Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Humanism in Healthcare Award

The Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Humanism in Healthcare Award is presented annually to a woman who exemplifies humanism and has advanced, through her scholarship, advocacy, leadership or work, the well-being of vulnerable or underserved populations in the healthcare arena.

This honor was established in 2014 through a generous gift from Dr. Ronald Arky, Daniel D. Federman Professor of Medicine and Medical Education at the Harvard Medical School. The award is named in memory of Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz, a leader in the movement to provide services and support for children with disabilities and their families and the founding President of the Arc of Massachusetts. Learn more about Ms. Hurwitz.

The 2020 honoree is Hoonani (Nani) Cuadrado, Director of Valley Health Partners (VHP) Street Medicine in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, a leader in street medicine and prevention of human trafficking. Learn more about her work and the two 2020 honorable mentions: Dr. Chinazo Cunningham of Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Dr. Ann Garment of Bellevue Hospital/NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

Learn about Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz

Read her story here.

View this video to learn more about the remarkable woman who inspired this award:

Who is eligible?

Women who work to improve the health of underserved populations.

Please note, nominees do not have to be healthcare professionals. They can work in any field, but must be advocates for health issues.

How to Apply

The 2020 application cycle is now closed. 

Honoring the Recipient

The winner receives an award and a check for $1,000 from The Arnold P. Gold Foundation. The award will be presented at a ceremony in 2020. The foundation will cover the cost of the awardee’s expenses to attend the ceremony.

If you would like to be notified when the 2020 Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Award Reception is scheduled, please enter your information here:

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2019 winner

Dr. Nancy Oriol, a renowned anesthesiologist, innovator, educator, and pioneer in mobile medicine. Read more 

2019 honorable mentions

Dr. Kalyani Gopal and Dr. Cathy Miller, who have made remarkable contributions to combating human trafficking and caring for survivors.

2018 winner

Dr. Dinali Fernando, who has done groundbreaking work caring for survivors of torture and human rights violations. Read more

Honorable mentions
  • Dr. Kathleen Reeves, who has made an immense impact on urban distressed communities and violence intervention and prevention.
  • Dr. Marlene Melzer-Lange, who has been a leader in violence prevention and efforts to reduce the physical and psychological impact of the trauma.
2017 winner

Dr. Veda Johnson, who is recognized as an influential force locally in Atlanta, regionally, and nationally in school-based healthcare. Read more

Inaugural winner

Dr. Mardge Cohen, who has been advocating for people living with HIV, especially women and children, for close to 30 years. Read more

Honorable Mentions:
  • Dr. Anne Armstrong-Coben, a pediatrician and Medical Director at Children’s Aid and Family Services in New Jersey who advocates for improving access to healthcare for children living in foster care;
  • Lynn Ricci, MA, LTCA, an advocate for children with autism and their families and Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the Autism Center at the Hospital for Special Care in Connecticut; and
  • Marilyn Saviola, MA, Vice President at the Independence Care System, Women’s Health Access Program in New York where she works to address health disparities experienced by people with disabilities.