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Notable: May 2012
May 24, 2012
Suffolk University will honor Augustus White, III, as an esteemed physician, educator and leader in the national fight for equality in health care. He will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree at the Suffolk’s undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 19.
White, the Ellen and Melvin Gordon Distinguished Professor of Medical Education and HMS professor of orthopedic surgery and at Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, is a world-renowned specialist in care of the spine. In 1978, White was chosen to head the orthopedic surgery department at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital, making him the first African American department chief in a major Harvard teaching hospital.
The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship recently announced the selection of its 2012-13 class of Boston Schweitzer Fellows—15 graduate students who will spend the next year learning to effectively address the social factors that impact health, developing lifelong leadership skills and living famed physician-humanitarian Albert Schweitzer’s message of service. Joining approximately 230 other 2012-13 Schweitzer Fellows at 12 program sites throughout the U.S., the newly selected Boston Schweitzer Fellows represent 7 universities, 15 academic programs and 8 health and human service disciplines. Fellows will partner with community-based organizations to develop and implement yearlong, mentored service projects that improve health and well-being in underserved communities—all on top of their regular graduate school responsibilities. The fellows from HSDM, HSPH and HMS are:
Sydnee Chavis,Harvard School of Dental Medicine
Chavis is raising awareness of special needs populations’ unique health issues by developing a new, multidisciplinary student group at Harvard Medical School. She will introduce a forum for medical and dental students to learn more about special needs health considerations, get involved in their communities and find encouragement to treat special needs populations within their patient bases in their future careers.
Stephanie Loo, Harvard School of Public Health
Loo is addressing gender disparities and socio-communal health in the Somali Bantu refugee community of Greater Boston by establishing a young women’s leadership empowerment group with Somali Bantu females of middle and high school ages. Her weekly program with these young women will provide peer tutoring and group mentoring opportunities and will incorporate social and cultural activities that promote and feature the Somali Bantu heritage and traditions—uniting and fostering a growing community of strong young women who will become the next leaders and role models for their community.
Raaj Mehta, Harvard Medical School
Mehta is addressing the practical and emotional implications of food allergies in low-income families by setting up a series of supportive and interactive educational workshops, support group sessions and cooking demonstrations. In addition to improving food allergy management skills and educating families about anaphylaxis, Mehta’s project seeks to reduce families’ anxiety associated with food allergies, increase awareness of allergy issues and identify safe and healthy eating options for all parties involved.
Janet Iwasa, HMS lecturer on Cell Biology, was listed by Fast Company magazine as one of 2012’s Most Creative People (http://www.fastcompany.com/most-creative-people/2012/janet-iwasa).
The “Most Creative People In Business” is an annual list of individuals from a wide array of industries. According to Fast Company, the list is a "celebration of business innovators who dare to think differently. They're the ones taking risks and discovering surprising new solutions to old problems." The list includes business leaders, academics, entrepreneur and entertainers.
David Nathan, the Robert A. Stranahan Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and HMS professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, president emeritus of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and physician-in-chief emeritus at Children's Hospital Boston, received an honorary doctor of science degree at Clarkson University's 119th Commencement on May 12.
The degree was awarded for his role as a physician and medical research pioneer, whose advances in research have had a profound and lasting impact on the understanding and treatment of hematological diseases and cancer; and for “his role as an innovative administrator and an influential educator, under whose wisdom and guidance several generations of leading physicians have trained.”
Nathan’s research has focused on the inherited disorders of red cells and granulocytes and particularly on Thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. Over the course of his nearly 50-year career, his advances in medicine include the development of the first prenatal diagnostic test for thalassemia and sickle cell anemia, the introduction of effective treatment of iron overload and the only FDA approved drug for the amelioration of sickle cell anemia symptoms.
Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) will honor national healthcare leader Donald Berwick, HMS lecturer on health care policy, on May 30 at CHA’s fifth annual Art of Healing Award dinner.
Berwick is the former president and CEO of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), an organization that he co-founded and led for over 20 years. His work at IHI focused on identifying and testing new models of care in partnership with both patients and health care professionals, and ensuring the broadest possible adoption of best practices and effective innovations at hospitals across the country. In July 2010, President Obama appointed Berwick to the position of Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a position he held until December 2011.
A pediatrician by background, Berwick has served on the staffs of Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital. He is widely recognized as an inspirational teacher and mentor and has served on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health. He was vice chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the first Independent Member of the Board of Trustees of the American Hospital Association and chair of the National Advisory Council of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. An elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM), Berwick served two terms on the IOM’s governing Council and was a member of the IOM’s Global Health Board.
Berwick is internationally known for his commitment to patient-centered care and improving patient safety, tenets at the core of CHA’s mission.
Jack Szostak, HMS professor of genetics at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Atul Gawande, HMS associate professor of surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and HSPH associate professor of health policy and management, are two of 35 new members recently elected to the American Philosophical Society (APS). Election to the APS honors extraordinary accomplishments in all fields. The APS is unusual among learned societies because its membership is comprised of top scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines. As of the April 2012 elections the APS has 1022 members.
Sanjiv Chopra, HMS faculty dean for continuing education and professor of medicine at Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center, and Nishan Goudsouzian, HMS professor of anaesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital, were recently awarded Ellis Island Medals of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition (NECO).
NECO supports new education initiatives and medical research endeavors, partners with humanitarian organizations nationally and internationally, celebrates the diversity, achievements and progress of all ethnic backgrounds and promotes tolerance and cultural awareness. The Ellis Island Medals of Honor are awarded annually to a group of distinguished living U.S. citizens who exemplify the highest American ideals, including dedication to community service, preservation of the values of his or her ancestry group(s), and distinguished service to humanity in any field, profession, or occupation.