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2018 Access: Health Gala recognizes contributions to health equity

New York (May 21, 2018) – The New York Academy of Medicine will honor Freda C. Lewis-Hall, MD, DFAPA, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer, and Ruth Watson Lubic, RN, CNM, EdD, Founder and President Emeritus of the D.C. Developing Families Center, at its annual Gala on June 12, 2018 at Cipriani 25 Broadway. The Gala, Access: Health, celebrates the Academy’s continued leadership in health equity and honors individuals who have made major contributions to improving health and eliminating disparities.

“The Academy is deeply committed to health equity, and we are very pleased to honor Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall and Dr. Ruth Watson Lubic, who have both made outstanding contributions to their fields and to better health outcomes for all,” said Academy President Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS.

Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall is an outstanding global advocate in the cause of better health for people everywhere. She serves as Pfizer’s Chief Medical Officer and leads Pfizer Medical, the division responsible for the safe, effective and appropriate use of Pfizer medicines and vaccines around the world. Besides providing science-grounded medical information to prescribers and patients, Pfizer Medical is also responsible for the company’s office of patient affairs, its centers of excellence on pediatric care, clinical trial diversity and healthy aging, its enterprise benefit-risk communications, and its worldwide compassionate access program as well as driving innovative public-private partnerships.

“On behalf of Pfizer and the patients we strive to serve, I am humbled by this recognition by The New York Academy of Medicine and grateful to them for the vital work they do to advance health equity,” Dr. Lewis-Hall said. “Pfizer shares the Academy’s view that achieving health equity calls for advocacy, support and active engagement to help communities realize better health outcomes.”

Dr. Ruth Watson Lubic is a nurse midwife and a MacArthur Fellowship recipient who has developed and successfully instituted the birthing center as a means to improve the lives of childbearing families. The centers she founded in the 1970s and ‘80s have served as prototypes for the more than 350 freestanding birth centers now operating in this United States. In 1998, Dr. Lubic founded the Family Health and Birth Center in Washington, D.C. Nurse-midwife directed, the center puts health care in its social context with the additional supports of case management, social services, and child care.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Academy’s Urban Health Equity Champion Award,” Dr. Lubic said. “It is my experience with underserved and economically distressed families that patient and thoughtful care can also collaterally impact families, by enhancing relationships and bestowing a personal sense of empowerment. I share and applaud the commitment of The New York Academy of Medicine to health equity and eliminating disparities.”

At the event, the Academy will also award its inaugural Health Equity Journalism Prize to ProPublica and NPR for their unique collaboration on “Lost Mothers,” a series examining maternal mortality and life-threatening complications in the United States. The award will be accepted by Nina Martin of ProPublica and Rénee Montagne of NPR.

“ProPublica and NPR’s ‘Lost Mothers’ series was vitally important toward helping to move the issue of maternal mortality and its deep disparities to the forefront of public awareness,” Dr. Salerno said.

Cheryl Wills, Emmy-winning anchor for Spectrum News NY1, will act as Master of Ceremonies. The Gala Chairs are Jim and Kerianne Flynn, Julie Louise Gerberding, and George and Barbara Thibault.

The Gala is generously sponsored by Jim and Kerianne Flynn, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Pfizer Inc., The Heritage Provider Network and The Healthcare Parents of IPA of New York, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Merck, IBM, The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, NYU College of Dentistry, Paul and Kimberley Tanico, Columbia University School of Nursing, Montefiore Health System, Northwell Health, and WPP Health & Wellness. 

For more information and tickets, visit the Academy website, email [email protected], or call 212.951.1774.

About The New York Academy of Medicine

Established in 1847, The New York Academy of Medicine is dedicated to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to live a healthy life. Through our original research and policy and program initiatives we provide the evidence base to address the structural and cultural barriers to good health and drive progress toward health equity. This work and our one-of-a-kind public programming is supported by our world class historical medical library and our Fellows program, a unique network of more than 2,000 experts elected by their peers from across the professions affecting health.