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In This Issue:
Dr. Nawal Nour
Known around the world as the “genius grants,” BWH is proud to announce that the MacArthur Foundation has recognized two of its physicians by naming them as 2003 MacArthur Fellows. Nawal Nour, MD, MPH, founder of BWH’s African Women’s Health Center, and Jim Yong Kim, MD, PhD, co-chief and co-founder of BWH’s Division of Social Medicine, were chosen by the Foundation for their extraordinary work. With this prestigious honor comes a $500,000, unrestricted grant for each to use at their discretion over the next five years.
Nour was named a Fellow for creating the country’s only center of its kind that focuses on both physical and emotional needs of female circumcision victims. A native of the Sudan, Nour established this clinic in 1999 to address the needs of immigrants who have undergone this ritual in their homeland.
When she received the call that she had been chosen as a MacArthur Fellow, Nour felt an overwhelming feeling that she describes as “sheer delight.”
“This is a huge victory for African women,” said Nour, who feels a great sense of responsibility as a recipient and plans to use the award to continue working to improve lives of circumcised women.
“We’re so proud that her incredible efforts to improve the health of women have been recognized by the MacArthur Foundation,” said Robert Barbieri, MD, chair of Obstetrics and Gynecolog at BWH. “The MacArthur Foundation fellowship is both an individual award for Nawal’s efforts to care for immigrant African women with unique medical and social challenges, and a team award to all her colleagues at BWH, who make extraordinary contributions to improving health care in both our local and global communities.”
Kim, who is currently serving as a senior advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization and as a founding trustee of Partners In Health, was chosen as a Fellow for his work treating and containing major diseases in many of the world’s most underprivileged countries. Kim is one of the world’s leading experts on drug-resistant tuberculosis and continues to work to eradicate this fatal disease.
Kim credits his success and award to the opportunities and mentorship he has received at BWH. “Dr. Marshall Wolf was the first one who took a big risk on me and provided both medical training and financial support for our projects; Dr. Howard Hiatt helped raise a huge chunk of our funding, set me off to tackle global health issues and continues to be my most important mentor; and Dr. Victor Dzau has been extraordinarily generous and supportive in so many ways, especially through the creation of the Division of Social Medicine and Health Inequalities.”
“Jim’s vision for global health care and his dedication to treating the underprivileged are truly remarkable,” said Victor J. Dzau, MD, physician in chief and chairman of Medicine. “His work has made an enormous impact on the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis in third world countries and is a model of healthcare delivery for the underserved areas of the world. He is an inspiration to our physicians and our trainees.”
Kim also expresses his deep gratitude to the many physicians, nurses and other staff who were always ready to lend a hand in the work that he and Dr. Paul Farmer were doing and who taught him so much about caring for patients.
Since 1981, the MacArthur Foundation, one of the nation’s largest private philanthropic foundations, has been naming fellows who are working to shape the future of the world through various fields of study or interest with a track record of unique accomplishments. Typically, the Foundation recognizes between 20 and 25 individuals each year by awarding grants to those who demonstrate exceptional promise in "celebration of the creative individual in our midst." Fellows are selected by an anonymous committee of members from various backgrounds such as the arts, social sciences, biological and physical sciences, and public service, as well as other professional fields.
“Both Dr. Jim Kim and Dr. Nawal Nour have incredible track records for developing innovative programs for helping people who have generally slipped through the significant gaps in society’s safety nets,” said Joseph B. Martin, dean of the Harvard Faculty of Medicine. “The HMS community has been quite proud of what Jim and Nawal have already accomplished and looks forward to what they can do with the assistance of the MacArthur Foundation.”