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Friday, February 7, 2014

Congratulations Prof. Emily Benfer, Recipient of the 2014 Schweitzer Leadership Award!

On behalf of the Public Health Policy and Management faculty and students, I extend our heartfelt congratulations to Professor Emily Benfer, the recipient of the 2014 Schweitzer Leadership Award! This prestigious honor is bestowed on an individual who has done significant work to mitigate the social determinants of health in the community, and whose commitment to service has influenced and inspired others.

As the founder and Director of the Health Justice Project, a medical-legal partnership at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Prof. Benfer has fought tirelessly for the rights and well-being of our most vulnerable populations, including homeless families, children with special health care needs, individuals with disabilities, and low-income workers.

While her accomplishments as a Director of one of the most successful medical-legal partnerships in the nation will be recognized many times over in the weeks ahead, what is (in my humble estimation) worthy of equal praise is her exemplary character and leadership. I have had the privilege of working with Emily as a researcher in her Health Justice Project, an educator co-teaching our University’s first interprofessional course, and as a colleague on a practice commission. These experiences have enhanced the prestige of our University, promoted interprofessional education across multiple disciplines—medical, law, and public health—and created research and service opportunities for our faculty and students. But simply put, they are a product of her leadership and vision.

It is a rare individual who brings the passion, professionalism, productivity, and personality that are hallmarks of a great leader. And this year’s recipient of the Schweizer Leadership Award exhibits all of these traits, and is an inspiration to all of us who are lifelong learners and practitioners of health policy and management. Congratulations, Emily!