This top 10 is making a big difference to advance health care

Kevin B. O'Reilly , Senior News Editor

Recognizing them for their altruism, advocacy and professional skill, the AMA Foundation has honored nine physicians and one medical student with the 2024 Excellence in Medicine Awards.

The AMA Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the AMA, celebrates the health professionals who exemplify the highest values of volunteerism, community engagement, leadership and dedication to the care of populations who are underserved by limited access to health care. Learn more and donate to AMA Foundation programs today.

The AMA Foundation awards were presented at a ceremony held during the 2024 AMA Annual Meeting in Chicago, and 10 health-focused nonprofit organizations will get monetary grants in the recipients’ honor.

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The AMA helps physicians build a better future for medicine, advocating in the courts and on the Hill to remove obstacles to patient care and confront today’s greatest health crises.

Anita Ravi, MD, MPH, MSHP

Dr. Ravi, an AMA member, received the Courage in Women’s Health Advocacy Award. She is a board-certified family physician and nationally recognized expert in the health of gender-based violence survivors. She is the CEO and co-founder of PurpLE Health Foundation, a pioneering nonprofit focused on improving the long-term health of gender-based violence survivors, including women and girls affected by human trafficking, domestic violence and sexual assault.

Dr. Ravi’s influence in the health care field of gender-based violence is felt in clinical care as well as public health and policy, with multiple peer-reviewed research publications and services on national committees. She is a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center.

Juan Robles, MD

Dr. Robles was one of two physicians to receive the Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award. He is an Albert Einstein College of Medicine graduate who completed his family medicine training at Montefiore’s Residency Program in Social Medicine in the Bronx. His interests include caring for historically marginalized populations, medical education and health care workforce development.

Dr. Robles co-founded Bronx Community Health Leaders, a prehealth pathway program for economically marginalized and historically excluded students in health care professions. He is an associate professor in the Department of Family and Social Medicine at Einstein, where he educates medical students, residents and fellows.

Lt. Cmdr. Marie S. Jeoboam, MD, MS

Dr. Jeoboam—a Haitian native who migrated to Miami at 8 years old—also received the Debasish Mridha Spirit of Medicine Award. She earned her medical degree from Florida State University College of Medicine, followed by residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School, where she served as chief resident, shaping her into the compassionate primary care physician she is today.

As a commissioned corps officer with the U.S. Public Health Service, Dr. Jeoboam, an AMA member, serves as medical director for the Occupational Health Clinic at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. With more than a decade of experience and board certification in family medicine, she is celebrated for her patient-centered approach, particularly in managing complex conditions.

Mill Etienne, MD

Dr. Etienne, an AMA member, was one of two physicians to receive the Dr. Edmond and Rima Cabbabe Dedication to the Profession Award. He is passionate about mentoring the next generation of health professionals and showing them how to provide care for an increasingly diverse patient population. An associate professor of neurology and medicine at New York Medical College, he also serves as vice chancellor for diversity and inclusion and associate dean for student affairs there. Dr. Etienne is director of neurology at Westchester Medical Center Good Samaritan Hospital and board-certified in neurology, epilepsy, clinical neurophysiology, brain injury medicine and public health.

Brandi Ring, MD

Dr. Brandi Ring, an ob-gyn originally from Colorado, was the other recipient of the Dr. Edmond and Rima Cabbabe Dedication to the Profession Award. Dr. Ring developed a deep passion for serving patients underserved by limited access to health care and developing health policy during training. She is an AMA member and celebrated national advocate for patients and physicians.

Dr. Ring is the associate medical director for The Center for Children and Women Southwest in Houston. It is one of the state’s largest federally qualified health centers, focusing on simplified access to comprehensive care. Her specialty interests include perinatal mental health, disaster preparation, LGBTQ+ care and preventive health. She also works for Baylor College of Medicine and is speaker of the AMA Young Physicians Section. Dr. Ring was the first ob-gyn to be appointed and co-chair of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Advisory Panel on Healthcare Delivery and Disparities Research.

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Highlights from the 2024 AMA Annual Meeting
Asa Radix, MD, PhD

Dr. Radix received the Excellence in LGBTQ+ Health Award—Physician. He is the senior director of research and education at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center and a clinical professor of medicine at the New York University Grossman School of Medicine. As a board-certified internist and infectious disease specialist, Dr. Radix has significantly contributed to LGBTQ+ health. Dr. Radix’s research focuses on prevention of HIV and sexually transmitted infections, transgender health and health inequities.

Dr. Radix also advocates for social justice and health equity, striving to address the systemic issues that contribute to health disparities. Dr. Radix has served on the New York State AIDS Institute’s Medical Clinical Care Committee, the American Sexual Health Association and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Panel on Antiretroviral Guidelines for Adults and Adolescents.

Anita Venkatesan, MD, MPH

Dr. Venkatesan received the Excellence in LGBTQ+ Health Award—Resident/Fellow. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the University of California, Irvine, and her medical degree from St. George's University School of Medicine in Grenada. During medical school, she saw a need for a public health approach to medicine and pursued a master’s in public health with a specialization in epidemiology from New York University. She completed a family medicine residency at the Institute of Family Health, Mid-Hudson in New York, where she served as the resident education leader in her final year.

Dr. Venkatesan is completing her PGY-4 year as the LGBTQ+ Medicine Fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Her passion lies in creating inclusive spaces to provide full-spectrum care for her patients, emphasizing patient education. She wants to continue developing an LGBTQ+ health curriculum for residency programs to expand care access and create affirming spaces for patients.

Tess Jewell

Tess Jewell is an MD-MPH student at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and an aspiring pediatric endocrinologist. She received the Excellence in LGBTQ+ Health Award— Student.

She is a 2024 GLMA Health Professional in Training (HPiT) Fellow, and this is also her second year as a GLMA HPiT Curriculum Reform Committee member and co-chair. Jewell, an AMA member, worked on the AMA Medical Student Section Standing Committee on LGBTQ+ Affairs from 2022–2023 and is passionate about advancing LGBTQ+-inclusive education for all health-professional trainees.

Shilpen Patel, MD

Dr. Patel received the International Award in Medicine. He is a radiation oncologist, an associate professor at the University of Washington Department of Global Health and has an affiliate appointment in the Division of Public Health at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

He sees patients in the San Francisco Bay Area and has just completed the Medical Justice Advocacy Fellowship, a collaborative of the AMA and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. Dr. Patel, an AMA member, continues his research in the industry with various companies and serves on the board of directors for Horizons Foundation and the Phi Chi Medical Foundation.

Cesar Padilla, MD

Dr. Padilla, a first-generation Mexican American from Northern California, received the Pride in the Profession Award. His parents emigrated from the Mexican state of Jalisco and settled in the East Bay in the 1970s, where they worked in local factories. Dr. Padilla spent every summer of his childhood in Mexico, where he found his passion and inspiration for becoming a doctor.

He received training from Harvard Medical School in critical care medicine and obstetric anesthesiology, with additional training in critical care echocardiography. Dr. Padilla’s research interests include critical care in obstetrics and addressing inequities in maternal and obstetric care. He co-founded National Latino Physician Day and is a clinical associate professor at Stanford University.

Read about the other highlights from the 2024 AMA Annual Meeting.