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Mary Anne Wesner, C-TAGME, program administrator for Geisinger’s Pediatrics Residency program was notified by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that she is among its 2022 Award recipients. The recipients will be featured in the Awards Hall at the 2022 ACGME Annual Educational Conference, being held virtually March 30-April 1, 2022.

Wesner is the recipient of AGCME’s Debra L. Dooley GME Program Coordinator Excellence Award, given to program coordinators in recognition of their in-depth understanding of the accreditation process, excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and projects to improve residency programs.

According to GME leadership, the award is well deserved.

“I jumped at the chance to support Mary Anne’s nomination for this award,” said Paul Bellino, MD, Pediatrics Residency program director. “I have worked with her for nearly 18 years, and I am certain that program’s success is due in great part to her efforts. She not only manages all the operational tasks that keep us in good standing with the institution and ACGME, but also lends her keen insight and experience to tackle new issues as they arise."

Designated Institutional Official, Michelle Thompson, MD, agreed, saying, “Mary Anne has dedicated 30 years of great work to Graduate Medical Education and is an exceptional program administrator. She has grown greatly in her management knowledge this year and has become the teams Medhub Super-User Trainer for all new program administrators.”

Wesner herself was surprised by the award. “When I received the email from the ACGME with the announcement, I had to read it several times to comprehend what I was reading,” Wesner said. “To say that I was extremely humbled and honored to have received this award is an understatement. However, receiving this award would not have been possible without the support of an amazing Graduate Medical Education leadership team and a terrific program director. However, it is the residents that bring me the greatest joy in my role.”

Wesner, who has been with Geisinger for 30 years, 24 of them in her current role, said her job has evolved greatly over the years. Today, in addition to being program administrator for the pediatrics residency program, Wesner also oversees five other program administrators. She is responsible for the day-to-day activities of the 35 resident physicians currently in the pediatric program and, during recruitment season, screens residency applications and runs the interview process. Last year was a particular challenge in our recruitment process, switching everything over to virtual events, but it all worked out successfully, Wesner said.

Thanks to Wesner’s efforts, the virtual interview model not only succeeded, but in some ways improved the process and saved money for both applicants and the health system. Now, with recruitment season in full swing, the virtual model is working well. “We may never go back to in-person,” Wesner said.

Most importantly, Drs. Bellino and Thompson say Wesner embodies kindness, excellence, learning and innovation. “Mary Anne truly portrays our Geisinger values daily in her work,” Dr. Thompson said. “She is extremely kind and generous to everyone she encounters. She strives for excellence in everything she does and is always looking for ways to share her knowledge with our team.”

“She gives of herself every day to our residents,” Dr. Bellino agreed, saying, “She makes sure that they have what they need to succeed academically, but she also attends to whatever psychological or social support they may require. She is the heart and soul of our program and a great partner in accomplishing our mission to create intelligent and caring new pediatricians.”

About all award winners, ACGME President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP, said, “Now more than ever, it is important to recognize those who serve, and those who work every day to ensure the American public that physician education is in the most capable of hands.”

Mary Anne Wesner, C-TAGME