For Immediate Release October 21, 2016

University of Maryland Shore Regional Health recently named Khalid H. Kurtom, MD, FAANS, FACS, as the recipient of the 2016 Arthur B. Cecil, Jr., MD, Award for Excellence in Health Care Improvement. Dr. Kurtom, a neurosurgeon practicing with University of Maryland Community Medical Group -- Neurosurgery, was chosen from among three finalists for the Cecil Award, which is named for Arthur B. Cecil, Jr., MD, a surgeon who practiced at University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Easton from 1950 until 1988. The award was presented to Dr. Kurtom by Dr. Cecil’s son, Arthur B. Cecil, III.

Dr. Cecil was the first recipient of the award, which recognized his contributions to clinical advancements and medical staff development. Today, the Cecil Award continues UM Shore Regional Health’s tradition of recognizing performance improvement initiatives that have a measurable effect on the quality of health care for a defined group of patients. 

“The Cecil Award allows us to recognize physicians, advanced practice practitioners and doctors of pharmacy here at Shore Regional Health who go ‘above and beyond’ and whose efforts result in better patient care, enabling us to realize our vision of becoming the Region’s Leader in Patient Centered Care,” commented Kenneth Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health.

Dr. Kurtom was nominated for his role in improving spine patient outcomes and his work as the UM Shore Regional Health regional representative to the University of Maryland Medical System Spine Network. As part of the UMMS Spine Network, Dr. Kurtom has been instrumental in decreasing spinal surgery patients’ length of stay, readmissions and post-procedure complications all while decreasing spinal surgery costs.

Dr. Kurtom earned his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington, DC. He attended the University of Maryland for his undergraduate education. His post graduate training included a master's degree at Georgetown University, General Surgery Internship and a Neurosurgery Residency at George Washington University Hospital, and a Neurosurgery Clinical Fellowship at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke in Washington, DC.

“It is such an honor to be named the 2016 Cecil Award winner,” said Dr. Kurtom. “While this award recognizes one individual, I would not be here without the tremendous efforts of my team and the support that they provide for me. The collaborative approach that my colleagues and I take has elevated the quality of care that I provide for my patients.”

Also honored as finalists for this year’s Cecil Award were R. Duane Cespedes, MD and Donald D’Aquila, PharmD. 

Dr. Cespedes was nominated for his for his commitment to providing high quality of care  in the Continence and Pelvic Health Center Program, which focuses on finding alternatives to surgery for urinary incontinence patients. The program also offers state of the art Urodynamic Studies to assist in the diagnosis of conditions such as neurogenic bladders and complications from multiple sclerosis.

Dr. D’Aquila, was nominated for having implemented pharmacologic therapies in the management of pain and non-pain symptoms. He has implemented numerous programs and strategies that have benefited patients in Shore Regional Health’s pain management programs, palliative care, and surgical and cancer care.

“The Cecil Award celebrates and honors highly-trained medical care providers who strive every day to innovate and bring leading edge care to all the patients we serve,” says William Huffner, MD, chief medical officer and vice president, Medical Affairs, UM Shore Regional Health. “We are fortunate to have care team members of this caliber in our region.”

Pictured at the recent award banquet are (left to right) Kenneth Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health; Dr. R. Duane Cespedes, Cecil Award finalist, Dr. Khalid Kurtom, 2016 Cecil Award recipient; Dr. Donald D’Aquila, Cecil Award finalist; and John Dillon, chairman, Board of Directors, UM Shore Regional Health.