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Villanova University Presents 2011 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics to Dr. Milton H. Donaldson

Donaldson Founded New Jersey’s First Ronald McDonald House and Cooper Medical Center’s Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology

The Villanova University Ethics Program of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has announced the recipient of its fifth annual Praxis Award in Professional Ethics. Dr. Milton H. 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. The Praxis Award highlights and celebrates the contributions of a professional or academic in the field of professional ethics.

“Dr. Milton H. Donaldson was selected by the Praxis Award Committee because of his exemplary dedication to the ethical ideals of his profession as a physician,” said Dr. Mark Doorley, director of Villanova University’s Ethics Program. “His concern was not limited to the physical dimensions of the illness suffered by his small patients, but encompassed the overall wellbeing of his patients and their families. He recognized that the families needed assistance as their children battled for their lives.”

Dr. Donaldson has acted on this concern throughout his career. He 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.

A central element of the physician’s code of ethics is to benefit the patient. Dr. Donaldson took this to heart and went beyond it by attending to far more than the physical dimensions of illness, and to the needs of the patients’ families.  For his commitment to, and achievement of, the best ideals of his profession, Villanova University has honored Dr. Milton H. Donaldson with the 2011 Praxis Award in Professional Ethics.

Recipients of the award have accomplished one or more of the following achievements:

·         Excellence in fulfilling and embodying the ethical ideals of a profession

·         Excellence in connecting professional work to a broader understanding of the common good

·         Excellence in promoting and embodying ethical integrity in a professional field

·         Excellence with respect to research in the field of professional ethics

·         Excellence in terms of influence on the field of professional ethics through writing, teaching, consulting and/or professional leadership.

For more information about the Praxis Award, visit