Rogers Award honors William Atkinson for Excellence in Administration

Division administrator receives $15,000 for contributions to Internal Medicine

William Atkinson is the 2017 recipient of the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in Administration at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The annual award recognizes employees who consistently demonstrate excellence in their work and dedication to MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer. The award’s focus rotates annually among the areas of patient care, research, education, prevention and administration.

Marshall Hicks, M.D., president ad interim of MD Anderson, and Regina Rogers, a senior member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, led an awards ceremony today, announcing this year’s recipient and recognizing all five finalists, who were selected from more than 105 nominations. Atkinson received a $15,000 prize and a framed certificate of merit. .

Finalists who received a $1,500 prize as well as a certificate of merit included:

  • Shamsha Damani, program director, Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences
  • Ray Gerwitz, director, Risk Strategy and Operational Excellence
  • Tricia White-Rhemtulla, department administrator, Health Disparities Research
  • Randy Vidrine, department administrator, Melanoma Medical Oncology and Sarcoma Medical Oncology

Internal Medicine leader puts patients, colleagues first

As the division administrator, Atkinson is responsible for all financial, human resources, strategic and budgetary oversight for the academic division of Internal Medicine, which comprises more than 150 clinical and research faculty and more than 350 classified employees. He began his career at
MD Anderson in 2007, working in Physicians Referral Services and Emergency Medicine before joining the Department of Internal Medicine.

“Bill exemplifies collaborative leadership,” said Shibu Varghese, Chief Human Resources Officer at MD Anderson and a member of the Rogers Award selection committee. “He empowers and engages his team toward successful outcomes. Based on the nominations, it’s evident that his style of leadership is welcoming to his peers, direct reports, and faculty”

More than three decades of dedication to the cause

Regina Rogers established the Julie and Ben Rogers Award for Excellence in 1987 in honor of her parents, the late Julie and Ben Rogers.

Ben Rogers served on the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors from 1978 until his death in 1994. The Rogers’ family’s relationship with the institution dates to 1960, when Regina’s brother, Arvey Rogers, M.D., was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. A lengthy and successful surgery performed by Edgar C. White, M.D. and R. Lee Clark, M.D., enabled him to continue leading a normal life.

In 1987, Julie Rogers was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through the surgical expertise of Richard Martin, M.D., and Fred Ames, M.D., she recovered and served to reinforce the Rogers family’s commitment to MD Anderson, remaining an active supporter until her death in February 1998.

Regina has continued the family’s commitment to MD Anderson, serving on the Board of Visitors since 1990 and as a passionate advocate for cancer prevention.

“Like too many others, my family has been touched by cancer,” says Rogers. “It’s an honor to be able to give due credit to the very best and brightest at MD Anderson ― the outstanding men and women who work harder and harder each day to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families.”