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2015 Excellence in Medicine Major Award Recipients

Kent Brantly, MD

Dr. Nathan Davis International Award in Medicine

Kent Brantly, MD
Medical Missions Advisor
Samaritan’s Purse
Fort Worth, Texas


Kent Brantly, MD, worked as a medical missionary at ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, from October 2013 to August 2014. That summer, Dr. Brantly joined the front lines of the battle against the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history when Samaritan’s Purse took responsibility for clinical care of all Liberian Ebola patients. Dr. Brantly was appointed medical director for the only Ebola treatment unit in southern Liberia. On July 26, he was diagnosed with Ebola Virus Disease and several days later received the first dose of the experimental drug Zmapp before he became the first American evacuated for treatment in the United States at Emory University Hospital. He donated plasma to help others recover from Ebola, including Dallas nurse Nina Pham, Samaritan's Purse associate Rick Sacra, MD, and cameraman Ashoka Mukpo. Dr. Brantly feels it his privilege and duty to speak out on behalf of the people of West Africa who continue to suffer from the scourge of Ebola.

Mark Lachs, MD, MPH

Dr. Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award

Mark Lachs, MD, MPH
Irene F. and I Roy Psaty Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Weill Medical College
Director, Geriatrics, New York-Presbyterian Health System
Co-director, Cornell Center for Aging Research and Clinical Care
Co-chief, Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Weill Medical College
New York, New York


Mark Lachs, MD, MPH, is an internationally recognized expert in the field of elder mistreatment and the disenfranchised elderly. He has published and lectured widely in the areas of elder abuse and neglect, adult protective services, measurement of functional status, ethics, and health care finance. Dr. Lachs’ service to community and country includes membership on an Institute of Medicine Committee to address the training needs of health professionals in family violence. He also sits on the Board of the American Federation for Aging Research and was recently asked to serve as an advisor for the World Health Organization on Elder Abuse.

Dr. Lachs was formally trained as a clinical epidemiologist in the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at Yale, so his mentoring expertise extends well beyond the content area of elder abuse. He is frequently sought out by trainees both at his institution and elsewhere as a research methodologist in diverse areas of aging.

Sean G. Palfrey, MD

Jack B. McConnell, MD, Award for Excellence in Volunteerism

Sean G. Palfrey, MD
Professor of Pediatrics and Public Health
Boston University School of Medicine
Boston University School of Public Health


Sean G. Palfrey, MD, has dedicated his life’s work to improving and advocating for children’s health. He founded the Immunization Initiative of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics in the early 1990s. Dr. Palfrey has worked closely with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts State Legislature, and many other organizations on maintaining Massachusetts as a universal distribution state for all recommended vaccines as well as programs on environmental health and safety, universal insurance coverage for children, obesity prevention, and other child health initiatives. He wrote and shepherded a bill through the state legislature to create a public-private trust to fund the purchase, administration and management of all vaccines for all children in Massachusetts, as well as the maintenance of a state vaccine registry.

Additionally, Dr. Palfrey and his pediatrician wife, Judy, have worked with underserved and immigrant populations and children with special health care needs. They have helped to develop medical homes and integrated networks of programs and services

J. Emilio Carrillo, MD, MPH

Pride in the Profession Award

J. Emilio Carrillo, MD, MPH
Associate Professor, Clinical Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Vice President, Community Health, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Leader, Regional Health Collaborative, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
New York, New York


At New York-Presbyterian Hospital, J. Emilio Carrillo, MD, MPH, leads a population based program that addresses the health care needs of a large urban immigrant community by incorporating cultural competency, using information systems, and coordinating care across the continuum.

Dr. Carrillo’s research and collaborations have laid the foundation for patient based cross-cultural health care. He designed and collaborated in the implementation and application of a cross-cultural medicine curriculum that has been adopted by many medical centers around the nation and internationally, and has helped to define the fields of cultural competency and cross-cultural communication. Additionally, Dr. Carrillo is an original founder of the Latino Medical Student Association and the Journal of Latin Community Health and the Journal of Multicultural Community Health. He has served in many state and federal advisory councils, including the NCI, NHLBI, NCHS, AHRQ as well as advisory groups to the Governors of Massachusetts and New York State.