Annawan’s Bridges earns med award
MADISON, Wis. — The Veterans Heath Administration has announced that the Annawan native Alan Bridges, M.D., is the winner of the VHA John D. Chase Award for Executive Excellence in Health Care.
Bridges is Madison VA Hospital’s chief of staff.
This award is for sustained executive leadership by an individual from any health care discipline. The award is named for Dr. John D. Chase, who was the Chief Medical Director of the Veterans Administration from 1974 to 1978. Dr. Chase was a Veteran who served two years in the Navy and five years in the Army Reserve Medical Corps.
“This is a well-deserved honor for an individual who has dedicated his working life to ensuring our Veterans receive top quality care,” said John Rohrer, Madison VA Hospital Director. “I have had the honor and privilege of working with Dr. Bridges for over 30 years, and I can honestly say there is no one more worthy of this recognition.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Bridges serves on the COVID-19 Care Transition Planning national sequester, on his local Hospital Incident Command, and as the Veterans Interegrated Service Networks (VISN) 12 Medical Incident Commander. In this capacity, he oversees the medical response for the VA Network of eight hospitals spanning from Central Illinois to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. When the initial surge of COVID hit Chicago in early Summer, he provided leadership to the two Chicago-area VA hospitals in support of the VA’s Fourth Mission, accepting humanitarian patients from the private sector in partnership with FEMA to respond to the pandemic.
Dr. Bridges promotes the spirit of innovation and diffusion of best practices, as evidenced by the many projects he and his staff have submitted to National VA innovation labs. The Madison VA submitted more than 15 Shark Tank (process improvement) proposals and over 250 innovation projects over the last 4 years. Currently, he is a key leader in the Madison VA’s High Reliability Organization (HRO) journey via his participation in the baseline assessment of the facility and his promotion of a Just Culture.
Dr. Bridges led the Madison VA as one of the national "Moving Forward" pilots, implementing dashboards, checklists and HRO huddle reports to safely increase face-to-face patient visits to ensure an effective response to the COVID 19 pandemic. He led the Madison VA to become a high-performing facility with CMS Mortality, Outpatient Care, Mental Health Care, Care Transition, Employee Satisfaction and Hospital Rating metrics all in the top quintile in the VA Strategic Analytics for Improvement and Learning (SAIL) performance metrics, earning the Madison VA a National reputation as a leading VA hospital.
Dr. Alan Bridges was appointed Chief of Staff on September 4, 2005. He is the eighth Chief of Staff at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital since it opened in 1951.
Dr. Bridges received an undergraduate degree from Augustana College, Rock Island, IL and his Medical Degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He completed his Residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, WI. He was Chief Medical Resident in Internal Medicine and completed a Rheumatology Fellowship, both at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, Madison, WI. Dr. Bridges is board certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
After completing his fellowship, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine and, during this same time period, he was appointed Associate Director, Antinuclear Antibody Laboratory at the University Hospital and Clinics, Columbia, MO. He returned to Madison in 1992 and has been on staff at UW and the VA since that time.
Dr. Bridges’ research has focused on antibody testing for rheumatic diseases and new treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and connective tissue disease. He has published more than 65 articles in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Bridges has been honored with teaching awards from the University of Illinois, University of Missouri and University of Wisconsin. He received the Professionalism Award from the University of Wisconsin in 2004 and 2010.
Dr. Bridges has held numerous academic appointments, advancing from Associate Professor of Medicine to Professor at the University of Wisconsin Medical School. In addition, Dr. Bridges has served as Chief, Rheumatology Section and Associate Chief of Staff for Medicine and Managed Care at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital. His administrative appointments at the University of Wisconsin included Associate Chair, Vice-Chair and Interim Chair of the Department of Medicine in 2005.
For more information about the Madison VA Hospital, visit www.madison.va.gov or www.facebook.com/MadisonVAHospital.