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 underserved or at-risk 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 2021 honoree is Dr. Ruby Mendenhall, Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She is also the Co-Director of STEM Illinois and the Director of the medical school’s new Health Maker Lab node.  The two 2021 honorable mentions are Dr. Lara Carson Weinstein, from Thomas Jefferson University Department of Family & Community Medicine, Project HOME, Pathways to Housing PA, and Dr. Mildred MG Olivier, from Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

Read the full 2021 announcement.

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

Nominations are currently 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, which may be virtual.

If you would like to be notified when the 2021 Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Award Reception is scheduled, please enter your information here:

Recipients

2021 Winner

Dr. Ruby Mendenhall, Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine. She is also the Co-Director of STEM Illinois and the Director of the medical school’s new Health Maker Lab node (Designing Resiliency and Well-being).

2021 honorable mentions

Dr. Lara Carson Weinstein, from Thomas Jefferson University Department of Family & Community Medicine, Project HOME, Pathways to Housing PA, and Dr. Mildred MG Olivier, from Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

Read more about our 2021 Honorees 

2020 Winner

Hoonani (Nani) Cuadrado, Director of Valley Health Partners (VHP) Street Medicine in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

2020 honorable mentions

Dr. Chinazo Cunningham from Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Dr. Ann Garment from Bellevue Hospital/NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Read more about our 2020 Honorees 

2019 winner

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

2019 honorable mentions

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

Read more about our 2019 Honorees

2018 winner

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

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.

Read more about our 2018 Honorees

2017 winner

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

Read more about our 2017 Honoree

Inaugural winner

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

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.

Read more about our Inaugural Honorees