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GlenBob Leadership Award

The GlenBob Leadership Award honors a member of our academic medical community and recognizes contributions made at a consistently high level over many years.

2024 Award Recipient

Karin Porter Williamson portrait

Karin B. Porter-Williamson, M.D.
Division Director & Associate Professor, Palliative Medicine

Dr. Porter-Williamson is an Associate Professor and Division Director for Palliative Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She is also the Medical Director for Palliative Care Services at the University of Kansas Health System.

Dr. Porter-Williamson's professional focus has been on the building and maturation of a world-class Palliative Medicine Program, including an inpatient inter-professional consultation service that sees more than 3,000 new inpatient consults per year, the Allen J. Block Outpatient Palliative Care Program at the University of Kansas Cancer Center which also sees more than 3000 patient encounters annually, and outpatient services for the Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation program at the University of Kansas Transplant Center. New ambulatory clinics in Pediatrics, adolescent/young adults, Parkinson's, ALS, and advanced pulmonary illness have opened in 2023.

Dr. Porter-Williamson began important collaborations with Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care (KCHPC) in 2005 when KU Medical Center and KCHPC joined in the creation of the first Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship in the Great Plains region. When Palliative Medicine became an official ABMS specialty, and ACGME began accrediting Hospice and Palliative Medicine fellowship programs in 2008, Dr. Porter-Williamson served as the fellowship director for the program through that process.

What is a Leader?

  • A leader puts aside personality differences in order to accomplish institutional goals and does not make decisions based on personal pride or ego.
  • A leader takes calculated risks based on the best information available but does not take risks that threaten the survival of the institution.
  • A good leader keeps communication lines open so ideas can be discussed and plans made.
  • A leader rises above the fray to see the entire campaign, envisioning the future and thinking years ahead.
  • A leader is a visionary who can see beyond the needs of today and to inspire change which will enable the institution to be prepared for the future. Without vision and foresight into ideas for the future and before others even realize any need exists is the difference between one who leads and a great leader.
  • Leadership inspires others to go beyond what they thought they could do.

History of Award

The award is faculty-initiated and recognizes our colleagues who have shown sustained leadership and excellence in their service to the University of Kansas schools of Health Professions, Medicine and Nursing, and the medical center.

For the purpose of this award, leadership and excellence can be in any area of academic life, including innovations that radically improve or transform clinical outcomes, educational processes, health care policy and economic development, government and media relations, or advocacy and representation on behalf of patients, peers or our health care organization.
The first leadership award was given in 2008 to Glen Cox, M.D. and thereafter the award was named after Dr. Cox.

In 2022, the award was renamed from the Glendon G. Cox Leadership award to the GlenBob Leadership award, recognizing both Glen G. Cox, M.D., the first recipient of the leadership award, and honorary recipient of the award, Robert M. Klein, Ph.D.

Award Criteria and Eligibility

Eligible persons are those members of our faculty who have demonstrated the traits that are so admired in Drs. Cox and Klein. The continuation of this award will honor deserving current and future campus leaders. The $1,500 cash prize underscores the importance of leadership within the health science community.

  • The recipient shall be an individual whose achievements at the University of Kansas Medical Center campuses have provided leadership in the education of patient care professionals, health care delivery, and/or service in the schools of Health Professions, Medicine or Nursing, the hospital and/or other health care settings.
  • In selecting the recipient, primary consideration shall be given to individuals who have displayed outstanding contributions, such as the following:
    • advanced education that crosses school boundaries
    • improved welfare of patients at The University of Kansas Health System hospitals and ambulatory clinics
    • improved health care delivery practices and structure
    • unified the KU Medical Center organization
    • built strong local, state and regional community relationships
    • positively changed the culture of the KU Medical Center organization
    • Previous winners of this award are not eligible to win a second time.

Nomination Process and Timeline


  • Letter of recommendation and candidate CV submitted via email. Send all nominations to Jenny Laffey, Director of Faculty Affairs
  • Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year.


  • Direct all questions to Robert M. Klein, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs.

Previous Awardees

  • 2022 - Erin Corriveau, M.D., MPH, and Matthew S. Mayo, Ph.D.
  • 2022 - Robert M. Klein, Ph.D. (honorary)
  • 2021 - Garold O. Minns, M.D., and Robert Moser, M.D.
  • 2020 - Allen Greiner, M.D. and Dana Hawkinson, M.D.
  • 2018 - Cynthia Teel, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, and Belinda Vail, M.D.
  • 2017 - Roy Jensen, M.D.
  • 2016 - William Cathcart-Rake, M.D., FACP, and Pam Shaw, M.D.
  • 2015 - Paige Geiger, Ph.D.
  • 2013 - Steven Stites, M.D.
  • 2012 - Karen L. Miller, Ph.D.,RN, FAAN
  • 2011 - Kirk Benson, M.D.
  • 2010 - George Varghese, M.D.
  • 2009 - Gary C. Doolittle, M.D.
  • 2008 - Glendon G. Cox, M.D., MBA, MHSA
"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing."
Faculty Affairs and Career Development

University of Kansas Medical Center
Faculty Affairs and Career Development
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