Dr. Amy Beth Kressel and Dr. Joseph Smith Honored with 2021 Achievement in Medicine (AIM) Award

St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild and Versiti Blood Center of Indiana announced Amy Beth Kressel, M.D., M.S., FIDSA, FSHEA, and Joseph Smith, M.D., as recipients of the 2021 Achievement in Medicine (AIM) Award. AIM Award recipients are selected by the St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild and a committee that includes Eskenazi Health leadership and former recipients. The guild is a volunteer organization committed to raising funds for the services and programs at Eskenazi Health. Founded in 1907, the guild has raised more than $13.5 million for Eskenazi Health throughout the years. See below for more detail on this year’s recipients.

Amy Beth Kressel, M.D., M.S., FIDSA, FSHEA

Amy Beth Kressel, M.D., M.S., FIDSA, FSHEA, is the medical director of infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship at Eskenazi Health. She and her team rose to meet the emergency needs posed by the COVID-19 pandemic starting in February 2020 and continue to lead the charge in the fight against the virus.

Dr. Kressel played an instrumental role early in the pandemic regarding daily decisions for isolation procedures, use of personal protective equipment (particularly early on when masks and gowns were in short supply), COVID-19 testing and procedures allowing surgery to be performed on patients suspected to be positive for COVID-19. Recently, Dr. Kressel has been actively involved in decisions about the use of monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19 and vaccination.

Dr. Kressel and her team’s work proved to be especially important to the care of vulnerable populations, as they are among those who are at high-risk of being infected with COVID-19 or suffering severe effects. Their work has also been critical in keeping the Eskenazi Health frontline staff and employees safe so that care was able to continue being provided to all patients during the course of the pandemic.

In her role as medical director of the infection prevention and antimicrobial stewardship, Dr. Kressel directs and strategically plans a program to prevent hospital-acquired infections. In addition to her work at Eskenazi Health, Dr. Kressel serves as a professor of clinical medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. She currently serves as chair of the Indiana COVID-19 Vaccine Review Advisory Group. She is board certified in infectious disease by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith, M.D.

Joseph Smith, M.D., serves as the medical director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and medical director of Respiratory Care at Eskenazi Health. He has been instrumental in leading patient care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the past year, Dr. Smith has assisted with the development of state guidelines, established new protocols and procedures, supported MICU staff and expanded Eskenazi Health’s MICU capacity – all while providing exemplary care to Eskenazi Health patients. As a result of his leadership and collaboration, Eskenazi Health has discharged more than 1,500 inpatients who tested positive for COVID-19.

Dr. Smith has been a true leader and collaborator throughout the pandemic. He developed and maintained the Eskenazi Health MICU COVID-19 Guide to ensure MICU providers, nurse managers, pharmacists and respiratory therapists were continuously updated. He has worked closely with the Palliative Care team to ensure they were equipped to best serve their mutual patients. Dr. Smith has also assisted with development of an implementation plan to apply the Indiana Department of Health Crisis Standards for Ventilator Allocation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Smith serves as an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is board certified in internal medicine, critical care medicine and pulmonary medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.