Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA, congregational leader for the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, received the Health Legacy Award for Excellence October 11 at the 2015 Health Legacy of Cleveland award and scholarship dinner.
Every other year, Health Legacy of Cleveland hosts the dinner to present the award and name individuals to its health equity honor roll. The event also raises funds to provide scholarships and purposeful public programming aimed at inspiring African-American Cleveland area students to become physicians and dentists through education.
Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland Board Member Giesele Greene, M.D., who is chief medical officer of the Sisters of Charity Health System and development chair for Health Legacy Cleveland, introduced Sister Judith Ann at the event. During her introduction, Dr. Greene said, “Throughout her distinguished career, Sister Judith Ann and the organizations she represents, including the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine and the Sisters of Charity Health System, have been leaders in advancing health access. The sisters have long believed and advanced efforts around the fact that families and communities are stronger when everyone has access to quality, affordable health care.”
Sister Judith Ann is also the board chair of the Catholic Health Association of the United States and chair of the public juridic person of the Sisters of Charity Health System.
Regina Benjamin, M.D., the 18th Surgeon General of the United States, delivered the evening’s keynote address, which was sponsored by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland. Foundation President Susanna Krey introduced Dr. Benjamin as the keynote speaker. Krey made the connection between the foundation’s work to address the root causes of poverty and Dr. Benjamin’s lifelong commitment to health and health care.
“Our speaker has dedicated her career to eliminating health disparities. From our perspective, in working with underserved communities, we understand the impact health disparities have on communities, and how the health of individuals impacts the overall health of a community,” said Krey.
The mission of Health Legacy of Cleveland is to increase the pool of African-American physicians and dentists in Northeast Ohio, while also working to eliminate health care disparities among minorities by partnering with the Cleveland community.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.