May 25, 2021

Stigler named 2021 Dean’s Excellence Award Winner in Service

Written by

StiglerSteve Stigler, M.D., associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, is the senior faculty winner of the 2021 Dean’s Excellence Award in Service.

He serves as medical director of the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and leads the UAB tele-ICU operations center in providing with 24/7 intensivist coverage to other hospitals across the country.

Since March 2020, Stigler has been the face of ICU care for the many patients stricken with COVID infection and admitted to UAB. He was able to overcome the odds stacked against so many of these patients to offer life-saving interventions. In fact, before anyone ever heard of COVID 19, Stigler led the effort to master prone positioning for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

This was a surprisingly challenging technique to master, and UAB is one of the few hospitals in the region to even attempt it. When COVID patients with ARDS began flooding our system, Stigler and the team of MICU nurses, respiratory therapists, and physicians exported this knowledge to other ICUs as the MICU Service overflowed. Undoubtedly, this preparation and smooth dissemination contributed to our excellent outcomes.

When Stigler wasn’t at the bedside taking care of these patients, he was in the Command Center helping make decisions as the crisis rapidly unfolded. As patient counts rose, he worked with personnel across the hospital to double the number of providers to provide exemplary patient care. This expansion, later contraction and then re-expansion with the fall/winter surge was done seamlessly under his supervision.

Stigler’s leadership during this crisis had a profoundly positive effect on the morale of our physicians and APPs within our division and inspired confidence among other providers and staff across the UAB Healthcare System, and beyond.

Stigler came to UAB in 2012 following his training at Massachusetts General Hospital and in the Harvard Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship. He also served as chief medical resident for the MGH Internal Medicine Program from 2010 to 2011.