Anand P. Panwalker, M.D., chair of the Department of Medicine Professional Excellence Committee, assistant infection control officer and a member of the senior education faculty in the Department of Medicine, received the 16th Commendation for Excellence presented by the Medical-Dental Staff of Christiana Care Health System at an annual event Nov. 6 in Newark.
The Commendation for Excellence honors individuals for exceptional contributions to our community through clinical, scholarly, educational or humanitarian activities.
As a physician and specialist in infectious diseases, Panwalker has served Delaware since his arrival in 1980 when he moved here from Chicago to establish the first Infectious Diseases Section for the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Elsmere. He is currently a clinical professor of medicine at Sidney Kimmel Medical College. He was appointed associate professor of Medicine at a time when a new medical education affiliation between the VA Medical Center and the Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, had just begun.
During the next 23 years he developed student and resident teaching programs, served as infection control officer and created specialty clinics to treat patients with HIV and hepatitis C. He established rules and guidelines for the coordinated care of veterans with hepatitis C at 10 VA hospitals across Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia, creating a regional approach to care that was recognized as an exemplary program and a model by the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
Dr. Panwalker joined the Medical-Dental Staff of Christiana Care, Infectious Diseases Section, in 2003 and was appointed section chief in 2007. As chief, he fostered camaraderie among infectious disease doctors in private practice and worked with them to establish standards for excellent patient care and professionalism. He promoted the health system’s expertise in infectious diseases, started a series of popular infectious disease conferences and served for several years as director of the nationally renowned William Holloway Infectious Diseases Symposium.
Dr. Panwalker left private practice to join Christiana Care Health System full-time in 2012 as the chair of the Department of Medicine Professional Excellence Committee, assistant infection control officer and a member of the senior education faculty in the Department of Medicine.
Dr. Panwalker’s special interests include bacterial kidney infections, clinical HIV management, endocarditis, guidelines for prescribing antibiotics, hand hygiene and C-diff infections. Working with colleagues in the GI and ID sections, he was instrumental in bringing fecal microbiota transplantation to Christiana Care in 2014. That year he also was appointed associate vice president for Medical Affairs (Professional Excellence), charged with disseminating state-of-the art peer-review practices under the umbrella of the Culture of Responsibility. In addition, he works closely with Christiana Care Physician Relations staff to facilitate outreach, communication and mentoring opportunities with both employed and community physicians.
He is a master trainer for the CANDOR program, helped revamp the hand hygiene program at Christiana Care and is certified as a Just Culture champion. He has, over the past 13 years at Christiana Care, served on more than 30 departmental and institutional committees. As president of the Medical-Dental Staff he founded the Institutional Peer Review Committee (MDSPRC).
From 1971 to 1980 Dr. Panwalker was an intern, resident and chief resident in medicine and an infectious diseases fellow and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, where he received the Raymond Allen award (Golden Apple) for Teaching, the Clifford Pilz Award for the Best Attending of the year and hooded the graduating medical students in 1980. A 1967 graduate of Christian Medical College of Punjab University in Ludhiana, India, he trained at hospitals in India, Kenya and the USA and practiced for three years in Kenya where he grew up.
Dr. Panwalker has been honored for his work as a teacher since arriving in Delaware in 1980. He has received the Jefferson Medical Residents Award for Excellence in Teaching 11 times, the Chief Resident Distinguished Teaching Award and the Teaching Award for Junior Medical Students. Jefferson senior students elected him to their chapter of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society in 1985.
Christiana Care residents selected him in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013 to share his clinical experiences during the annual “Clinical Pearls” presentation at Medical Grand Rounds.
Christiana Care’s Department of Medicine honored him with the Leonard Lang Award for Teacher of the Year in 2007. He also has been honored for providing outstanding medical care. In 2001, he received the William Holloway Award for HIV care to veterans from the HIV Consortium of Delaware. In 2005, Christiana Care recognized him with the Mark Maxwell Award for compassion, humility, extraordinary enthusiasm and devotion to his patients. The next year the Delaware chapter of the American College of Physicians honored him with the Lang Award for excellence in clinical care. He was also recognized in 2006 for his contributions to HIV care and education with the Hero award from the Beautiful Gate Outreach Center in Wilmington. In 2010 he received the Laureate Award from the Delaware Chapter of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Panwalker has more than 60 original articles, reviews, abstracts and book reviews to his credit.
He has participated in several research projects dealing with antibacterial and antiviral agents, pyuria, pyelonephritis, renal dysfunction in chronic UTI, the epidemiology of legionella and alternative therapy in HIV.
In his leisure time Dr. Panwalker enjoys reading, traveling, listening to Indian ghazals, classical and jazz music, and playing the tabla. His wife, Asha, a retired dietitian, and son, Sandeep, are the joy of his life.