lung Transplantation from 2004 until 2011.
Daniel F. Martin, M.D.»
Scientific Achievement - Clinical Research
Daniel F. Martin, MD, is Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Cole Eye Institute and holds the Barbara and A. Malachi Mixon III Institute Chair in Ophthalmology. Dr. Martin has been involved in the design, development and execution of numerous clinical trials, including serving as principal investigator for the National Eye Institute’s Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS).
He was extensively involved in the development of the ganciclovir implant and later valganciclovir for the treatment of cytomegalovirus retinitis. He also led the clinical trials that resulted in FDA approval of both of these drugs.
Dr. Martin currently serves as Study Chairman for the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials (CATT), an NIH-sponsored study evaluating the comparative safety and efficacy of Lucentis and Avastin for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration.
An esteemed ophthalmologist, Dr. Martin has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and delivered more than 230 invited lectures. He has received numerous awards from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Macula Society and others.
Laura E. Nagy, Ph.D.»
Scientific Achievement - Basic Science
Laura E. Nagy, PhD, is Director of the Liver Disease Research Center in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute and principal investigator for the NIAAA/NIH-funded Cleveland Alcohol Center. Her research focuses on signal transduction, innate immunity and alcoholic liver disease.
In addition, she serves as Chair of the Medical Advisory Council for the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation.
A staff member in pathobiology and gastroenterology at Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Nagy also is a professor of molecular medicine and holds adjunct professor appointments at Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland State University. She is co-director of the graduate program in cell biology at Case Western Reserve University.
Dr. Nagy received her PhD in nutrition in 1986 from the University of California—Berkeley.
Joan Booth, R.N.»
Nurse of the Year
Joan E. Booth, RN, is Director of Research Operations for the Center for Clinical Research in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute. Assisting with the operational and regulatory aspects of clinical research, she helps bring innovative care to our patients.
Joan has been a nurse at Cleveland Clinic since January 1980. She graduated from St. Thomas School of Nursing in Akron, Ohio then earned a bachelor’s degree in human services from Baldwin Wallace College.
As a new graduate, Joan began working on the Cardiopulmonary Telemetry Unit at Cleveland Clinic. She later became Assistant Head Nurse and eventually Head Nurse for the Cardiac Telemetry Unit. Joan also has held positions in Corporate Compliance at Cleveland Clinic.
Police Officer of the Year
Jason Gresko was a police officer at Cleveland Clinic for seven years and volunteered as a police officer for the City of Willoughby. Answering a call for help at Lake County West Hospital on Sept. 21, 2012, Officer Gresko swerved to avoid hitting a drunk driver in order to protect passengers in the other vehicle. He later died of his injuries.
Officer Gresko served as a role model for his fellow officers, who remember him as being “ethical, energetic, bright, funny, caring and well-trained.” They admired him for balancing a passion for law enforcement with a love of family. Officer Gresko is survived by his wife, Sandy, and daughter, Olivia.
His funeral with Full Police Honors on Sept. 27, 2012, was attended by more than 1,000 law enforcement officers from Ohio and other states. On May 13, 2013, Officer Gresko was enshrined in the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial in Washington, D.C. Four days later, he was formally commemorated on the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Wall.
Believing that Officer Gresko embodied the values, vision and mission of Cleveland Clinic, his fellow officers established an annual award in his name. It is given to the officer who most closely emulates his commitment to those values.