Dean Henri R. Ford Receives NMF Excellence in Education Award

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Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School of Medicine, received the Excellence in Education Award from the National Medical Fellowships (NMF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented minority physicians and other professionals in health care.

National Medical FellowshipsThe virtual event, held early December, recognized health care professionals and medical students in the Atlanta region while celebrating the organization’s 75th anniversary of bringing health equity forward. Dean Ford has shown commitment to NMF’s mission not only as a member but throughout his career as a physician, academic leader, and member of various societies and organizations.

“To my dear friend Dr. Henri Ford, thank you for being one of the world’s greatest physicians and leading Children’s Hospital Los Angeles into an era of diversity, equity, and inclusion before it was popular,” said Paul Viviano, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and NMF board member emeritus. “We are so proud of you, and congratulations on this award and achievement.”

At the Miller School, Dr. Ford continues  to make himself available as a mentor and resource for minority medical students leading him to receive this year’s Arnold Salzberg Mentorship Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Surgery. In the summer of 2020, Dean Ford launched the Miller School’s Task Force on Racial Justice to establish a fundamental change in the school's approach to combat racism—an effort that led the Miller School to win its third Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

“Dr. Ford, as a first-generation immigrant student myself, all of your achievements are proof I can achieve my own goals,” said Pia Iribarren, second-year student at the Miller School. “Your persistent dedication to serving your own communities sets the standard I hope to meet throughout my career.”

During his acceptance speech, Dean Ford focused on health disparities that exist for underrepresented minorities as it remains a pervasive problem in contemporary American medicine. He said though there is more equal access to health care, there is still work to do. Solutions require a racially, ethnically, culturally competent, and diverse clinical and research workforce, he pointed out.

“I’m here as a witness of the powerful impact of NMF whether as a former medical student, pediatric surgeon, medical educator, and now dean of the Miller School,” Dean Ford said. “Thank you NMF, for being a beacon of hope in the quest for health equity and thank you to all my friends and supporters for honoring me with this prestigious award.”

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