Macy Awards


The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Awards for Excellence in Social Mission recognizes leaders of social mission in health professions education. Since it’s inception in 2016, the Macy Awards have been presented to social mission leaders at five of our conferences. 


Fitzhugh Mullan Rising Star Award

Lifetime Achievement

Individual Excellence

Program Excellence 

Institutional Excellence

2024 Award Recipients

Fitzhugh Mullan Rising Star Award

Alec J Calac (Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians)

Alec J. Calac (Pauma Band of Luiseño Indians) is an MD-PhD Candidate at UC San Diego School of Medicine and Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science. He has impressively risen to the level of being an internationally-recognized leader for championing policies and programs that promote Indigenous health equity and reform of the Indian Health Service. Calac is actively leading national health policy efforts linked to Native American priorities through his integral roles in several major national advocacy organizations.  As a testament to the reach of his work, he was invited to participate in the White House Office of Public Engagement Leaders in Health Equity Roundtable Series. He currently serves as the Associate Director of the Clinical Problem Solvers Anti-Racism in Medicine Podcast and Co-Chair of the World Federation of Public Health Associations Indigenous Working Group Policy Committee. 

Alec Calac and presenters pose for a photo with him and his glass trophy

Lifetime Achievement Award

Caswell A. Evans, Jr., D.D.S., M.P.H.

Caswell A. Evans, Jr., D.D.S., M.P.H., is an Emeritus Professor after fifteen years of serving as Associate Dean for Prevention and Public Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Dentistry, and faculty member at the UIC School of Public Health.   He was a mayoral-appointed Chicago Board of Health member for thirteen years, and served two terms as a gubernatorial-appointed Illinois Board of Health member. Before joining the UIC faculty, he was the Executive Editor and Project Director for Oral Health in America: A Report of the U.S. Surgeon General, released by US Surgeon General David Satcher in 2000.  He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), served a three-year term as co-chair of the NAM’s Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professions Education, a Past President of the American Public Health Association, the American Association of Public Health Dentistry, the American Board of Dental Public Health, and the Institute of Medicine of Chicago.  Evans has focused on the issues of health inequities, access to care, and social justice throughout his career. 

Caswell Evans and two others pose for a photo with his award
Caswell Evans speaks at a podium

Individual Excellence Award

Lisa Meeks, PhD, MA

Over the last decade, Lisa Meeks’ work and advocacy has had profound impacts on recruiting, admitting, and retaining students with disabilities while simultaneously dismantling ableism in health professions education. She achieves this by engaging with health professions education communities and associations to provide actionable education to dismantle barriers. 

A standout achievement is her podcast, DocsWithDisabilities, reaching audiences in 100 countries and sharing stories of clinicians with disabilities. Meeks focuses on cultivating the next generation of disabled clinicians, researchers, and leaders. She champions an equitable and accessible research lab, guided by the principles of disability justice, emphasizing interdependence and leadership from those most impacted. Actively recruiting and mentoring disabled trainees, she ensures financial support and accommodations for their scholarly pursuits and conference attendance. Driven by her commitment, she tirelessly advocates for all, contributing to the vision of an equitable and inclusive future in health professions education.

Lisa Meeks speaking at a podium
Lisa Meeks is presented with her award

Program Excellence Award

Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity

The Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity US + Global (AFHE) program develops early to mid-career leaders who understand the foundations of health inequity and have the knowledge, skills, and courage to build more equitable organizations and communities. The program does so by providing intensive learning and growth experiences and connecting fellows in a cohort network. The program includes US and international fellows from multiple health professions who are joined by others doing work in health such as artists, lawyers, and journalists to create an interdisciplinary network that sparks creative solutions to the most pressing health equity issues of our time. The program has a truly interdisciplinary and intercultural approach to learning, community building and striving to overcome global challenges. 

Guen Burke and two others smile for a photo with her Macy Award

Institutional Excellence Award

The University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico (UNM) provides a learning environment that builds on the assets of its rural, majority-minority state. This is reflected in the diversity of the student body it recruits and the service-learning opportunities offered. It is also reflected in its strategic plan: “Transform health professions education across the Health Sciences Center to meet the needs of our diverse learners, our professions, and our state.” Learners gain unique insights into their multi-ethnic communities through service-learning opportunities supported by a decentralized network of Health Extension Regional Officers (HEROs) and Community Health Workers (CHWs). Finally, UNM programs in education, service, and research are increasingly driven by community-identified health and social priorities with UNM health programs brought to the front door of communities via face-to-face or telehealth modes. One consequence is that UNM has one of the highest percentages of health science graduates remaining in the state and working in rural and underserved communities.

Art Kauffman speaks at a podium moments before receiving his award

Previous Honorees


Fitzhugh Mullan Rising Star Award

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.

Lifetime Achievement Award

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.

Individual Excellence Award

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 Award

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.


Fitzhugh Mullan Rising Star Award

Robert 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.

On episode 2 of the Vital Voices podcast, Dr. Rock shares his experience with developing social mission focused curriculum for medical students.

Lifetime Achievement Award

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).

Individual Excellence Award

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.

In episode 3 of the Vital Voices podcast, Dr. Kiesler shares his work promoting interprofessionalism and advice for advocacy in health professions education.

Program Excellence Award

Green Family Foundation Neighborhood Health Education Learning Program Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

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.

Video about NeighborhoodHELP.

Institutional Excellence Award

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.

In episode 4 of the Vital Voices podcast, David M. Carlisle, President and CEO of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science joins host Holly J. Humphrey to discuss this award.


Lifetime Achievement Award

Loretta C. Ford, EdD, RN, PNP, FAAN, FAANP

For an internationally known nursing leader whose studies on the nurse’s expanded scope of practice in public health nursing led to the creation of the world’s first nurse practitioner training program at the University of Colorado in 1965. Her work has revolutionized the delivery of health services and the role of nursing in clinical care. Educator, mentor, researcher and advocate, she has made the world a better place.

Individual Excellence Award

Neal A. Demby, DMD, MPH, D-ABSCD

Dr. Demby received this award for visionary leadership in creating hospital sponsored dental residency programs in which residents are placed full-time at one of 340 affiliated health centers in 26 US states and the Caribbean. The program currently supports 490 residents/year, the great majority of which continue to serve underserved populations upon graduation.

Program Excellence Award

Residency Program in Social Medicine Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY

Since 1970, the Residency Program in Social Medicine has graduated 813 family physicians, internists, and pediatricians, two-thirds of whom practice in community health centers and underserved areas, and all of whom seek social justice in transforming our health system.

Video about the Residency Program in Social Medicine

Institutional Excellence Award

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

For its dedication to a social mission, pursuit of health equity, unwavering commitment to the residents of central and southern Illinois, and continued success in educating caring, compassionate, socially responsible leaders in medicine and health sciences.


Lifetime Achievement Award

H. Jack Geiger, MD

For a lifetime of work in health, poverty and civil rights including marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and still fighting the moral injustices that confront us daily. Dr. Geiger is a founding member of Physicians for Human Rights, Physicians for Social Responsibility (Nobel 1985) and is considered the Father of Community Health Centers in America.

Individual Excellence Award

Thomas F. Curtin, MD

For visionary leadership in building an alliance between Community Health Centers and A.T. Still University resulting in the development of two health center purposed dental schools and one health center purposed medical school ultimately resulting in the education of thousands of clinicians skilled in the treatment of disadvantaged populations.

Program Excellence Award

Putting Families First: An Interprofessional Family Health (IFH) Experience, University of Florida

For steadfast excellence over 19 years delivering all University of Florida dental, medical, nursing, pharmacy, public health and veterinary students an interdisciplinary, collaborative, community-based course that advances the core values of social mission in health professions education.

Video about Putting Families First

Institutional Excellence Award

Morehouse School of Medicine

For their vision of health equity, their commitment to community, and their success in educating a growing cadre of diverse leaders in medicine and the health sciences.