The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) today announced the awarding of the first annual Dr. Daniel S. Blumenthal Memorial Lecture to Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, MD, MHS, Associate Dean for Health Equity Research, Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Nunez-Smith accepted the honor and gave remarks virtually during an event held in Washington, D.C. to honor the work and life of the late Dr. Blumenthal, a professor emeritus at Morehouse University and cofounder of the Morehouse School of Medicine Prevention Research Center, which has implemented over $55 million in research and intervention projects.
Dr. Daniel S. Blumenthal, MD, MPH, FACPM, was a champion for prevention and health equity – and a trailblazer in the important work of advancing equity and justice as essential to healthy communities. In Dr. Blumenthal’s honor, this annual lecture recognizes those working to dismantle structural racism in healthcare, and advance social and health justice – all important parts of Dr. Blumenthal’s life mission.
This year’s recipient, Dr. Nunez-Smith, has a strong history of promoting health equity for structurally marginalized populations with an emphasis on centering community engagement, supporting healthcare workforce diversity and development, developing patient reported measurements of healthcare quality, and identifying regional strategies to reduce the global burden of non-communicable diseases. Moreover, Dr. Nunez-Smith has extensive expertise in examining the effects of social and structural determinants of health, systemic influences contributing to health disparities, health equity improvement, and community-academic partnered scholarship.
“I am deeply humbled to be the first recipient of this tremendous recognition in honor of Dr. Blumenthal and his work to advance health equity,” said Dr. Nunez-Smith. “The last 18 months have brought the structural inequities plaguing our health care system into sharp relief, but the conversation facilitated by ACPM gives me hope that we’re on the right track in turning the tide.”
At a time when the social and health inequities are heavily exacerbated in our society, due to the current public health crisis, ACPM believes it is of utmost importance to highlight the individuals who dedicate their lives bridging the gap of inequality and addressing the issues affecting minoritized communities.
“I take immense pride in being part of honoring Dr. Blumenthal’s legacy and all the important work that he fought towards – particularly bringing health equity to the forefront,” said Donna Grande, CEO of ACPM. “I can’t imagine a better first recipient than Dr. Nunez-Smith, and my hope is that together, we continue to take fast, deliberate, and necessary action against health inequities by advancing efforts that improve health and social justice.”
The Inaugural Danial S. Blumenthal Memorial Lecture event brought together luminaries in public health for a rousing discussion around health equity. Speakers included: Dr. Blumenthal’s wife, Marjorie Speers, PhD; Admiral David Satcher, MD, PhD, Former United States Surgeon General and close personal friend of Dr. Blumenthal; immediate past president of ACPM, Stephanie Zaza, MD, MPH, FACPM; Reed Tuckson, MD, FACP, Managing Director of Tuckson Health Connections, LLC,; Aletha Maybank, MD, MPH, Chief Health Equity Officer of the American Medical Association; Josh Sharfstein, MD, Vice Dean for Public Health Practice and Community Engagement, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and Chris Pernell, MD, MPH, FACPM, Chief Strategic Integration and Health Equity Officer at University Hospital.
The American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM) is a professional medical society of nearly 2,000 physicians dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of individuals, families, communities, and populations through disease prevention and health promotion.
For more information, visit www.acpm.org