Defining excellence with Dr. Kimberly Manning

2020 SHM Award of Excellence winner: Diversity Leadership


Each year, the Society of Hospital Medicine celebrates the exemplary actions and successes of its members through the Awards of Excellence program. Nominations open every fall, providing the SHM community with the opportunity to nominate a peer, or themselves, to receive an esteemed award of excellence in an array of categories including Teaching, Outstanding Service in Hospital Medicine, Research, and so many others.

While the program and its Awards Committee review nominations with a predetermined set of criteria, excellence is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ defined term.

Dr. Kimberly Manning

Kimberly D. Manning, MD, FACP, FAAP, is a professor of medicine and associate vice chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the Emory University School of Medicine and a hospitalist at Grady Memorial Hospital, both in Atlanta. She believes that every single person contributes something uniquely meaningful, and that it is up to each person to decide how to use their influence to make an impact.

“To me, being excellent is about discovering your mission and pushing yourself to explore ways to be the best steward of that mission,” Dr. Manning said. “My mission is focused on serving underserved populations, humanizing patients, and amplifying voices of those who have traditionally been silenced.”

Dr. Manning has challenged herself to be the best steward of her evolving mission for equity, representation, and accessibility in medical education and health care innovation for many years. An active member of SHM for 14 years and an inspiring social impact–driven hospitalist of 20 years, Dr. Manning is known for her extensive work in the diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) space.

In 2020, Dr. Manning was nominated for and received SHM’s inaugural Excellence in Diversity Leadership Award by her peer and colleague, Dr. Daniel Dressler of Emory University School of Medicine.

She was honored for her commitment to improving the care of underrepresented patient populations, increasing awareness of DEI necessity, and building inclusive communities. In addition to these noteworthy achievements, she demonstrated scholarship on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

One way that Dr. Manning is fusing her love for diversity, equity, and inclusion with innovation is through her role as associate vice chair of the DEI department of Emory University’s School of Medicine. Within the department’s programs, resources and affinity groups, Dr. Manning leads a Virtual Visiting Clerkship Program for underrepresented medical students interested in pursuing a career in internal medicine.

“It includes coaching, mentorship, and diagnostic reasoning in an intimate and personal way,” she explained. “It makes me wish I were a medical student!”

In addition to her patient-centric and student-focused initiatives in Atlanta, Dr. Manning is an active contributor to SHM’s publications, including the Journal of Hospital Medicine and The Hospital Leader blog, in speaking out about racism in medicine, and other social inequities in health care. She even helped to lead a #JHMchat discussion on Twitter around these topics.

In fact, beyond being presented with the Diversity Leadership Award, she says that SHM and JHM have really demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“If you are a person with a lived experience or a person who is underrepresented in medicine, a lot of this work in diversity, equity, and inclusion never really had a name. It was called survival and looking out for each other,” Dr. Manning explained. “It’s exciting to be in this space now where there is focused, professional attention being given to something so important in our clinical and learning environments.”

SHM continues to reaffirm its longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion and is dedicated to supporting and learning from its diverse member community. While SHM’s new Excellence in Diversity Leadership award is symbolic of a step in the right direction of change, Dr. Manning says that it is also an honor to be recognized for her areas of expertise and passion.

But that recognition moves far beyond this award. With so many more ways to connect with one another, Dr. Manning, a self-proclaimed optimist, says that one of the most exciting changes is centered on communication.

“For us to move the needle on anti-racism and representation, and to do more for our patients and colleagues, it must be a shared conversation. I feel particularly optimistic that I’m able to be more transparent than ever. I’m saying things to people whom I would have been too scared to say them to in the past.

“We’re hungry to grow and learn together,” she continued. “People are interacting in a more positive and constructive way. I’m so glad that we’re pushing diversity and you can see that a lot of people want to see us do better with this. We can continue to do better with this.”

SHM’s 2020-2021 Awards of Excellence nominations are now open with nine unique categories, including Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership. If you have a peer or colleague in mind, like Dr. Manning, who has made exceptional contributions to DEI, or another important domain in hospital medicine, submit your nomination by Sept. 28, 2020.

“I have a feeling that this year has provided a lot of opportunity for people to emerge. The Committee is going to have a very, very tough job,” Dr. Manning said. “They are going to have some exciting nominations on their hands!”

Ms. Cowan is the marketing communications specialist at the Society of Hospital Medicine.

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