Wengel, Akers, Smith honored for work with residents

Dr. Steven Wengel congratulates Dr. Andrew Smith on winning the Cecil L. Wittson Award.

Three Department of Psychiatry employees were honored for their excellent work with new doctors on June 6 at the Creighton University Psychiatry Program Resident and Fellowship Banquet.

Dr. Steven Wengel, vice chancellor of wellness education for UNMC/UNO and interim geriatric division director, was awarded the Golden Couch Award. Community Service Technician Celeste Akers received the Golden Star Award.

Adrienne Van Winkle, senior program director, said the residents raved about their work with Wengel and Akers.

This Golden Couch Award is given to recognize an outstanding psychotherapy supervisor. Psychotherapy supervision is a working alliance between a faculty member and a resident in which residents offer an account of their work. The resident reflects on it, and receives feedback and guidance. The object of this alliance is to enable the residents to expand their ethical competence, confidence, and creativity as well as give the best possible care to their patients.

“Dr. Steven Wengel has served as a supervisor for many years and has been a constant favorite,” Van Winkle said. “With his truly vast array of knowledge of both psychiatric and non-psychiatric topics he creates a fun and engaging atmosphere for conversation.”

The Golden Star award is given to a staff member who has demonstrated character beyond the requirements of their calling. This involves making themselves available to residents, particularly in challenging situations and often the participation of these team members has changed the course of a patient’s prognosis or treatment.

“Celeste Akers was described by residents as ‘the bomb social worker’ who everyone loves, as she continually improves both the working environment for residents and the lives of the patients.”

During the ceremony, Dr. Wengel presented the Cecil L. Wittson Award to Dr. Andrew Smith.

The Wittson Award for Outstanding Performance as a House Officer in Psychiatry is given to the resident who consistently demonstrates excellent qualities as a physician, psychiatrist, and colleague. Dr. Wengel said Smith’s showed outstanding clinical skill, innovative thinking, availability, supportiveness, dedication to the field, humanism, and respect for diversity. Residents and fellows who win this award are poised to become future leaders, researchers, teachers, and advocates for their patients


Dr. Andrew Smith congratulates Celeste Akers on winning the Golden Star Award.

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