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Dr. Jennifer Majersik Wins UETN Telehealth Award

The University of Utah’s Dr. Jennifer Majersik is the 2021 winner of the annual Deborah LaMarche Telehealth Excellence Award.

award photoThe award, presented by the Utah Education and Telehealth Network, recognizes exemplary Utah leaders in providing telehealth services throughout Utah.

Dr. Majersik has been the director of the U of U Stroke and Neurovascular Center and the TeleStroke Program since 2010, and has been instrumental in expanding the network to 29 sites in six states. The program provides real-time, 24-7 consultations with community hospitals to help with diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients.

“This award is particularly meaningful to me because of Deb’s role in helping us form the telestroke network. It’s been a real privilege to do that and it’s an honor to receive this award. Thank you, all” said Dr. Majersik.

U of U Stroke Center director Tyler Harman celebrated Dr. Majersik's accomplishments in his nomination letter. “Dr. Majersik's engagement with community hospital physicians and nurses, her problem-solving approach within the University, and her advocacy for the value of telestroke has enabled the network's phenomenal growth.”

Dr. Majersik is a professor of neurology at the U of U School of Medicine who studies genetic causes of strokes. Also, she has a national reputation in the telestroke community and speaks across the country on development of telestroke networks, Harman said. She is serving as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Health at the University of Newcastle, Australia, to study using telestroke to increase clinical trial enrollments and reduce disparities of care for rural patients.

Matt McCullough, Associate Director of the Utah Telehealth Network described Jennifer’s reaction upon hearing of her nomination and receipt of the award, “Dr. Majersik was thrilled to receive the award and what meant even more was the fact that she has a great deal of respect for Deb LaMarche and her many years of advocacy for telehealth.”

1 Jaleen Johnson, a former employee of the University’s Stroke Center said, “Dr. Majersik's passion for Telehealth and the University's TeleStroke program is unmatched. I was honored to have a front row seat as she and her team of vascular neurologists were literally saving lives with telehealth.”

In 2020, Dr. Majersik told the Good Things Utah audience that someone has a stroke every 40 seconds in the U.S. — more than 800,000 people a year. She said that everyone should be aware of the signs of a stroke and advocated for remembering the acronym F.A.S.T. (face drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulty andtime to call 911).

“The Deborah LaMarche Telehealth Excellence Award is a way of honoring someone each year for their outstanding work in the field of telehealth. It is also our way of honoring Deb LaMarche for her 25 years of tireless work to make telehealth an effective modality of care delivery,” said McCullough

The award was presented on June 3rd at the virtual UTN Advisory Council meeting held via Webex. Colleagues and family gathered at the University of Utah Hospital conference room to participate in the presentation of the award.

Nate Gladwell, Senior Director, Clinical Operations Officer University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics said in the Webex chat, “You (Majersik) are the heart and soul of the Telestroke program and saving hundreds of lives at this point.”

McCullough emphasized, “This is an exciting time of expansion and rapid adoption of telehealth due to the COVID-19 pandemic and all nine nominations we received for the award deserve to be recognized for their excellent contributions.”

Eight other nominees were recognized at Thursday’s advisory council meeting. They are:

• Dr. Sarah Woolsey, Utah Department of Health.
• Dr. William “Bill” Beninati, Intermountain Healthcare.
• Jan McEwan, Utah Telehealth Network.
• Sue Chase-Cantarini, University of Utah, College of Nursing
• Michelle Litchman, University of Utah, College of Nursing Intensive Diabetes Education and Support Program.
• Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting, Azova Inc.
• Michelle McOmber, Utah Medical Association.
• Kelsey Genovesse, University of Utah Hospital.

The Utah Education and Telehealth Network (UETN) provides broadband and support to public, technical and higher education serving more than 886,000 students and 81,000 faculty and staff throughout Utah. UETN also connects more than 70 hospitals, clinics, health departments and dialysis centers in Utah and is headquarters of the Northwest Regional Telehealth Resource Center (NRTRC), serving Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. UETN also operates public television station KUEN on behalf of the Utah Board of Higher Education.

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