Thu • Nov

Thursday, November 1, 2018



Annual Meeting of the Voting Fellows and Induction Ceremony
4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
Anniversary Discourse and Awards and Honoring the Academy’s 30-Year Fellows
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM
Celebratory Reception for All Guests
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM


The New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, New York, NY 10029


Free, advance registration required

Generously Sponsored by

Plan to join us as we congratulate our newest Fellows and Members at the induction ceremony, honor our 30-Year Fellows and pay special tribute to individuals with distinguished accomplishments in health policy, public health, clinical practice, biomedical research, and service to the Academy.

James McCune SmithWe are pleased to announce this year’s award winners listed below as well as that we will present a special posthumous award of Academy Fellowship to James McCune Smith, MD, MA (1813-1865), a highly accomplished physician, medical director, and pharmacy owner in New York City, and a prominent abolitionist. 



Discourse Speaker

Georges C. Benjamin, MD, MACP, FACEP(E), FNAPA, Hon FRSPH, Hon FFPH
Executive Director
American Public Health Association
"A New Social Compact to Achieve Optimal Health"

View Georges Benjamin's Bio

Georges C. Benjamin is known as one of the nation’s most influential physician leaders because he speaks passionately and eloquently about the health issues having the most impact on our nation today. From his firsthand experience as a physician, he knows what happens when preventive care is not available and when the healthy choice is not the easy choice. As executive director of APHA since 2002, he is leading the Association’s push to make America the healthiest nation in one generation.

He came to APHA from his position as secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Benjamin became secretary of health in Maryland in April 1999, following four years as its deputy secretary for public health services. As secretary, Benjamin oversaw the expansion and improvement of the state’s Medicaid program.

Benjamin, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, is a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He is board-certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians, a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, a fellow emeritus of the American College of Emergency Physicians and an honorary fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health.

An established administrator, author and orator, Benjamin started his medical career in 1981 in Tacoma, Wash., where he managed a 72,000-patient visit ambulatory care service as chief of the Acute Illness Clinic at the Madigan Army Medical Center and was an attending physician within the Department of Emergency Medicine. A few years later, he moved to Washington, D.C., where he served as chief of emergency medicine at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After leaving the Army, he chaired the Department of Community Health and Ambulatory Care at the District of Columbia General Hospital. He was promoted to acting commissioner for public health for the District of Columbia and later directed one of the busiest ambulance services in the nation as interim director of the Emergency Ambulance Bureau of the District of Columbia Fire Department.

At APHA, Benjamin also serves as publisher of the nonprofit's monthly publication, The Nation's Health, the association's official newspaper, and the American Journal of Public Health, the profession’s premier scientific publication. He is the author of more than 100 scientific articles and book chapters. His recent book The Quest for Health Reform: A Satirical History is an exposé of the nearly 100-year quest to ensure quality affordable health coverage for all through the use of political cartoons.

Benjamin is a member of the National Academy of Medicine (Formally the Institute of Medicine) of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine and also serves on the boards for many organizations including Research!America and the Reagan-Udall Foundation. In 2008, 2014 and 2016 he was named one of the top 25 minority executives in health care by Modern Healthcare Magazine, in addition to being voted among the 100 most influential people in health care from 2007-2017.

In April 2016, President Obama appointed Benjamin to the National Infrastructure Advisory Council, a council that advises the president on how best to assure the security of the nation's critical infrastructure.


Award Recipients

The Academy Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Biomedical Science
Wendy K. Chung, MD, PhD
Director, Clinical Research of Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI)
Director, Clinical Genetics Program at Columbia University, Kennedy Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine, Columbia University

View Wendy Chung's Bio

Wendy Chung, MD, PhD is a clinical and molecular geneticist and the Kennedy Family Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and the Director of Clinical Research of SFARI at the Simons Foundation. She received her B.A. in biochemistry and economics from Cornell University, her M.D. from Cornell University Medical College, and her Ph.D. from The Rockefeller University in genetics. Dr. Chung directs NIH funded research programs in human genetics of autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, birth defects including congenital diaphragmatic hernia, esophageal atresia, and congenital heart disease, pulmonary hypertension, cardiomyopathy, and breast cancer. A world leader in the diagnosis and treatment of rare diseases, Dr. Chung has identified more than 41 new genes for human diseases. She is experienced in both the molecular and clinical characterization of the disorders associated with these gene mutations, as well as the integration of these discoveries into clinical practice through the development and implementation of clinical genetic testing in medical care. She leads the Precision Medicine Resource in the Irving Institute at Columbia University and serves on the Genomics and Pediatrics Advisory Committees for the All of Us Precision Medicine Initiative and Council for the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Her studies to develop and implement inexpensive newborn screening for spinal muscular atrophy have been instrumental in changing the policy to screen every newborn in the US for this genetic condition to ensure presymptomatic access to treatment with gene therapy and oligonucleotide therapy. She was the original plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that overturned the ability to patent genes and the Institute of Medicine Committee on Genetic Testing.

Dr. Chung was the recipient of the American Academy of Pediatrics Young Investigator Award and the Medical Achievement Award from Bonei Olam. She is renowned for her teaching and mentoring and received Columbia University’s highest teaching award, the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching. She is well known for her TED talks with millions of views. Dr. Chung enjoys the challenges of genetics as a rapidly changing field of medicine and strives to facilitate the integration of genetic medicine into all areas of health care in a medically, scientifically, and ethically sound, accessible, and cost-effective manner.


The Academy Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Health Policy
Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, PhD
President of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)


View Freeman Hrabowski's Bio

Dr. Freeman A. Hrabowski, President of UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) since 1992, is a consultant on science and math education to national agencies, universities, and school systems. He was named by President Obama to chair the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. He also chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads (2011). His 2013 TED talk highlights the “Four Pillars of College Success in Science.”

Named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME (2012) and one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report (2008), he also received TIAA-CREF’s Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence (2011), the Carnegie Corporation’s Academic Leadership Award (2011), and the Heinz Award (2012) for contributions to improving the “Human Condition.” UMBC has been recognized as a model for inclusive excellence by such publications as U.S. News, which the past eight years has recognized UMBC as a national leader in academic innovation and undergraduate teaching. Dr. Hrabowski’s most recent book, Holding Fast to Dreams: Empowering Youth from the Civil Rights Crusade to STEM Achievement, describes the events and experiences that played a central role in his development as an educator and leader.


The Stephen Smith Award for Distinguished Contributions in Public Health
Wafaa El-Sadr HeadshotWafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA
University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine and Dr. Mathilde Krim-amFAR Chair in Global Health, Columbia University
Global Director of ICAP, Columbia University
Director of the Global Health Initiative, Mailman School of Public Health

View Wafaa El-Sadr's Bio

Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA is a University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Columbia University, global director of ICAP at Columbia University, and director of the Global Health Initiative at the Mailman School of Public Health. 

Founded by Dr. El-Sadr in 2003, ICAP is a global leader in HIV, other global health threats, and health systems strengthening that provides technical assistance, implementation support, and conducts research in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations in more than 30 countries. In this role, she leads the design, implementation, scale-up, and evaluation of large-scale HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and maternal-child health programs in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia that provide care to more than 2.4 million people and collect data from more than 5,750 health facilities.

Dr. El-Sadr is a prominent researcher and has led numerous epidemiological, clinical, behavioral, and implementation science research studies that have furthered the understanding of the prevention and management of HIV, TB, and non-communicable diseases. She is a principal investigator of the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN), which seeks to prevent HIV transmission globally. 

Dr. El-Sadr is a member of the NIH Fogarty International Center Advisory Board. In 2008, she was named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and in 2009, she was appointed to the National Academy of Medicine. In 2013, she was appointed University Professor, Columbia's highest academic honor. She also holds the Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair in Global Health.


The John Stearns Medal for Distinguished Contributions in Clinical Practice
Patricia Bath, MD
Widely celebrated inventor, scientist and ophthalmologist and laser pioneer for her invention of laserphaco cataract surgery


View Patricia Bath's Bio

Patricia Bath, MD is a widely celebrated inventor, scientist and ophthalmologist. Her career is gilded by many firsts beginning with her residency at NYU (1970-1973) and fellowship at Columbia P&S (1969-1970) becoming the first African American woman ophthalmologist to train at both institutions.

Credentialed with excellence by both NYU and Columbia Dr. Bath began her academic career at UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute where she became the first woman ophthalmologist in the Department of ophthalmology in 1974. With her joint appointment at Drew University Dr. Bath was Chair of the ophthalmology residency program thus becoming the first woman Chair of a ophthalmology residency program in the USA (1983).

Based on her nascent(seminal) research and observations while at Columbia and NYU Dr. Bath focused her work on blindness prevention. She had discovered that glaucoma and preventable blindness was rampant among the poor and minority communities in Harlem. She is credited with the discovery that blacks had twice the prevalence of blindness and eight times the prevalence of blindness due to glaucoma in the USA. This health care disparity finding led to the establishment of the Ophthalmic Assistant Training Program at UCLA, founding of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness and a new discipline of medicine called Community Ophthalmology.

Her passion and zeal for research led her to conduct research studies not only at UCLA and Drew University but wherever the newest and best labs existed. As a Visiting Professor at the Paris Rothschild Eye Institute, University of Free Berlin, Loughborough Institute of technology and UC Los Alamos, Professor Bath researched questions in clinical ophthalmology with the tools of laser photonics. The Optical Society of American includes her as a laser pioneer for her invention of laserphaco cataract surgery and Howard University College of medicine lists her as a medical pioneer in academic medicine. She received several patents in the USA and Europe for her innovations in cataract surgery. In recognition of her achievements in ophthalmology Dr. Bath was inducted into the Museum of Vision of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2011. Dr. Bath has served as expert consultant to governmental agencies under the Carter, Reagan and Obama administrations.

In 1999 the Smithsonian honored Dr. Bath by including her in the INNOVATIVE Lives Program of the LEMELSON Center. The American Medical Women’s Association induced Dr. Bath into the International Hall of Fame in 2001. She currently serves as President of the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness and on the Boards of national and local groups advocating for STEM, Community Service and Women’s Rights.


The Academy Plaque for Exceptional Service to the Academy
Jo Ivey Boufford, MD
Clinical Professor of Global Health, NYU College of Global Public Health
Immediate Past President, The New York Academy of Medicine

View Jo Ivey Boufford's Bio

Dr. Jo Ivey Boufford is an expert in US national and global health policy, urban health, and initiatives to focus action on the broader determinants of health in communities to promote healthy aging, health promotion and disease prevention and eliminate health inequities.

Since medical school, Dr. Boufford has integrated a commitment to social justice her educational, clinical practice and policy work, with a special focus on how organizations providing and paying for health care and providing public health services can more effectively engage with patients and the community, especially those bearing the greatest burden of disease.

Much of this orientation originated during her pediatric residency training experience at the Martin Luther King Health Center in the South Bronx while in the Montefiore Hospital Residency Program in Social Medicine from 1971-1974 which she also directed from 1975-1982. In 1985, she became the first woman President of the then New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation (now H+H), the largest municipal hospital system in the United States and served until 1989. After serving as a faculty member and then Director of the Kings Fund College in London England, she returned to the United States to enter the federal government, serving as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health and Acting Assistant Secretary in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the first term of the Clinton Administration. While at HHS, she was the U.S. representative on the Executive Board of the World Health Organization. She was elected to membership in the National Academy of Public Administration in recognition of her government service. She returned to NYC in 1997 to become Dean of the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at New York University and became President of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2007, serving until last year.

Dr. Boufford was elected to membership in the US National Academy of Medicine in 1998 and served as its Foreign Secretary for two terms under then President Harvey Fineberg. She has been a trustee for a number of non-profit organizations in NY and nationally, including the Primary Care Development Corporation, Public Health Solutions, the Village Center for Care, NYC H+H, the International Women's Health Coalition and currently serves on the Boards of the Regional Plan Association, the Health Effects Institute, the Novartis and ABInBev Foundations and EmblemHealth. She is currently the Vice-chair of the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council and Chair of its Public Health Committee and has taken a leadership role in the New York State Prevention Agenda and addressing Maternal Mortality in NYS. On leaving the Academy in September 2017, Dr. Boufford returned to NYU to become Clinical Professor of Global Public Health at its new College of Global Public Health and Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at its medical school. Immediately prior to Dr. Boufford’s position at NYU School of Global Health, she served as President of The New York Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Boufford’s commitment to the Academy dates back 30 years to when she became a Fellow. She served as a Trustee from to 2004 to 2007 before being elected as the second President of the Academy in 2007. During her presidency, the Academy launched its Age Friendly Cities initiative in partnership with NYC government; worked with NYC and NYS Departments of Health and other agencies to promote initiatives addressing the social determinants of health in communities by increasing access to opportunities for healthy nutrition, exercise, and a healthy and safe built ,natural and social environment. She also initiated the Academy’s engagement with the East Harlem community on issues like school health, aging, housing and economic development. In recognition of the importance of the ongoing commitment to the community, the Trustees created a Fund for East Harlem in her name.

Dr. Boufford currently serves as the President of the International Society for Urban Health (ISUH). ISUH was founded at the Academy in 2002 and is the pioneer global organization bringing together experts from across academia, government, NGOs and business to improve the health of cities and is primarily concerned with building the field of urban health through its annual scientific meeting, the International Conference of Urban Health (ICUH).


Event series:
Talking Health
The Academy is pleased to offer a new and exciting lineup of fall events this year. Our “Talking Health” series brings together leading experts and influencers for important conversations about critical health issues. Join us for lively discussion and insights into the past, present, and future of health.