2022 Under Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research is the highest honor from VA
Sanjay Saint, M.D., M.P.H., M.A.C.P., has earned the 2022 Veterans Affairs Under Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research – the highest honor for a VA health services researcher.
He meets the major criteria for this award by:
• Improving our understanding of factors that affect the health of Veterans and the quality of their care,
• Contributing to the future of VA health services research by inspiring and training a new generation of investigators, and
• Enhancing the visibility of VA research through national recognition within the research community.
Saint has been a pioneer in generating new knowledge related to preventing hospital-acquired infections and translating that knowledge to improve the health of Veterans and the nation. His work – and the work of his multidisciplinary patient safety team – spans more than two decades and has been supported by numerous grants totaling over $40 million in direct funding. More importantly, his work has resulted in measurable improvements in the health and healthcare of Veterans and the nation. He is also a recognized international leader on the topics of mentorship, leadership, and medical education in academic medicine.
He also is the George Dock Endowed Professor and Vice Chair of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, director of the Patient Safety Enhancement Program and a member of the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.
As part of CCMR, Saint has conducted several projects that have resulted in improved care for Veterans. For example, working with Sarah Krein, Ph.D., R.N., Dr. Saint worked to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections in acute care. He and Krein earned the 2017 HSR&D Health System Impact Award for their scientific and operational efforts to make veterans’ care safer by reducing harms associated with the overuse of urinary catheters.
Saint’s patient safety research has had a truly notable impact on the care of Veterans by
reframing the way invasive devices are used in inpatient and community living settings. He has influenced the practice of a generation of clinicians by empowering them to rethink old habits, making VA’s urinary and peripheral catheter safety program into a model for the nation.
In addition to conducting impactful research, Saint’s contributions as a mentor and educator have been formally recognized no less than six times at VA Ann Arbor and U-M, including with the prestigious Distinguished Mentor Award from the U-M Clinical and Translational Science Award program.
As a mentor, Saint has guided and supported the careers of well over 50 early-career investigators. A prolific author, Saint has more than 400 peer-reviewed publications, many in top-tier journals such as The New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, The Lancet, and Annals of Internal Medicine.
He also has given hundreds of presentations, including a TEDx Talk on culture change in healthcare that has been viewed over 1.5 million times. Further, he serves on the editorial board of seven peer-reviewed journals including NEJM Catalyst and BMJ Quality & Safety, and he is a Special Correspondent to The New England Journal of Medicine.
Saint is the third IHPI and CCMR member to receive the VA's top honor for health services research, following Eve Kerr, M.D., M.P.H., in 2016 and Rodney Hayward, M.D. in 2005.
Adapted from an article written by Diane Hanks, VA HSR&D Center for Information Dissemination and Education Resources (CIDER)