The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship (ASF) announced its selections for the 2016 SPARK! Awards. Edward J. Benz, Jr., MD, President and CEO of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, will receive the 2016 Schweitzer Clarion Award for Health Promotion and Education.
Benz is being honored for bringing attention—and solutions—to the racial disparities in access to oncology care and health outcomes. Under his leadership, Dana-Farber partnered with the Whittier Street Health Center in Roxbury, Mass., to open the country’s
first dedicated oncology space in a Federally Qualified Health Center; launched the Cancer Care Equity Program, a national model for reducing disparities in cancer care, and established Dana-Farber’s Center for Global Cancer Medicine to provide care,
education, facilities, and research expertise to the people of Rwanda and Haiti.
“A core part of Dana-Farber’s mission is to implement programs that promote public health among high-risk and underserved populations,” said Benz. “It is especially rewarding to be recognized by the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, an organization that fulfills
that same mission by working with emerging leaders to develop programs aimed at reducing health disparities.”
The SPARK! Awards are given annually in conjunction with ASF’s SPARK! Leadership Conference. The SPARK! Gala will take place on Friday, November 4, 2016 from 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston.
“We’re proud to honor Dr. Benz for the critical work he is doing to empower our most vulnerable populations to live healthier lives, and for his longstanding commitment to public service,” said ASF Executive Director Sylvia Stevens-Edouard.
The Schweitzer Clarion Award for Health Promotion and Education was established in 2013 in honor of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, Gabon, Africa. It recognizes significant achievement in promoting
health information, education, and treatment to improve health outcomes for all people, especially the most vulnerable among us. Past honorees include Drew Altman, PhD, president and CEO of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; Joseph R. Betancourt,
MD, MPH, director of the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital; and Timothy Johnson, MD, former medical editor for ABC News.