Gabriela de Bruin, MD
DEPARTMENT OF NEUROLOGY
Professor of Neurology
Vice Chair of Clinical Operations, Department of Neurology
2023 Dean’s Impact Award Recipient
Gabriela de Bruin, MD, played an outstanding role in supporting the Department of Neurology as clinical operations director during the COVID-19 pandemic.
De Bruin led the clinical operations team in transitioning from 100% in-person to more than 25,000 telemedicine visits per year at the pandemic’s peak. For care that had to remain in-person, she worked with clinic directors to implement new safety protocols and to train faculty and staff. She was the department point person regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) and exposure/quarantine recommendations and communicated these to faculty. It required no small amount of diplomacy to reassure some providers that the best response was to follow the expert advice of infectious disease colleagues to avoid anxiety-driven responses that harm patient care. De Bruin was also responsible for most inpatient schedules. She gathered faculty concerns about personal risk, vetted them with the infectious diseases team, and created a new schedule that removed faculty most at risk for severe disease from frontline work, then took on extra inpatient time herself to support this change. She also worked with the command center to create contingency plans to address provider shortages. It is impossible to convey in a letter the immense amount of time and dedication required to lead the clinical operations of a department of 160+ faculty, 40+ fellows and 800+ staff during such an unprecedented time. We were fortunate to have physician leaders like de Bruin who balanced their understanding of clinical work with leadership skills to manage difficult changes during this time.