Margarita Alegría, director of Cambridge Health Alliance’s Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research and HMS professor of psychiatry, is the recipient of the 2011 Excellence in Hispanic Mental Health Research, Advocacy and Leadership Award from the National Resource Center for Hispanic Mental Health. Honored for her many contributions to the Latino community and the mental health arena, Alegría has championed researching disparities in mental health and substance abuse services, with the goal of improving access, equity, and quality of these services for disadvantaged and minority populations. Alegría serves as the principal Investigator of multiple research initiatives, including the groundbreaking National Latino and Asian American Study, which examines the psychiatric disorders and service needs among Latin American and Asian American populations.
Anne Fabiny, chief of Geriatrics at Cambridge Health Alliance and HMS assistant professor of medicine, was awarded the HMS 2011 Charles McCabe Faculty Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Since 1982, this honor has been bestowed on HMS’s most outstanding teachers. Fabiny was recognized for her role with the HMS-Cambridge Integrated Clerkship, for which she serves as associate director. Launched in 2004, the Clerkship is a complete redesign of the principal clinical year in medical school that serves as a national model for clinical education reform.
David Friedman, HMS assistant professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, was selected to receive a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award (CSDA) for his research project, APOL1 Variants and Renal Disease in African Americans. The CSDA provides funding for physician-scientists in the process of establishing independent research teams, enabling them to secure 75 percent of their professional time for clinical research. This year’s awardees will receive $486,000 each over three years. Their research spans a variety of disease areas, including Parkinson’s Disease, HIV/AIDS and Type 1 diabetes.
Atul Gawande, HMS associate professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, was among the winners of the American Society of Magazine Editors’ 2011 National Magazine Awards for a New Yorker magazine article titled “Letting Go,” which examines what medicine should do when it can’t save a life. This is Gawande’s second National Magazine Award.
The laboratory of Robert Sackstein, HMS associate professor of dermatology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has been granted a prestigious Program of Excellence Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to support investigations in glycobiology, a discipline that examines how sugars direct biologic processes. This particular Program of Excellence Award, the “Program of Excellence in Glycosciences,” is one of only five bestowed nation-wide, and provides more than $17 million in funding over seven years to support research in the laboratory of Sackstein and his collaborators.
Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) honored three individuals at its annual Art of Healing Awards dinner:
- David Osler, HMS assistant clinical professor of pediatrics, received the fourth annual Art of Healing Award, celebrating a caregiver who transcends boundaries, joyfully embraces humanity, and profoundly inspires the healing of body and spirit. Osler has been involved in assessing, guiding, and improving the health of families and local communities for more than 30 years. Osler served as chair of the City of Somerville’s board of health and was the first board certified pediatrician in the city. He continues to see patients and, as senior vice president of Ambulatory Services, provides medical oversight and direction for CHA’s extensive network of primary care and specialty centers, which accounts for more than 600,000 patient visits annually.
- Hilary Worthen, HMS assistant professor of medicine, was honored with the Lifetime Service Award for his long and lasting contribution to CHA. As chief medical information officer, Worthen provides key physician leadership for CHA’s IT efforts, helping CHA harness data to inform decisions and create a more optimal patient care environment. Over the course of 25 years, Worthen helped establish a new Primary Care Unit, co-founded the successful Cambridge Family Health practice, served as medical director for Adult and Family Ambulatory Care, and was medical director of Inpatient Medical and Surgical Services at the Cambridge Hospital.
- Erika Fellinger, HMS instructor in surgery, received the Rising Star Award, which recognizes an individual who embodies CHA’s spirit of innovation and displays the leadership ability to effect positive change and improve the health of CHA’s communities. She joined CHA in 2005 as a general surgeon. During her tenure at CHA, Fellinger has developed a mini-registry to track patients with abnormal colorectal screening results and was an important member of the Patient-Centered Medical Home task force, where she helped conceptualize CHA’s primary care transformation.
The U.S. Schweitzer Fellows Program annually selects approximately 250 exceptional students from the nation’s top health and human service schools. Schweitzer Fellows partner with community-based organizations to identify an unmet health need, design a yearlong service project with a demonstrable impact on that need and bring their project from idea to implementation while also meeting their graduate school responsibilities.
Abhiram Bhashyam and Alister Martin, Harvard Medical School
Bhashyam and Martin are working to enhance the educational and professional opportunities of students in Roxbury, Mass., by creating a paired motivational speaking-mentorship program that inspires students to “dream big” and pursue higher education.
Raymond Deng and Ted Henson, Harvard School of Public Health
Deng and Henson will work to increase access to support services for patients of Brookside Community Health Center by developing partnerships with local service providers, and then referring patients to these partner organizations through an established “help desk.” They will also carry out weekly workshops on strengthening the integration of social services and on social determinants of health awareness for existing health center employees.
Jonathan Lee, Harvard Medical School
Lee will address HIV/AIDS and chronic disease among marginalized patients who live in the Greater Boston area by developing and delivering a patient empowerment curriculum alongside community-based health workers who provide essential accompaniment and support services for these patients. Lee’s “Adherence Transition Intervention” curriculum will address HIV/AIDS patient agency and life-skills development to support independence in managing complex treatment regimens.
Patricia McClory, Harvard School of Dental Medicine
McClory is addressing early childhood caries—bacterial infections—in Boston children by training dental and pre-dental students to provide children and parents with education sessions in the waiting room of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Primary Care Clinic. These sessions will supplement parents’ and children’s routine visits to their pediatrician with education that expands their understanding of oral health and nutrition as well as encourages parents to tap the services of the Children’s Hospital dental clinic and other affordable clinics.
Mariah Rich, Harvard School of Public Health
Rich is addressing the epidemic of childhood obesity by collaborating with Healthy Waltham and the City of Waltham to implement the “Let’s Move Cities and Towns Campaign” in that Massachusetts city. Rich’s project will focus on actions in four categories: reducing obesity risk in early childhood, making healthy food affordable and accessible, providing healthy food in schools and increasing physical activity. Rich’s programming will include starting community gardens, developing nutrition curriculums, running healthy cooking workshops and organizing citywide exercise events.
The Harvard Institute of Translational Immunology (HITI) was created to unite multi-disciplinary translational and clinical investigators from across Harvard in the study of immune-mediated diseases, including Crohn’s disease. The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust awarded Helmsley Pilot Grants to the following researchers to address critical roadblocks in the field of inflammatory bowel diseases:
- David Breault, assistant professor or pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston, and Jeffrey Karp, assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital: Towards regenerative therapeutics for inflammatory bowel disease and the role of stem cells in vivo and in bioengineered intestinal epithelium.
- Laurie Glimcher, HSPH professor of medicine: A translational approach for the identification of novel genes and race variants of these genes associated with Crohn’s disease.
- Dimitrios Iliopoulos, instructor in microbiology and immunobiology Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Identification of novel molecular circuits that link inflammation to colon cancer.
- Jonathan Kagan, assistant professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston: Zinc finger nucleases as tools to uncover the functions of Crohn’s susceptibility genes.
- Bruce Paster, professor of oral medicine, infection and immunity at the Forsyth Institute: Oral microbial biomarkers for Crohn’s disease in children.
- Shiv Pillai, professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital: The SIAE pathway and beyond: Rare genetic variants and the potential for new therapies in Crohn’s disease.
- Vijay Yajnik, assistant professor of medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Matthew Meyerson, professor of pathology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: Pathogen discovery in Crohn’s disease by next-generation sequencing.
The Institute of Lifestyle Medicine (ILM) based at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network received the 2011 The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) Community Leadership Award. The award is given annually to a select group of organizations and individuals nationwide who improve the lives of people in their communities by providing or enhancing opportunities to engage in sports, physical activities, fitness or nutrition-related programs. A nonprofit educational, research and advocacy organization, the ILM is focused on reducing lifestyle-related death and disease through clinician directed interventions with patients. The PCFSN Community Leadership Award recognizes many of the ILM’s innovative methods to assist health professionals expand their knowledge about exercise and nutrition.