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Best in Sleep 2011 Award Winners recognizes the achievements of sleep physicians and sleep technologists that go above and beyond promoting healthy sleep awareness in the community and the overall benefits to sleep medicine. Annually, receives nominations for Best in Sleep Technologist and Sleep Physician. These nominations are reviewed by a committee panel of judges consisting of RPSGT's and Board Certified Sleep Physicians. The winners of these awards are announced at the SLEEP conference held annually. Listed below are the award winners for Best in Sleep Technologist and Sleep Physician.

This contest is done by 1800CPAP.COM every 2 years. So get ready for 2013 for the next best in sleep winners to be announced. Time and place of announcement will soon be disclosed. In the meantime just do everything you can to put the patient first and the sleep industry will flourish in the right way.

Best in Sleep-Technologist 2011 Winners

Megan Rauch

Megan Rauch

Credential(s): RRT, RPSGT

Sleep Center: UNMH Sleep Disorders Center

Position: Technical Supervisor

Nomination Description

Her efforts in attracting respiratory care professionals into our field have already been described. She takes seriously her responsibility to mentor other technologists, and is a sought-after advisor and teacher for our sleep medicine trainees (fellows and residents) and on frequent occasions is called upon to educate our physicians and mid-level providers.

On a personal note, Megan is a delightful individual with whom to work. She has the sense of humor that often proves valuable in the bureaucratic world of academic health care, yet she is persistent and inventive when it comes to executing on plans and strategies that have been instrumental in our success. Her reliability is without question: when she is asked to accomplish a project, there is no doubt in anyone?s mind that she will find a way to achieve the desired result. She will step up to help the entire Center when needed. When our office supervisor left, she was willing to cover that position for several months in addition to all of her regular duties as our technical supervisor to help ensure that the clinical practice continued with as little disruption as possible. For all of these reasons, and more that are not listed here, we are pleased and honored to nominate Megan Rauch RRT, RPSGT as "Best in Sleep" 2011.

Awards and Achievements

Megan has published articles in Advance for Respiratory Care and Sleep Medicine Magazine. The most recent article was just released April 19, 2011 and is titled Improving Inter-Scorer Reliability; it was co-authored with one of our eminent sleep medicine faculty, Dr. Madeleine Grigg-Damberger. Another article in Advance for Respiratory Care and Sleep Medicine Magazine appeared in the September 1, 2005 issue and was entitled Another Option to Treat OSA in Youngsters? This manuscript was co-authored with Ibrahim Abdulhamid MD, DABSM and Robyn Parrott RCP and described the use of high-flow, highly humidified air administered through nasal cannulae as a treatment for obstructive sleep apnea in children.

Her work has appeared in other publications as well. For instance, she authored the article Making CPAP Work that was printed in the June, 2003 issue of RT: For Decision Makers in Respiratory Care. This extremely perceptive article described tips and techniques for improving compliance with CPAP treatment.,Megan was also honored by UNMH in 2010 as the recipient of the "Distinguished Healthcare Worker" award for our department.

Above and Beyond

Megan's passion is sleep medicine, and pediatric sleep medicine above all. To that end, she has worked tireless to expand and develop the inpatient polysomnography program at the University of New Mexico Hospital (UNMH). Our institution includes a major component that cares for the children of New Mexico with a wide variety of disabilities, including those that involve respiratory compromise both awake and asleep. These are young people with muscular dystrophies, facial and upper airway dysmorphologies, and congenital chest wall deformities as well as premature infants and other newborns that are suspected of having infant sleep apnea, congenital central hypoventilation syndrome, or other ventilatory abnormalities.

Through Megan's efforts, we are able to offer full overnight polysomnography, including non-invasive positive airway pressure titration, at any location in UNMH including pediatric or neonatal intensive care, pediatric (and adult) inpatient units of every type, and even accommodate fragile outpatients in a setting with easy access to hospital-based emergency services. She has recruited and trained technologists who hold registry in both polysomnographic technology and respiratory care so that the full degree of expertise can be applied to these often difficult and challenging patients. To our knowledge, this program is unique in our state and not found in many areas much more populous and medically resourced than New Mexico.

In addition, Megan has developed and given numerous presentations to the general public as well as in professional venues. Some examples include:,2008: She presented at the 10th annual Eyewitness News 4 Heath Fair at the Manuel Lujan Building at the State Fair Grounds. The "billing" for this event read, "This year UNMH will feature a presentation at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 26 by Megan Rauch of the UNM Sleep Disorders Center regarding kids and sleep". 2009: Megan co-presented with Nancy Polnaszek, MBA, Director of the UNMH Sleep Disorders Center, the topic, "Impact of Poor Sleep on Learning and Conduct in Kids" to School nurses with the purpose of increasing awareness of the impact of sleep disorders and sleep deprivation on children and learning.,2011: Megan organized and presented at a break-out session during the New Mexico Thoracic Society Lung Disease Symposium on the subject of transitioning respiratory care professionals into careers as polysomnographic technologists.

Best in Sleep-Technologist 2011 Runner Up

Rodney Penner

Rodney Penner

Credential(s): RPSGT, LRPSGT, LPN, MCP, MOS

Sleep Center: Red River Sleep Center, Inc.

Position: Chief Technologist


Rodney Penner entered Polysomnography in 1998 and earned the RPSGT credential in June of 2000, later becoming the first sleep technologist to be licensed in Polysomnography by the state of Louisiana. He has worked exclusively with Red River Sleep Center for the past 12 years and currently serves as their Chief Technologist. Rodney is also a member in good standing with the American Association of Sleep Technologists and the Louisiana Academy of Sleep Medicine.

Best in Sleep-Technologist 2001 Honorable Mention

Walter "Scott" Stinson

Gail McDonough

Best in Sleep-Physician 2011

Charlene Gamaldo MD

Charlene Gamaldo MD


Sleep Center: The Sleep Center at The Johns Hopkins

Position: Medical Director

Nomination Description

Ultimately, Dr. Gamaldo is in the trajectory to become a recognized leader in the research and education of sleep with original research contributions that will increase our awareness and understanding of disrupted sleep in neurological patients. She is committed to a research career in academics and remains motivated to complete the goals she has set for herself.

Dr. Gamaldo manages to maintain a strong balance of research, educational, and clinical goals, which makes her a unique leader and true mentor. Moreover, she is maintains genuine enthusiasm in learning and striving to be better. She has been, and continues to be, an excellent mentor, colleague, educator, researcher, clinician, and friend. Thus, in summary, Dr. Gamaldo is deserving of the 2011 Best Sleep Physician Award.

Dr. Gamaldo will undoubtedly propose and establish new strategies on not only improving sleep but in the educational front as well. Dr. Gamaldo also has a strong background in both clinical and education arenas. Currently she is the co-director of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Neurology Medical Student Clerkship as well as the Neurology and Neurophysiology Fellow Sleep Medicine Rotation where she established a sleep education program for trainees. This allows her the unique opportunity to educate trainees on the important of sleep medicine not only for their patients but also for themselves. This also allows her the opportunity to recruit talented trainees into the field of sleep and neurology.

She has also obtained educational grants through the AAN and AASM to further study and promote sleep medicine education. She has also recently become the Director for the Johns Hopkins Sleep Disorders Center where not only the staff and colleagues appreciate her fairness and motivational energy, but her patients also respect and love her.Dr Gamaldo has spent a significant amount of time working on her research specifically studying HIV and sleep, an underrepresented area of focus.

Dr. Charlene Gamaldo's research focus incorporates an exciting approach to understanding disrupted sleep in individuals with HIV from cognitive, performance, and sensory perspective. Her work with HIV will serve as the foundation and model for evaluating sleep across several conditions. Her overall research goal is to look at the impact of sleep on neurological function and the progression of neurological disease. This line of research has the potential to lead to novel methods aimed at improving sleep quality resulting in improved morbidity and mortality for many neurological patients.

Her accomplishments, including publications and grant submissions are testimony to her hard work and her intelligence. She is a forthright speaker, who is inspiring to students and trainees, because of her honesty and straightforward presentations and discussions. A collaborative spirit is at the heart of Dr Gamaldo's strength and is why she will be both successful and a magnet for future physicians considering a career in sleep medicine.

Awards and Publications

Co-chief Resident, UNC Neurology Department,AAN Resident Scholarship Award

JHU Nominee for the Doris Duke Clinical Scientist Development Award

Gamaldo CE, Earley CJ. Restless legs syndrome: a clinical update. Chest 2006; 130:1596-604. PMID: 17099042

Gamaldo CE, Salas R. Sleep medicine education: are medical schools and residency programs napping on the job? Nat Clin Pract Neurol. 2008 Jun;4(6):344-45.,PMID:18446150

Salas RM, Gamaldo CE. Sleep Medicine for the Neurologist. Hospital Physician Neurology Board Review Manual. Fall 2009.

Salas RM, Rasquinha R, Gamaldo CE. All the Wrong Moves: A Clinical Review of Restless Legs Syndrome, Periodic Limb Movements of Sleep and Wake, and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder Clinics in Chest Medicine;2010: Jun;31(2):383-95. ,PMID: 20488295

Salas RM, Gamaldo CE, Allen RP. Current Opinion: Update in Restless Legs Syndrome. Current Opinion in Neurology. 2010 Aug;23(4):401-6. PMID: 20581683.

Salas RM, Gamaldo CE. Diagnostic and Therapeutic Considerations in Sleep Disorders. 2011 March;18(3):129-44. ,,,Case Reports

Salas,RE, Allen,RP, Earley,CJ, Gamaldo,CE. A Case of Compulsive Behaviors Observed in a RLS Patient Treated with a Dopamine Agonist. Sleep. 2009 May 1;32(5):587-8. PMID: 19480224

Salas,RE, Allen,RP, Earley,CJ, Gamaldo,CE. Drug hoarding: A case of atypical dopamine dysregulation syndrome in a RLS patient. Movement Disorders, 2009 Mar 15;24(4):627-8. PMID: 19133660

Gamaldo, CE, Salas, RE, Collop, NA. Complex Arrhythmia during a sleep study ? What to do. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2009 Apr, 15;5(2): 171-3. PMID: 19968052

Salas RE, Gamaldo CE, Wityk R, Collop NA. Concurrent Presentation of Palatal Myoclonus and Sleep Apnea: A Polysomnographic Assessment. Sleep Medicine. 2009 Dec;10(10):1163-6. PMID: 19819184

Gamaldo CE, Earley CJ. Iron Therapy in Restless Legs Syndrome. In Ondo WG (ed), Restless Legs Syndrome: Diagnosis and Treatment. New York, Informa Healthcare, 2007, pp 325-334.

Gamaldo CE, Kaplan P. Neurologic Disease in Women. In Panayiotopoulos CP (ed), The Educational Kit on Epilepsies (Vol. 4): Epilepsies and Women Of All Ages. 2008, Chapter 2, 15-25.

Collop N, Salas R, Delayo M, Gamaldo C. Normal Sleep and Circadian Processes. In: Sleep and the ICU, Critical Care Clinics. Guest Editor: Collop N; Elsevier Inc, Philadelphia, PA, 2008 Jul;24(3):449-60. PMID: 18538194

Salas R, Gamaldo C. Adverse Effects of Sleep Deprivation in the ICU. In: Sleep and the ICU, Critical Care Clinics. Guest Editor: Collop N; Elsevier Inc, 2008 Jul;24(3):461-76. PMID: 18538195

Salas RE, Rashquina R, Gamaldo, CE. Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) and Related Periodic Leg Movements of Sleep (PLMS): Tips and Tools for Proper Screening and Diagnosis. In : Handbook Of Sleep Medicine, 2nd Edition, (in press)