Congratulations to the following individuals who have been recognized with the John R. Pettit Endowed Leadership Award for their excellence in an administrative role at UW Medicine.


Susan Peterson

Susan K. Peterson

Director of Academic Appointments and Compensation

Susan has worked for UW Medicine for over 37 years, moving progressively into key leadership roles and taking on increased responsibilities to advance the UW Medicine mission. Her current role involves working closely with leadership and teams to navigate academic personnel policies and processes. Those who nominated her referenced her creative problem-solving and meticulous preparation as well as her steady, pleasant, dedicated, unassuming and rock-solid nature that make her the model of professionalism in her interactions with everyone.

“It is a privilege to serve in UW Medicine where we are dedicated to improving the health of the public,” said Susan. “Behind the tremendous accomplishments are the employees who support the fruition of great work. Regardless of who we are and which role we hold, each is important in bringing new and diverse ideas for positive changes. Together, we are better!”


Barbara Van Ess

Barbara Van Ess

Director of Personnel Policy

Barbara has worked for UW Medicine for nearly 20 years, helping guide leadership in a wide, and often challenging, spectrum of personnel issues at UW Medicine. Those who nominated her  referenced her diligence, discretion, thoughtfulness, objectivity, warmth and how her voice is one that others trust and listen to.

Barbara says, “I am fortunate to work with leaders who consistently want to do the right thing, often in complex matters where there may be many objectives and no immediately clear path. It is rewarding to work together from a position of trust. During this particularly challenging time of a global pandemic, I have also been inspired by the generosity and resilience of my colleagues and leaders in UW Medicine, and their willingness to continue to adapt as circumstances and requirements change.”


Marcia Rhodes

Marcia Rhodes

Director, Health Sciences and UW Medicine Risk Management
Manager, UW Medicine Coordinated Quality Improvement Program Plan

Marcia has worked for UW Medicine for nearly 20 years, advancing the clinical risk management efforts, quality, safety and patient-centeredness of healthcare at UW Medicine. Those who nominated her referenced her integrity, professionalism, thoughtfulness, openness and desire to always do the right thing.

“No one wins in litigation, regardless of the financial outcome,” says Marcia. “At UW Medicine, we take a different tack — we work together to learn from our mistakes. It’s a better outcome for our patients and for all of us, too.”