On Nov. 2, the Schweitzer Fellowship honored
Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program Founder James (Jim)
OâConnell, MD with the 2012 Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism.
This morning, WBUR (Bostonâs NPR station) aired an in-depth profile of OâConnell as part of its Visionaries
series. The profile is thoughtful, comprehensive, and well worth a
listen for anyone whoâs interested in working towards health equity and
In addition to detailing OâConnellâs nontraditional path to medicine
(and, ultimately, street medicine), the evolution of his practice
towards Housing First, and his approach to building trust with homeless
patients, the profile highlights OâConnellâs remarkable humility:
As celebrated as he is, Dr. Jim OâConnell is
exceptionally modest. At a ceremony in Cambridge in early November, when
he was awarded the prestigious Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism, the first thing he said when he took the podium was, âIf anybody knows a large rock, Iâd love to crawl under it right now.â
Click here to read or listen to the full profile.
As OâConnell told the Observer (the newspaper of his alma mater, Notre Dame) in an interview about the Schweitzer Prize,
âTo get this award was really nice. I really admire what Schweitzer did
and what he stood for, and it is thrilling to receive an award named in
his honor. I especially like his idea that rather than what we write,
we should be remembered by what we do; we should let how we live be our
OâConnell has done exactly that, and we were thrilled to honor him with this yearâs Schweitzer Prize.
For more coverage of OâConnell and the Schweitzer Prize, check out the Boston Globeâs two recent features: Click here to read the Globeâs Nov. 3 article, and click here to read its Nov. 22 editorial.