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April 06, 2022

By Gary A. Puckrein, PhD

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 6, 2022)—The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) announced today that it will honor the Tour for Diversity in Medicine, Gilead Sciences and the Advisory Group to SHC Vaccine Equity Program with its highly acclaimed Booker T. Washington Award in a ceremony at The Watergate Hotel on April 25, 2022.

The Booker T. Washington Award recognizes an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of wellness in emerging populations and is presented by NMQF.

“We are honored to present the Booker T. Washington Award to these amazing organizations,”  said NMQF’s President and CEO Dr. Gary Puckrein.

“For over a decade, the Tour for Diversity has worked to assist aspiring physicians, dentists and pharmacists get into and graduate from professional school. The organization has done so much to directly diversify the healthcare workforce, creating more needed clinicians of color.,” he said.

“Gilead Sciences is committed to creating a healthier world for everyone – no matter the challenges ahead. For more than 30 years, they have pursued the impossible and have worked tirelessly to bring forward medicines for life-threatening diseases and while never forgetting the importance of health equity,” Dr. Puckrein said.

“And finally, the annual SHC award is going to the members of the Advisory Group to SHC Vaccine Equity Program, a group of individuals and organizations that have helped promote COVID and flu vaccine equity through clinics and churches, hair salons and barbers, and widespread education and communications.”

The SHC Vaccine Equity Program Advisory Group members include Daniel B. Fagbuyi, MD, of George Washington University School of Medicine, Rev. Dr. Terris A. King of Liberty Grace Church of God, Matthew Kusher, MD, of Plaza del Sol Family Health Center, Helen Arteaga Landaverde, MPH, of NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst, Lois Privor-Dumm, MBA, of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Sandra C. Quinn, PhD, and Stephen B. Thomas, PhD, of University of Maryland School of Public Health.

Booker T. Washington started the National Negro Health Week (NNHW) in 1915. From 1921 to 1953, NNHW was a program supported by the Public Health Service. By partnering with Congress and the White House, NMQF started National Minority Health Month in 1998 as a successor of NNHW.

“Corporate Social Responsibility is ingrained in the fabric of our work at Gilead. Our teams are passionate about making the world a healthier place for all individuals and that goes beyond medicine. It means a strong focus on supporting communities most affected by devastating diseases, addressing social injustice, and advancing health equity. We are honored to receive the Booker T. Washington Award in recognition of these efforts,” said Daniel O’Day, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences. “Gilead is committed to working alongside partners like NMQF and other important organizations to address the most challenging health disparities that exist today.”  

Past Booker T. Washington Award honorees include U.S. Surgeon General’s Vivek Murthy, Jerome Adams and Regina Benjamin, the American Medical Association, and the American Hospital Association. Nominations are received from advisors and stakeholders and then chosen by NMQF leadership.

“Tour for Diversity in Medicine is proud to have served communities nationwide for 10 years in a grassroots effort to address health inequities through the diversification of the healthcare workforce,” Alden Landry, MD MPH, Co-Director, Tour for Diversity in Medicine, said. “We use our voices in the spirit of torchbearers like Mr. Booker T. Washington to educate and motivate students in Black and Brown communities into the healthcare professions and we thank the National Minority Quality Forum for recognizing the critical nature of our work.”

Helen Arteaga Landaverde, MPH, Chief Executive Officer, NYC Health + Hospitals/ Elmhurst, said COVID-19 changed how she and her colleagues think about their work.

“In the past, the patient-provider relationship was generally a one-sided conversation. In our community, most patients did not question healthcare providers’ guidance. Not anymore,” she said. “With increasing COVID-19 vaccine rumors and misinformation, we’re getting questions about both COVID-19 and flu vaccine. In my 25 years in healthcare, I’ve never had anyone ask me what is in the flu shot. Until now. This is a challenge and an opportunity. How we meet the moment will shape healthcare equity in the years to come.”

The Booker T. Washington Award ceremony is a part of the NMQF 20th Summit on Health Disparities and Health Braintrust. To register or learn more, visit:


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About National Minority Quality Forum

The National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research and advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. The mission of NMQF is to reduce patient risk by assuring optimal care for all. NMQF’s vision is an American health services research, delivery and financing system whose operating principle is to reduce patient risk for amenable morbidity and mortality while improving quality of life. For more information, please visit