WACEP Awards Program

WACEP 2021 Distinguished Service Award:
Michael Pulia, MD, MS, FACEP

WACEP congratulates Michael Pulia, MD, MS, FACEP as the recipient of this year's WACEP Distinguished Service Award. The award was presented during the virtual Annual Membership Meeting on April 8, 2021 by WACEP President Bradley Burmeister, MD.

Dr. Pulia's nomination was submitted jointly by Drs. Ryan Thompson and Bobby Redwood based on his pioneering work over the last decade to raise awareness and advance the science of antibiotic stewardship in the emergency department. The nomination included reference to how Dr. Pulia’s dedication and service has been pivotal in establishing the ED as critical setting for antibiotic stewardship, an important advancement for EM, patient safety and public health.

WACEP 2021 Resident Advocacy Awards:
Christ Torkilsen, DO and Tad Schmitt, MD

In 2018, WACEP introduced the Howard J. Croft Resident Advocate Award in honor of past president and longtime leader in advocacy, Howie Croft.  The award was developed to recognize one resident from each of the two Emergency Medicine Residency Programs in Wisconsin who have demonstrated exemplary advocacy efforts related to the field of emergency medicine and who have acted to advance emergency care. 

  • Dr. Chris Torkilsen (PGY-3, MCW) was honored for his involvement with the joint WACEP/WPA Emergency Psych Task Force and his general interest in advocacy and involvement with WACEP and ACEP. 
  • Dr. Tad Schmitt (PGY-2, UW) was selected by his residency program and approved by the WACEP leadership for his advocacy related to patient care and specifically for his work with child abuse screening.

WACEP Past President's Award:
Ryan Thompson, MD, FACEP

While the COVID-19 pandemic changed the course of how Dr. Thompson imagined his year of President would look, he nonetheless put forth an incredible effort to steer WACEP through some very trying times.

Under Dr. Thompson’s extraordinary leadership, the organization realized some very successful advocacy wins, created new educational and networking opportunities—albeit virtually—including an important Rural Connect webinar, and continued to provide insight and thoughtfulness as the organization worked to support its membership through the pandemic. WACEP is grateful for Dr. Thompson’s expertise, leadership and service.  


about the awards

The WACEP Distinguished Service Award program began in 2018 to annually recognize a WACEP member who has made extraordinary contributions to the advancement of the emergency medicine specialty, and who has demonstrated the ideals of the organization through their ongoing activities and accomplishments.  The recipient will be recognized during the annual WACEP Spring Symposium.
Submit Nomination (deadline: March 1st)

Past Distinguished Service Award recipients include:

  • 2021 - Michael Pulia, MD, MS, FACEP
  • 2020 - Michael Repplinger, MD, PhD, FACEP
  • 2019 - Howard J. Croft, MD, FACEP
  • 2018 - Azita Hamedani, MD, MBA, MPH, FACEP

This award will annually recognize a resident from each of the Wisconsin’s Emergency Medicine Residency programs for exemplary advocacy in the field of emergency medicine.  Nominees must act to bring about change that advances the emergency care of our community.  Examples include, but are not limited to, through participating in political advocacy, delivering patient education, and advancing patient centered care.  Nominations are submitted directly from each Residency Program by March 1st. 


This award provides up to $1,000 in funding for one resident to attend the annual ACEP Council meeting as an alternate delegate from Wisconsin. The selected resident is expected to attend all Council activities, an informal Wisconsin delegation meeting to discuss reference committee proceedings, and the annual Wisconsin meet-up reception. Nominations are solicited by the WACEP Councillors and the Board of Directors by July 30.