Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was honored as a transformational leader “who is making a difference in the lives of others” at a Black History Month celebration hosted by the local chapters of the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO).
“Dr. Ford is a visionary person who puts the interest of those around him above self,” Seraphin W. Bernard and Sandra Stanley, co-chairs of the Feb. 13 celebration, said in a statement. “He left his birth country of Haiti when he was 13 years old. He became a very successful professional in the medical field. Yet he did not forget where he came from.” He returns regularly to Haiti to provide medical care to its residents – including as recently as this month.
“All of us at the Miller School of Medicine are here to serve our community, providing health care to all who need it, training tomorrow’s physician leaders, and making discoveries that will enable us to prevent, treat and cure even more diseases in the future,” Dr. Ford said. “I am grateful that South Florida has welcomed me so warmly, and I humbly thank ASPA and COMTO for this special honor.”
In receiving the award, Dr. Ford, who became dean of the Miller School in June of 2018, was praised for being “a leader who is humble, smart, transformational, unselfish, ready and able to take light into the darkness.” A pediatric surgeon, Dr. Ford has conducted groundbreaking research funded by the National institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American College of Surgeons, among others.
The ASPA South Florida Chapter noted that his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University is in public and international affairs. “ASPA is all about public affairs and keeping members on the cutting edge of good government, and helping answer the enduring question of how to make a government work better for the public,” the leaders said. Dr. Ford went on to earn an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and a Master of Health Administration degree from the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California.
At USC he was senior vice president and chief of surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and vice dean of medical education and professor and vice chair for clinical affairs in the Department of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine. He often calls his position leading the Miller School his “dream job.”
COMTO provides opportunities for minority participation and advancement in the transportation industry through advocacy, training and professional development. “Dr. Ford exemplifies the vision of both COMTO and ASPA,” the celebration chairs said. “Motivated by a desire to have a positive impact on the world and drive change … he is being recognized for his understanding of black American heritage and for accomplishing significant positive changes in the community.”