The Swedish Cherry Hill Family Medicine Residency Program is training 39 residents and four fellows across five urban sites and a rural training track. Paul Gianutsos, MD, MPH, the program’s director, is responsible for this sprawling enterprise. It’s a lot to manage.

Yet there is always time for others.

His commitment to women’s health is evident in and beyond his clinical work. In addition to providing OB and abortion care, his work as the director of colposcopy for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest put him in direct charge of the toughest and most complex cases in Washington, Alaska and Idaho. Despite frequently hearing “no,” he has nonetheless continued the fight for the program to receive funding for advanced training in reproductive health.

The residency program he oversees additionally emphasizes service to others: Anti-racism is a key tenet of the program, and activities around the topic occur at least quarterly. Community medicine, and the accompanying attention to social determinants of health, are among a resident’s rotations and project responsibilities.

His introduction of an addiction medicine fellowship, long before network news anchors learned to say “opioids,” has spawned additional fellowships launched by program graduates.

“This is not a comprehensive list of how Dr. Gianutsos has transformed our residency, but merely scratching the surface of his contributions,” Jennifer Flament, MD, a core faculty member, wrote in a letter of support. “… I hope that more physicians and program directors will follow his example.”

As a faculty member, Gianutsos was twice selected for the program’s Teacher of the Year Award. In 2009, he received the Charissa Fotinos Mission Award for Service to the Underserved.

“His compassionate care and respect for the humanity of every patient is humbling,” wrote Shannon U. Waterman, MD, the associate program director, in a letter of support, “and his careful use of person-first language models for me keeping patients at the center of our work always.”

Gianutsos earned his MD from the University of California, Los Angeles and Drew Medical Education Program. Residency at Providence brought him to Seattle, and aside from a locums stint in Hawaii, he has remained in the area ever since: first with the Community Health Center of Snohomish County, then at Stevens Hospital in Edmonds, and finally to Swedish beginning in 2002. He joined the Cherry Hill residency faculty two years later. He also serves as a physician mentor in the Physicians Clinical Support Service of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“Dr. Gianutsos is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful educators that I have had the privilege to know,” wrote Abigail Plawman, MD, associate residency director at the East Pierce Family Medicine Residency. “His gift at inspiring and developing young physicians is without parallel, and I am profoundly grateful for his mentorship.”

The Washington Academy of Family Physicians is pleased to honor Paul Gianutsos, MD, MPH, with the 2019 Family Medicine Educator of the Year Award.