Guardian of Emergency Medicine Award


To recognize physicians, nurses, legislators, other organizations, or individuals who have gone above and beyond the norm to protect the safety net of emergency medicine, improve the quality of patient care delivery, and work to support the efforts of WA ACEP.

Award Date

At the Summit to the Sound.


Annually if an appropriate recipient exists. Can be multiple awards depending upon the applications submitted.


The Legislative Affairs Committee shall review nominations submitted by membership, board members, or staff for recognition. A vote of the committee shall be done to recommend the award to the board of directors. The board of directors shall have final approval or denial authority.

2018 Recipients:

Kathryn Kolan, JD
Katie Kolan is the Washington State Medical Association’s(WSMA) Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. Katie’s primary responsibility is advancing the association’s legislative and regulatory agenda. In addition to those responsibilities, Katie assists with legal and policy analysis and research on a wide variety of health law and policy issues impacting physicians, physician assistants and the delivery of and access to care. Prior to joining the WSMA, she focused on legislative, regulatory and policy issues for a Washington State agency. She has worked in other capacities in the health care arena. Ms. Kolan was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2010.


Sean Graham
Sean Graham joined the WSMA in November of 2013 and is the Associate Director for Policy & Political Affairs. In addition to legislative advocacy, he also staffs WAMPAC – the WSMA’s campaign arm. Sean previously worked as staff in the state Senate in a variety of capacities from 2007 to 2013. He is a 2007 graduate of Central Washington University with a bachelor of arts in political science.

Ms. Kolan and Mr. Graham are recognized for their leadership and collaboration on the balance billing/network adequacy issue. They have spent countless hours meeting with legislators, developing strategies, and organizing an advocacy team of specialty physicians to create a workable answer to a complex medical-billing problem.  Their dedication and support in these times of ever growing legislative, regulatory and political challenges for physicians helps all providers and our patients. WA-ACEP values their partnership as we explore solutions to the challenges facing the House of Medicine.

Past Recipients

2017: Washington Chapter, Emergency Nurses Association
2015: Carol Ostrom, The Seattle Times; and Sean Robinson, Tacoma News Tribune
2013: Tim Layton, JD, MPA and Susie Tracy
2012: The Honorable Eileen Cody; Stephen Anderson, MD, FACEP; and Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD, MBA, FACEP