Ms. Jennifer Staple-Clark, CEO of Unite for Sight, was selected for her extraordinary commitment to global health and her efforts in eliminating patient barriers to high-quality eye care.
After graduating from Yale University in 2003, Staple-Clark expanded upon her vision for Unite for Sight. The organization now supports high-quality eye care and eye clinics both domestically and worldwide by “investing human and financial resources in their social ventures to eliminate patient barriers to eye care.” The programs are locally led and managed by ophthalmologists at Unite for Sight's partner eye clinics. Unite for Sight has over 1,000 volunteers who have spread into over 50 countries sharing knowledge on the importance of eye care.
Staple-Clark’s leadership and vision has evolved into a global health delivery organization that provides care to the world’s poorest people. Unite for Sight has provided eye care to over 1,100,000 people living in poverty, giving eye clinics in developing countries the chance to operate normally as a medical institution. Beyond the borders of the United States, Unite for Sight has merged with partners in Africa and Asia trying to help those communities in need as well. The organization reaches out to patients who cannot afford medical expenses or get access to a clinic. Unite for Sight works to provide transportation, hire additional staff for clinics, and train volunteers to be medically equipped.
For her efforts in promoting public health, Staple-Clark has received numerous honors including the American Institute of Public Service’s 2009 National Jefferson Award for Public Service – also known as a “Nobel Prize” for Public Service.
The 2012 award winner was Mr. Andrew Kricun, P.E., executive director of the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA). Kricun was selected for his extraordinary commitment to the health, welfare, and safety of the neighbors of this waste water treatment plant in the Waterfront South community of Camden, N.J.
After arriving at the Camden CCMUA plant as an engineer, Kricun immediately began working to remedy the unhealthy byproducts of waste-water treatment. In July 2011, CCMUA began a new process whereby the waste water effluent is now completely dehydrated. The process has reduced the plant's odors by 99.9 percent.
Kricun is involved in various environmentally sustainable initiatives in the city of Camden. He has been instrumental in pushing for the creation of multiple rain-water gardens that can reduce pressure on the city's aging sewer system in times of heavy rain and reduce the flooding of sewage due to that heavy rain. In addition, Kricun was a founder of the Waterfront South Environmental Network that monitors the polluting industries in this low-income neighborhood.
Beyond the environment, Kricun also served on Camden's public safety committee, helping the city to obtain funding for its Eyes in the Sky program, placing security cameras at key points around the city. He has also worked with the city on lighting problems, as street lights are being vandalized for their copper wiring. Additionally, Kricun has committed the CCMUA to restoring the lights in the Waterfront South neighborhood and is assisting the city in finding sponsors for other neighborhoods.
The 2011 award winner was Dr. Milton H. Donaldson. Donaldson founded New Jersey’s first Ronald McDonald House and Cooper Medical Center’s division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology.
Dr. Donaldson was selected for his extraordinary commitment to the well-being of his patients, as well as their families, during a celebrated career in pediatric oncology in the Greater Philadelphia region.
Dr. Donaldson inaugurated Cooper Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology in Camden, N.J., and spearheaded the effort to create New Jersey’s first Ronald McDonald house shortly thereafter in 1983. These accomplishments built upon his previous involvement in the founding of Philadelphia’s first Ronald McDonald House in 1974, while on the staff at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. These “home-away-from-home” facilities provide a supportive environment for families to stay close to loved ones facing serious medical issues. In 1986, Dr. Donaldson’s clinic at Cooper Hospital was designated as one of five New Jersey sites to receive support from The Valerie Fund, enabling the growth of a holistic program for his patients called The Valerie Fund Children’s Center. This state-of-the-art facility offers comprehensive care for children suffering from malignant diseases and blood disorders. Donaldson also created a bridge program that enables young patients to return to school, receiving the extra support they may need from teachers and school staff.
The 2010 award winner was Dr. Marc Edwards, Professor of Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech University.
Marc Edwards, Ph.D., the Charles Lunsford Professor of Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech University, was selected for the extraordinary professional integrity he displayed in protecting the Washington, D.C., community from misleading claims regarding health effects from high levels of lead in their drinking water. In 2004, Edwards was shocked to discover that fellow engineers and governmental agencies had knowingly conspired to hide the fact that drinking water in the District of Columbia contained unsafe levels of lead. With the help of his students, Edwards conducted extensive research, determining that water testing in schools and other research had been conducted improperly by those entrusted by the public to monitor water safety. Despite many obstacles, including the risk of speaking out against friends and colleagues, Edwards demonstrated great moral courage in alerting the public to the extent of the deception and dangers at hand. Edwards’ subsequent investigation uncovered a variety of unprofessional and unethical practices by the Centers for Disease Control, independent research groups, and the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority. Time Magazine in 2004 dubbed Edwards “The Plumbing Professor” and featured him as one of the nation’s leading scientific innovators. In 2007, Edwards was named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, receiving a five-year grant of $500,000 to expand his water safety research to other cities. He currently teaches civil and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering at Virginia Tech University.
The 2009 award winner was Amy Domini, founder and CEO of Domini Social Investments, an investment management company committed to social responsibility.
Driven by a personal belief in responsible investing, ingenuity, and strong business intuition, Domini began systematically exploring the principles and strategies of socially responsible investing during the 1980s. In her book Ethical Investing (1984), Domini and co-author Peter Kinder were the first to offer a comprehensive discussion on the subject of socially responsible investing. Through its shareholders’ investments, her company works to encourage greater corporate responsibility by using both social and environmental standards in selecting holdings and by directly engaging corporate management through proxy voting and shareholder dialogue. In addition, Domini Social Investments has developed investment vehicles which enable investors to help rebuild the economy of struggling communities.
The 2008 award winner was John Hansen-Flaschen, M.D., currently the Chief of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine in the University of Pennsylvania Health System. A scientist with over 50 publications in top-flight medical journals, his clinical research has led to new life-saving therapies for critically ill patients.
Dr. Hansen-Flaschen’s clinical practice includes patients with lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, respiratory failure, and cystic fibrosis, all terminal diagnoses. Equally as important as his important work is the manner in which Dr. Hansen-Flaschen accomplishes it. His compassion in working with terminal patients is extraordinary, as is his respect for each individual’s personal narrative in arriving at a treatment plan. His research and publications have drawn attention to shortcomings in critical care, and his focus on more humane care for the critically ill and dying have resulted in significant reforms in treatment, including a much greater emphasis on palliation. His efforts have helped make palliation the accepted professional practice in critical care when cure is no longer attainable.
The first recipient of this award was Joel J. Nobel, M.D., co-founder and President Emeritus of ECRI. ECRI (formerly the Emergency Care Research Institute) is a nonprofit health services research agency and a Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is designated as an Evidence-based Practice Center (EPC) by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
ECRI's mission is to improve the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. It is widely recognized as one of the world's leading independent organizations committed to advancing the quality of healthcare.
One of many products and services offered by ECRI is Health Devices Alert. This is the world's most comprehensive source of
Health Devices Alerts ensures a facility’s access to complete, accurate, and timely information about critical device safety issues. It includes valuable expert guidance to help healthcare professionals take appropriate action to protect their patients, staff, and healthcare facility from risk.