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2021 Golden Stethoscope Award - Dr. Michael Burton

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

Dr. Michael R. Burton, MD

Medical Director, Emergency Department | Chair of the Medical Staff, Emergency Medicine Department - Fairbanks Memorial Hospital

A 20-year veteran of the medical staff for Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, Dr. Mike Burton has played a significant leadership role in a wide range of initiatives throughout the organization, and in the hospital's COVID pandemic response.

As the Medical Director of the ER and Chair of the Medical Staff for the Emergency Medicine Department, he partners closely with the Emergency Room Nursing Director, implementing safety protocols for the ER and ensuring consistent adherence by both medical and nursing staff.

He has also been a key leader in developing safety protocols throughout the organization, collaborating closely with the CNO, Lab Director, Occupational Health Manager, and also partnering with the medical leaders on the Cardiology, Medicine, Psychiatry, and Surgical services throughout the pandemic on admission and testing protocols.

"Whenever you hear about an effort that is having a significant impact on quality and safety at the hospital," summarizes Chief Medical Officer Dr. Angelique Ramirez, "it’s not long before you realize that Dr. Burton is a part of it."

Dr. Burton plays an active role on the Medical Executive Committee, from helping keep the focus on what’s best for patient care to assisting young medical staff members who are new to leadership roles, as well as in a number of initiatives which have all led to measurable improvements in improving quality and safety. These include developing protocols that allow pediatric behavioral health patients to board on the pediatrics unit awaiting transfer rather than in the ER; eliminating alert fatigue and improving patient safety by decreasing the number of alerts that clinicians see in the electronic health record; decreasing the Time to PCI for cardiac patients by a third consistently; and ensuring evidence-based care for stroke patients.

Dr. Burton is notable for his reliability in follow-through, communication, and inclusiveness with all key stakeholders; his collaboration with other disciplines; and the knowledge, expertise, and perspective as a frontline clinician that he brings to addressing institutional and community needs.

He will always recognize the contributions of others and deflect any recognition of his own contributions. Respected and appreciated by all, Dr. Burton is seen as a trusted and respected teammate by the members of the Emergency Medicine staff and by colleagues across the entire hospital system.

Congratulations, Dr. Burton!

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