Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Awards

The Social Mission Alliance is now accepting nominations for the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Awards for Excellence in Social Mission to be bestowed at the 2024 Conference. The awards reflect a shared vision and partnership between the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation and the Social Mission Alliance. Each award serves as a physical representation of individual/group dedication to challenge, reform and renew social mission though educational efforts that reduce health disparities, and/or promote community engagement, diversity, value-based care and access for all. Social mission is defined as activities or initiatives that teach, model, or improve community engagement, diversity, disparities reduction, value-based care, or engagement with the social determinants of health. Social mission enhancement means making programs not only better, but fairer and more just.

The award will be granted in the following categories: Fitzhugh Mullan Rising Star (student, resident, fellow, or early-career faculty), Individual (mid-career and actively working in social mission), Program, Institution, and Lifetime Achievement (late-career or retired/emeritus). Awardees will receive a monetary prize, travel and lodging to the conference, and a crystal award acknowledging their achievement. Nominees should be working interprofessionally as innovators in health professions education who are invested in bringing change and should be exemplars of the social mission in health.

The intended outcome of this award program is the increased recognition of institutions, programs, and people who are doing extraordinary work promoting social mission in health professions education. This recognition gives greater visibility to these projects and the Social Mission Alliance movement as a whole. In the process, the awards program has become a centerpiece of the national conference, celebrating the works of people and programs achieving social mission goals.

Applications will be accepted until November 15, 2023.  The awards dinner and presentation ceremony will take place on the first night of the conference, April 8, 2024.


2022 Award Recipients

Individual Excellence 
Brigit M. Carter, PhD, MSN, RN, CCRN

​For nearly a decade, Dr. Brigit Carter has served as the Project Director for three major federally funded Health Resources and Services Administration initiatives at Duke University, Make a Difference in Nursing and the Health Equity Academy 1 and 2, which recruited, admitted, retained and supported under-represented nursing students to Duke. As program director, she ushered in holistic admission processes and, once appointed to the Associate Dean position in 2018, accelerated diversity and inclusion efforts across all academic programs while engaging clinical partnerships across the health system and executive councils across campus. Humbly but with clear conviction, she continues to be a transformational service-leader, bringing students and professionals to the forefront of positive change among the healthcare workforce.
Institutional Excellence 
East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine

The East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine and its model of eight community service learning centers situated across North Carolina were created on a foundation of social mission. The school’s efforts to advance the dialogue on social mission and health disparities are tangible—from brick and mortar buildings to the smiles created through service, education and research. The School of Dental Medicine formula addresses the state’s oral health care needs from every angle, from immediate hands-on care by seasoned dentists who also teach tomorrow’s professionals to educating students who are community-oriented advocates for individuals, special populations and communities. The institution’s vision promotes a distinctive primary care focus that treats the whole patient and provides access to care for rural, underserved and under-resourced areas. The school’s pipeline programs open doors for minority students, many of whom remain in North Carolina on the front lines of dental care and patient advocacy, working against disparities and inaccessibility.
Lifetime Achievement
Uta Landy, PhD

​​Twenty years ago, Dr. Uta Landy, a psychologist, observed that medical training in family planning was inadequate. To provide skilled faculty for medical schools and to improve the evidence base for reproductive health practice, Dr. Landy initiated a “Fellowship in Family Planning.” The fellowships began at a few elite programs (University of California, San Francisco, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, Pittsburgh, and Northwestern) and steadily expanded to the current 30.  Early on, she consulted with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology to create a subspecialty that would “institutionalize” training in family planning. Dr. Landy’s programs have trained more than 7,000 residents and 400 subspecialists in family planning.  These young physicians have provided contraception and abortion to countless women at clinics and hospitals in every state.  Her Family Planning Fellowship graduates have become the nation’s leading advocates for “evidence-based” family planning care in the media, in legislatures, and in state and federal courts, where reproductive rights are increasingly under threat.
Fitzhugh Mullan Rising Star
Bernadette Lim, MD

Dr. Bernadette Lim has transformed the landscape of medicine and health; she has led several national health justice initiatives at the intersection of racial justice, integrative medicine for the underserved, and health equity spanning non-profit, policy, direct service, and media/artistic endeavors. As the first in her family to become a doctor, she embodies a lifelong, daily commitment to eliminating health injustices. In January 2018, she created the Freedom School as a personal endeavor to center the voices of underserved communities and women of color in medical and public health education that oftentimes pathologizes Black and Brown communities. The conversations that emerged from the Freedom School spread quickly and became incredibly popular nationwide, such that Dr. Lim and her colleague also co-created the Woke WOC Docs podcast, which has quickly become a leading student voice of centering social justice in health and medicine. Most notably, Dr. Lim has also led the establishment of two brick and mortar Community Healing Sanctuaries in downtown Oakland and on the University of California, Berkeley’s campus that offer daily and weekly healing services.

Applications will be accepted until November 15, 2023. The awards dinner and presentation ceremony will take place on the first night of the conference, April 8, 2024.

Frequently Asked Questions

What category should I submit under?

For individuals, the Fitzhugh Mullan Rising Star award is for a health professions student, learner, or early career faculty. The Individual awardee should be mid-career and actively working toward social mission. The Lifetime Achievement award will go to someone who is late career, retired or emeritus status. The Program award will go to a program or organizational model of social mission in action that may be within or outside of an institution. The Institution award will go to a school within a university or the university as a whole.

What should be included on my completed nomination form?

There are only a few questions on the form as follows:

  • Summary of how this nominee has advanced the social mission of health professions education including how they have incorporated IPE principles (Interprofessional Education) in their work and how their work rises above others in advancing social mission. The nomination should discuss who the nominee(s) are and what they have done.
  • Summary of how individuals, the community, and/or society have benefited from these activities. The nomination should discuss the specific societal/community impact of the activities described above.
    Institutional endorsement (optional upload field): The
  • institutional support section can be used to show impact beyond what the nominator has previously submitted. For program nominees, this can be a letter of support by the institution. For other nominees, it can be used by someone other than the nominator, to further describe the candidate’s impact on a profession or community of commitment.

If I start the form, can I come back to it later?

Yes, you can return to the Cognito form and it should be saved, but you may want to download the questions above to work on them outside of the form in case you run into any issues.

Can I resbmit if I’ve nominated the person/organization previously?

Yes, we have had nominations that were selected in subsequent cycles. Please be careful with your submission as the questions may change a bit between cycles.

Can I nominate myself?

Yes, self-nomination is fine. You just repeat the information for nominee in the information on nominator section.

Can I make more than one nomination?

Yes. You can make more than one nomination in the same category or across multiple categories.

What is the committee looking for in a nomination?

The ideal nominee should be working interprofessionally, demonstrate innovation/creativity in their approach, and have positively impacted their community. The community of commitment should be defined and the impact should be clear.

Who can I reach out to with additional questions?

Leigh Anne Butler is staffing this committee and can be reached via email at 

View 2020 Award Recipients

2020 Recipients (Honored at 2021 Virtual Conference)

Lifetime Achievement 
George Blue Spruce, Jr., DDS, MPH

George Blue Spruce, Jr., DDS, MPH, the first Native American Dentist in the United States, realizes that as a trailblazer he bears the responsibility of illuminating the health professions pathway for American Indian children who are unaware the path exists.  He has dared American Indian children to become a dentist, and his unique leadership has left a legacy promoting social mission in health professions education. He is the ​founder of the Society of the American Indian Dentist (SAID).
Rising Star
Robert M. Rock, MD

Dr. Robert Rock co-created a one-of-a-kind course at Yale on health disparities for PA, MD, and APRN programs. The course intentionally includes interprofessional educators and led to the creation of an interdisciplinary student group for all graduate students, faculty, and the New Haven public for community building and action toward health equity.  His efforts have helped to create a sense of belonging and empowerment for students who carry identities traditionally not exemplified in medicine.
Individual Excellence
Joseph Kiesler, MD

Dr. Joseph Kiesler’s commitment to equity and social justice has inspired thousands of learners and faculty. From providing care to the homeless and backside racetrack workers to his leadership in establishing a national model of interprofessional service learning at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Dr. Kiesler is a true champion of the core values of social mission in education
Program Excellence
Green Family Foundation Neighborhood Health Education Learning Program, Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, Miami, FL

The Green Family Foundation Neighborhood Health Education Learning Program (NeighborhoodHELP) at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine demonstrates national leadership in integrating social accountability and interprofessional education through a service-learning experience in underserved communities. NeighborhoodHELP is a household-centered care approach that highlights a social mission in health professions education while caring for vulnerable populations.
Institutional Excellence 
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a beacon of hope for students who wish to pursue a career in health professions and advocate for those whose voices are silenced.  Formed from the ashes of the Watts Riots of 1966, CDU has graduated more than 575 physicians, 1,200 physician assistants, and over 1,000 nursing professionals. With a mission of academic excellence coupled with community responsibility, CDU develops students into change agents who are poised to be champions of health equity


Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Vital Voices Podcasts on the 2021 awardees can be found here