The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) announced today that Vice Admiral Regina M. Benjamin, MD, MBA, 18th US Surgeon General (2009-2013) will receive the 2013 Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism.
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 Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism honorees include Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, Norman Cousins, Teresa Heinz Kerry, Dr. C. Everett Koop, Dr. Robert Lawrence, and Ted Turner.
Tickets to the awards ceremony and reception are $200 and can be purchased online.
The Prize for Humanitarianism is awarded annually in conjunction with ASF’s Schweitzer Leadership Conference. The 2013 Schweitzer Leadership Conference will take place Saturday, November 2, 2013 and the awards ceremony will take place Friday, November 1, 2013. The Schweitzer Leadership Conference is an opportunity for established and emerging professionals with an interest in building healthier communities 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. The theme of this year’s conference is “Building Healthier Communities: The Power of One” which echoes pioneering physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer’s observation in Thoughts for Our Times that “with a little reason and much heart, one can change many things, or move mountains.”
ASF will also present the 2013 Albert Schweitzer Clarion Award for Health Promotion and Education to Dr. Timothy Johnson, Vice Chair of the ASF Board of Directors on November 1. For more than 30 years, Dr. Johnson worked as a medical editor for ABC News and served as one of the nation’s leading medical communicators of healthcare information.
“We cannot improve healthcare in this country without sharing information,” said Dr. Johnson. “This recognition from The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, which does so much to teach emerging healthcare leaders about the value of communicating information with patients, policymakers, and others, is deeply meaningful to me.”
The Lawrence Gussman Award for Extraordinary Service to The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship will be presented to Dr. Lachlan Forrow, President Emeritus, a member of ASF’s Board of Directors for nearly 30 years, and co-founder in 1991 of the U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Programs, with Mark L. Wolf (today ASF Chairman Emeritus). The Gussman Award is given in honor of Lawrence Gussman (1915-2004), longtime leader of ASF. Gussman first met Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Lambaréné in 1957, and returned to the Schweitzer Hospital almost annually for many years thereafter. Gussman went on to serve ASF as Treasurer, Vice President, President, and Chairman, as well as serving for years as President of the International Albert Schweitzer Foundation (AISL).
“It is a special honor to receive this award in Larry Gussman’s name because everything I have done through ASF since 1982 has been designed to ensure that ASF continues to promote Dr. Schweitzer’s ethic of Reverence for Life in ways Larry would be proud of,” said Dr. Forrow. “My own experience at the Schweitzer Hospital as a 1982 Lambaréné Medical Student Fellow was life-changing, and Larry would be thrilled at the extraordinary growth and vibrancy of our U.S. and Lambaréné Schweitzer Fellows Programs.”
Robert L. Satcher, Jr., MD, PhD will deliver the keynote address at the Schweitzer Leadership Conference November 2, 2013. Satcher is an assistant professor in the department of orthopedic oncology at Houston’s MD Anderson Center. As a NASA astronaut, Dr. Satcher completed two spacewalks from the space shuttle Atlantis, and in 1993, he served as a Scweitzer Fellow at The Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon.
“Returning as a Fellow for Life and as a keynote speaker for the annual Leadership Conference is a tremendous honor. The honorees have made outstanding contributions in medicine that set an example for everyone to follow,” said Dr. Satcher. “My time in Lambaréné at The Albert Schweitzer Hospital set the blueprint for service throughout my career.”
“The Schweitzer Leadership Conference is the premier annual event for students interested in working in the fields of health, social justice, and public policy. It brings together 250 of the most promising emerging leaders from across the country for networking and the exchange of innovative ideas,” said Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. “The Surgeon General, Dr. Satcher, and Dr. Johnson are inspiring examples for those who will be, in just a few short years, influencing public health policy.”
This year’s conference will mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon. The hospital remains the primary source of healthcare for the surrounding region since Dr. Schweitzer founded it in 1913.
This year’s Schweitzer Leadership Conference begins Friday, November 1, 2013 with the Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism Ceremony & Reception. It continues Saturday, November 2, 2013 with a day-long conference at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 40 Land Boulevard, Cambridge.
Conference topics this year will include: the impact of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act on health equity; innovative methods being employed to reduce youth violence; how to increase health literacy in an increasingly complicated health care landscape; and meeting the mental health needs of vulnerable children.
Participants must register by October 23, 2013.
For more information, visit SchweitzerFellowship.org/features/conference/.
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 12 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.