Carle Illinois College of Medicine Associate Dean for Diversity and Democratization of Health Innovation Ruby Mendenhall will receive the prestigious Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Humanism in Healthcare Award during a special virtual ceremony on February 28, 2022. The honor is awarded annually by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation to a woman who exemplifies humanism and has advanced the well-being of at-risk or underserved populations, through scholarship, advocacy, and leadership.

Mendenhall was selected from a field of more than 40 nominees from across the nation. In announcing the 2021 award, Gold Foundation President Dr. Richard Levin cited Mendenhall’s work to decrease health disparities and promote health equity through innovative programs such as Carle Illinois’ Health Maker Lab and Health Make-a-Thons. He also noted Mendenhall’s commitment to the idea that solutions to health challenges can come from anyone, including those personally affected by health disparities.

“This national recognition is a testament to the incredible impact and significance of Dr. Mendenhall’s work for the good of others,” said Carle Illinois Executive Associate Dean and Chief Diversity Officer Stephen Boppart, who nominated Mendenhall for the honor. “Ruby is truly a credit to our college and our campus.”

Mendenhall is the Kathryn Lee Baynes Dallenbach Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is also the co-director of STEM Illinois and the director of Carle Illinois’ new Health Maker Lab node (Designing Resiliency and Well-being).

The award ceremony will include a conversation with Dr. Don Berwick, former CMS administrator and President Emeritus of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, and a fellow champion for equitable, inclusive healthcare. The virtual event is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. CT, 4:30 ET on February 28, 2022, is open to members of the public.

The Humanism in Healthcare Award was established in 2014 through a gift by 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, the founding President of the Arc of Massachusetts and a leader in the movement to provide services and support for children with disabilities and their families.

The award announcement from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation can be found here. Members of the public may register to attend the awards ceremony and discussion here.