RI Hospital physician leader recognized by peers with service award

June 4, 2019

Award winner David Portelli, M.D. is pictured with Rhode Island Hospital Medical Staff Association President Charles McCoy, M.D. and Lifespan Chief of Emergency Medicine Jeremiah Schuur, M.D.
Award winner David Portelli, M.D. (center) is pictured with Rhode Island Hospital Medical Staff Association President Charles McCoy, M.D. (left) and Lifespan Chief of Emergency Medicine Jeremiah Schuur, M.D. (right).

David Portelli, M.D., medical director of Rhode Island Hospital’s Andrew F. Anderson Emergency Center, was recently honored by his colleagues in the Rhode Island Hospital Medical Staff Association with the “Service to Hospital Award.” The award recognizes a physician who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to the hospital above and beyond the call of duty, distinguished by professionalism, leadership, excellence and innovation.

“The role of medical director of the Rhode Island Hospital Emergency Department is unrelenting: we are open 24/7/365, and there is always an emergency – literally,” says Jeremiah Schuur, M.D., Lifespan chief of emergency medicine, in his nomination letter. “Anyone who has worked with (Dr. Portelli) can attest, he is fully committed to his job and to improving patient care and operations in the ED. Dave leads in his service by example. He works the hardest clinical shifts, is one of our most efficient physicians, and never asks for credit. He is an advocate for all patients. He expects the best of himself, the ED faculty, residents and staff as well as of the rest of the hospital.”

Rhode Island Hospital’s emergency department is not only the busiest in the state, but the second busiest ED in New England, and 35th in the country in terms of adult patient volume. In 2018, the department had more than 100,000 patient visits. With the region’s only Level One Trauma Center, only Comprehensive Stroke Center, and highest level of cardiac care, among other specialized services, the Anderson Emergency Center sees the region’s most critical injuries and most acutely ill patients.

“Dr. Portelli is incredibly deserving of this recognition by his physician colleagues,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, M.H.A., Dr.P.H., president of Rhode Island Hospital. “He works tirelessly, and has been a key leader not only in the emergency department but in heading the hospital's quality improvement committee. His dedication to his patients and his colleagues is clear, as is his commitment to advancing emergency medicine.”

Portelli is a Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; he is a fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Physicians and of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, and a member of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He has received numerous awards for his commitment to safety and quality improvement, as evidenced in not only his own practice but his service leadership of departmental and hospital committees. He has been recognized with several teaching excellence awards as well, and was the University Emergency Medicine Foundation’s “Outstanding Physician” in 2010.

Portelli earned his undergraduate degree at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, followed by medical school at State University of New York – Stony Brook. He completed his residency in internal and emergency medicine at Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit, MI, where he remained on staff for six years as a practicing physician and co-director of the emergency/internal medicine residency program. There, he also developed the nation’s first six-year emergency/internal/critical care combined training program. Portelli came to Rhode Island in 2003, serving as an attending emergency physician at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, until assuming his current role in 2014.

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Christina Spaight O'Reilly

Senior Public Relations Officer
Rhode Island Hospital