Regina M. Benjamin MD, the 18th U.S. Surgeon General (2009-2013) and NOLA.com/Times Picayune Endowed Chair in Public Health Sciences at Xavier University, will accept the 2013 Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism from the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) at its annual Schweitzer Leadership Awards Ceremony & Reception in Cambridge, Mass., Nov. 1. She will also deliver a keynote speech at the organization’s annual Leadership Conference on Nov. 2.
The Prize for Humanitarianism recognizes an individual whose life example has significantly mitigated the social determinants of health in the US and/or abroad, and whose commitment to service influences and inspires others. Past honorees include Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, Norman Cousins, Marian Wright-Edelman, Dr. David Satcher, Ted Turner, and Desmond Tutu.
“From her work with the National Health Service Corps as a medical student to her founding of the Bayou Clinic and her tenure as Surgeon General, Dr. Benjamin’s service is an inspiring example for our Fellows, who will soon be influencing public policy in their own right,” said Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, executive director of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “Dr. Benjamin epitomizes Albert Schweitzer’s famous observation, ‘With a little reason and much heart, one can change many things, or move mountains.’ We are so proud to honor her lifetime of service with the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism.”
“I am so pleased to be receiving The Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism,” said Dr. Benjamin. “Advancement of public health takes patience and perseverance, and The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship is giving those who will be undertaking this important work the leadership skills they will need to get the job done.”
The Prize for Humanitarianism is awarded annually in conjunction with ASF’s Schweitzer Leadership Conference, an opportunity for established and emerging professionals to learn from leaders who are shaping the way we think, talk, and act when it comes to health equity, health care, social change, and public policy. Dr. Benjamin will deliver the afternoon plenary address at the Leadership Conference.
The awards ceremony takes places from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 40 Edwin Land Boulevard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Learn more about the ceremony and the conference at SchweitzerFellowship.org.
Founded in 1940, ASF has 11 Fellowship sites around the country, including one in New Orleans, where Dr. Benjamin works and resides.
About The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) is improving the health of vulnerable people now and for the future by developing a corps of Leaders in Service—professionals skilled in creating positive change with and in our communities, our health and human service systems, and our world.
Through community-based, mentored direct service and a multidisciplinary, reflective leadership development program, ASF is building community capacity and training a professional workforce that is:
• skilled in addressing the underlying causes of health inequities;
• committed to improving the health outcomes of underserved communities; and
• prepared for a life of continued service.
To date, nearly 2,500 Schweitzer Fellows have delivered nearly 500,000 hours of service to nearly 300,000 people in need. Additionally, more than 100 Fellows have provided care at the 100-year-old Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Africa. Through this work and through the contributions of Fellows whose professional careers serve their communities, ASF perpetuates the legacy and philosophy of physician-humanitarian Dr. Albert Schweitzer. ASF has 11 program locations in the U.S. and one in Lambaréné, Africa. Its national office is located in Boston, MA and hosted by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.