October 26, 2023

Karen Bloch honored for clinical excellence by Infectious Diseases Society of America

Vanderbilt’s Karen Bloch, MD, MPH, is one of two winners of the 2023 Watanakunakorn Clinician Award from the Infectious Disease Society of America.

Karen Bloch, MD, MPH

Karen Bloch, MD, MPH, professor of Medicine and associate director for clinical affairs in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, is one of two winners of the 2023 Watanakunakorn Clinician Award from the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA). Named in honor of Dr. Chatrchai Watanakunakorn, the award recognizes an IDSA member for outstanding achievement in the clinical practice of infectious diseases.

Bloch, the award citation reads in part, “is happiest on the wards or in the exam rooms of VUMC, where she cares for patients with patience, kindness and an encyclopedic knowledge of infectious diseases.”

In June 2022, Bloch and her team at the Monoclonal Antibody Influsion Clinic were honored with a VUMC Elevate Team Award in recognition of their untiring efforts to protect newly infected, high-risk COVID-19 patients from becoming acutely ill and requiring hospital care.

Block has received Vanderbilt’s William Schaffner Teaching Award in Infectious Diseases four times and VUMC’s Excellence in Patient Experience Award three times.

Beyond her direct clinical work, Bloch is considered an international expert in encephalitis, meningitis, and tick-borne infections. Among her research and publications are 55 articles in refereed journals, 16 book chapters, and 29 invited reviews.

Bloch completed medical school at the University of Virginia followed by residency in internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital and fellowship training in infectious diseases at the University of California, San Francisco. Bloch’s master’s in public health is from the University of California, Berkeley. She joined VUMC in 1997.

This year’s other Watanakunakorn awardee is Richard Prokesch, MD, founder of Infectious Diseases Associates, PC, in Riverdale, Georgia.