Melissa Stevens, MA, immediate-past education manager at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health (DFMCH), has received the Graduate Medical Education Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding contributions to education in the University of Minnesota DFMCH.

For nearly two decades, Melissa has contributed vast amounts of energy, passion, and dedication toward achieving excellence in graduate medical education. With her collaborative nature and ever-positive outlook, Melissa has guided the department toward critical transitions and achievements in education. Colleagues praise Melissa’s can-do spirit, collegiality, and personal dedication to the development and growth of team members.

“Melissa Stevens has been the rock of our education office,” said Shailey Prasad, MD, MPH. “She has been instrumental in unifying our team, serving as a primary backup for all our educational programs, and being a tremendous liaison with the University GME office."

Melissa began her career in the medical field as an administrator and manager in Atlanta before moving to Illinois to join the American Academy of Medical Administrators as a conference director. In 2003, she became an educational program manager for the UMN Department of Pediatrics. After that, Melissa joined the CentraCare St. Cloud Family Medicine Residency Program as a residency support specialist, a position that led to her role as DFMCH education manager.

“Melissa has been so much more than a coworker . . . She's been a collaborator, an advisor, and a friend,” said Casey Martin, MD. “I would not be where I am today without her hard work and advice.”

From her start as our department education manager in 2014 until her recent semi-retirement this year, Melissa’s accomplishments have been significant and numerous. In 2021, Melissa managed the creation of the new Clinical Informatics Fellowship program in our department. She also successfully managed the ACGME sponsoring institution transition of Mankato residency program to the Mayo health system.

Most recently, Melissa has been serving as co-investigator for a Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) Rural Program Planning and Development (RRPD) grant that will eventually result in a new rural training track for family medicine residents.

"A key reason our department has the distinction of training more family physicians than any other allopathic family medicine department in the country is the work of our staff supporting the education office,” said Jim Pacala, MD, MS. “Melissa Stevens has been instrumental in achieving the renowned distinction our department holds and has sustained the department in our proud tradition of training physicians for the state of Minnesota and beyond."

Melissa has contributed a great deal to our department, to the University, and to the state of Minnesota as well as medical education as a whole. We offer our sincere and hearty congratulations to Melissa for receiving this much-deserved award.

About the Award
The Graduate Medical Education Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2020 by the Office of Graduate Medical Education (OGME). The award is presented to members of the Graduate Medical Education (GME) community who, in the span of their GME career, have provided outstanding service and have dedicated significant time to improving GME at the University of Minnesota. The award is the highest honor bestowed upon a member of the GME community at the University of Minnesota.