The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) will present its 2017 Awards for Humanitarianism, Health Promotion, and Service at its annual SPARK! Awards Gala on Friday, October 27.
Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Michigan State University College and Director of the Pediatric Residency Program at Hurley Children’s Hospital will receive the 2017 Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism. In 2014, Dr. Hanna-Attisha followed up on a tip from an engineer with the Environmental Protection Agency to test the levels of lead in pediatric patients of Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint. Her study revealed that the blood levels of lead in children living in Flint had spiked after the city changed it source of drinking water. Dr. Hanna-Attisha publicized her findings and refused to back down when officials with the state of Michigan tried to discredit her work. By standing her ground, the broader public was made aware of the dangers of drinking the city’s water and the state of Michigan changed the city’s water supply. Today, Dr. Hanna-Attisha directs the Michigan State University and Hurley Children’s Hospital Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative public health program to research, monitor and mitigate the impact of the Flint water crisis. Her brilliance, courage, and dogged commitment to human rights and the children of Flint makes her a true public health hero.
The Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism recognizes a portfolio of work that has significantly mitigated the social determinants of health in the US and/or abroad, and that embodies a commitment to service that influences and inspires others. Past honorees include Ralph Fuccillo, president of the Boston-based DentaQuest Foundation; Partners In Health; Irwin Redlener, MD, co-founder and president of the Children’s Health Fund; former US Surgeons General Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA, David Satcher, MD, and C. Everett Koop, MD; Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.; and founder and president of the Children’s Defense Fund Marian Wright Edelman.
Rushika Fernandopulle, MD, MPP, co-founder and CEO of Iora Health and a Schweitzer Fellow for Life will receive the Clarion Award for Health Promotion and Education. Iora Health is a Boston-based healthcare practice that has developed a high impact, relationship-based model of health care. Iora Health’s payment system emphasizes outcomes, not procedures, and its unique medical record systems prioritizes patients’ population-based data. With offices around the country, Iora is transforming healthcare delivery. As a Schweitzer Fellow in Boston in 1993-94, Fernandopulle created a manual for a health clinic that provided care to people who were homeless. Designed to assist the physicians volunteering at the clinic, the manual was a checklist of health issues common to people dealing with chronic homelessness. Fernandopulle has said that his time as a Schweitzer Fellow helped him solidify his desire to increase access to care for underserved communities. By transforming healthcare delivery, and making it more accessible, Fernandopulle is raising awareness of health access.
The Schweitzer Clarion Award for Health Promotion and Education was established in 2013 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, Africa. It recognizes significant achievement in promoting health information, education, and treatment to improve health outcomes for all people, especially the most vulnerable among us. Past honorees include Dr. Edward J. Benz, Jr., President and CEO of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston; Drew Altman, PhD, president and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; Joseph R. Betancourt, MD, MPH, director of the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital; and Timothy Johnson, MD, Former medical editor for ABC News.
Sylvia Stevens-Edouard will receive the 2017 Lawrence Gussman Award for Extraordinary Service to The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Stevens-Edouard is the former Executive Director of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. Under her leadership, ASF dramatically increased its effectiveness and capacity by successfully undergoing a strategic, system-wide reorganization by. Today, ASF has 14 chapters around the country that are closely affiliated with partner schools deeply invested in ASF’s mission to serve and empower vulnerable people to live healthier lives and create healthier communities.
The SPARK! Awards are given annually in conjunction with ASF’s SPARK! Leadership Conference. The SPARK! Gala will take place on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 from 6-9pm at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston.