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Sam Caldwell
May 19, 2021

Staff Spotlight: Sam Caldwell

Our May staff spotlight is on Sam Caldwell, Agreements Manager in the Department of Medicine.
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Sam Caldwell joined the Department of Medicine central staff as our Agreements Manager in March 2021. She has been with the Division of Cardiology since 2014 as their contracts manager and supporting the Center for Cardiovascular Innovation.

As part of this newly created role, Sam will continue to devote effort to the management of Cardiology contracts, as well as manage non-sponsored agreements, 1460s and outside work, and sites of practice requests for the department. Additionally, she will assist in contract management in the division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, as well as the other divisions on an as-needed basis.

“We are thrilled to retain Sam’s expertise within the department!” said Christa Vardaro, Director of Business Planning.

Sam describes her role as the “shepherd” of all agreements that are not related to sponsored research for the thirteen divisions and the Department of Medicine.

“I love the people that I get to support, interact and work within the department and throughout the UW. I love helping our wizards of medicine and science have opportunities to engage in things outside of sponsored research.”

A third career

The University of Washington is Sam’s third career. She spent more than a decade providing direct patient care to children with special needs and adults with acquired brain injury as a certified optometric vision therapist. Her focus then shifted to how to improve systems in order to help providers and caregivers, and she spent a couple of years working for Xerox/Google in technology support, quality analysis, and training.

“For me, academic medicine has been a great fit because I get to support providers and look at ways to improve systems or remove roadblocks for them.”

Sam is a Seattle native and “raised to be a UW Husky,” she says. “My father was a faculty member at the UW and VA, and my mother, brother, sister-in-law, etc. are all graduates of various UW programs.”

She is a self-taught painter and used to regularly show at co-op galleries and in juried competitions, and was a teaching assistant for a UW painting program in Italy many years ago. It is a hobby she hopes to return to at some point in her life.

Currently, she is pursing a master’s degree in health leadership, which she expects to finish later this year. While the pandemic has limited her to work and school, she says she’s ready to return to taking random road trips and spending time with the people important to her.