Skip to Content

Physician Appreciation Awards

Each year, Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation supports and honors physicians who have made significant contributions to the Presbyterian community through the annual Physician Appreciation Program. The 2020 honorees are:


Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation Physician Philanthropy Award: Tushar Dandade, M.D.

Awarded to physicians who have supported the mission of Presbyterian Healthcare Services through acts of service and generous financial support.

Dr. Dandade has demonstrated exemplary philanthropy to the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation, has been a Foundation Luminary Circle member since 2014, and supported the campaign for Rust Medical Center, the Employee Care Fund and Women's Fund. Donations from Dr. Dandade and his wife, Rebecca, allowed for the construction of a dedicated HUGS room at Rust Medical Center. HUGS, which stands for Helping Understand Grief Support, is a program dedicated to the care of families who have experienced fetal or infant loss. The Dandades are also Alexis de Tocqueville level supporters of United Way of Central New Mexico.


Sarah Kotchian Clinical Quality Award: PHS COVID-19 Response Team

Awarded by the Medical Staff Executive Committee, this honor recognizes a Physician or clinical team for leadership in, and outstanding contributions to, clinical or organizational quality improvement at Presbyterian.

While many leaders and staff were involved in Presbyterian’s COVID-19 response, the following primary Physicians were recognized:

  • Jeff Salvon-Harmon, M.D.
  • Denise Gonzales, M.D.
  • Jason Mitchell, M.D.
  • Norbert Topf, M.D.
  • Paul Campbell, M.D.
  • Brian Holt, M.D.
  • Dion Gallant, M.D.

These contributing team members were also recognized:

  • Barbara Ohm
  • Sharon Humphreys
  • Epic Team

The team’s accomplishments are numerous and include:

  • Continuously monitoring and updating COVID-19 treatments.
  • Fast-tracking telemedicine and all the underlying IT infrastructure.
  • Maximizing limited testing capacity and procuring and distributing personal protective equipment.
  • Work resulting in fewer patient deaths than comparable patient populations in other states, which has been nationally recognized.

Presbyterian Rising Star Award: Shannon Stromberg, M.D., Medical Director, PMG Behavioral Health

Awarded to a physician on the medical staff who is recognized by peers as being a role model through professional excellence and leadership at Presbyterian.

Dr. Stromberg was recognized for his many contributions, including bringing a new energy to the Behavioral Health Department. His focus on evidence-based practice and education elevated his department’s many venues of care – inpatient and outpatient psychiatry, inpatient and outpatient therapy, and emergency psychiatry – to new heights.

He has recruited multiple psychiatrists and APCs for inpatient and outpatient positions and advocated for and received approval for the expansion of the Consult Liaison Service into the Presbyterian Emergency Departments, which included a psychiatrist specializing in emergency psychiatry.


Presbyterian Reverend Hugh A. Cooper Award: Joseph Lopez, M.D.

Awarded to a physician for superior healthcare delivery and service to the community.

Dr. Lopez, a transplant surgeon, was nominated and selected by his colleagues on the Medical Staff of the Central Delivery System. He is recognized for contributions throughout his medical career to healthcare in our community, his peers and Presbyterian.

-He has spent his 38-year career in general and transplant surgery and is committed to quality care of patients in New Mexico. With his technical skills, he has cared for a wide variety of surgical needs and has been a resource and mentor for many providers in the community.

His commitment to the Kidney Transplant Program ensured the availability of this service to New Mexicans for many years and clinical outcomes over the years have been outstanding for a community-based transplant program.