2013 David Lawrence Community Service Award Winners

The David Lawrence Community Service Awards are presented each year to recognize individuals and groups across the Kaiser Permanente regions who champion outstanding community benefit activities and initiatives demonstrating extraordinary efforts to improve the health of our communities.

Announcing the 2013 David Lawrence Community Service Award Winners

Fourteen individuals and four groups were recognized for their work to improve the health of communities in the United States and throughout the world.

The David Lawrence Community Service Awards are presented each year to recognize individuals and groups across Kaiser Permanente who champion outstanding community benefit activities and initiatives demonstrating extraordinary efforts to improve the health of our communities.

“Every year, it is truly an honor for me to announce and celebrate the David Lawrence Community Service Award winners,” said Raymond J. Baxter, senior vice president, Community Benefit, Research and Health Policy.

This marks the 10th anniversary for the David Lawrence Community Service Awards. Originally called the David Lawrence Community Service Sabbatical Award, Dr. Jimmy Hara of Southern California won the first award in 2003. It is named in honor of David M. Lawrence, MD, former chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente and a lifelong advocate for improving health.

“Our 2013 winners  — and the 150 who were nominated — all illustrate and prove that the greatest asset of Kaiser Permanente is truly its people who bring so much talent, passion and innovation improving the health and wellness of Kaiser Permanente communities here and abroad,” Baxter said.

Winners are selected because they have shown a significant history of sustained contributions to the overall health of a community or population. Their commitments have been to important health and social issues, such as increasing access to health care for the underserved, eliminating disparities in health outcomes of racial and ethnic minorities, addressing the social determinants of health, and being strong stewards of our natural resources.

“The work the David Lawrence Community Service Award nominees and winners do defines total health,” Baxter said. “What they do doesn’t just mirror our community benefit priorities, but embodies an idea of total health by addressing mind, body and spirit. It addresses these forces and factors that shape people’s health, and it knows no borders.”

The winners will be presented with their awards at the third annual David Lawrence Community Service Awards Symposium on June 26, 2014. Each winner receives $10,000 to grant to a non-profit organization of their choice.

Individual Awards: Domestic/US Service

Mark Ashley, MD
Southern California

Dr. Mark Ashley is the founding medical director for the Urban Community Action Projects (UCAP), which provides comprehensive health services, substance abuse/mental health services, and case management to homeless individuals. In addition to the clinics located around Riverside County, UCAP also includes Health in Motion, a mobile health clinic. UCAP has become one of the largest health care providers to the homeless in Riverside County (serving roughly 300 patients a month).

Jodeen Callaghan, DMD

It’s difficult to estimate how many organizations Dr. Jodeen Callaghan has volunteered with in the last four decades, but she’s partnered with at least with 70 organizations in the Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore., areas. Because dental pain and associated dental problems are one of the reasons for absenteeism at school, says Dr. Callaghan, she focuses on providing dental services for the underserved. Among the many organizations she partners with include the Wallace Medical Concern (WMC), which is a safety net clinic that provides free medical and dental care to the poor in Multnomah County, Ore.

Walter Coppenrath, MD
Southern California

Dr. Walter Coppenrath helped launched the Mobile Clinic Project in 2000, serving the homeless and vulnerable populations in West Hollywood and Santa Monica. In addition to addressing a patient’s critical health needs, the clinic provides supplies such as blankets, socks, glasses, clothes and bandages, and connect patients with services to find work and safe places to stay. When the clinic was established, it largely operated out of a van on the corner of Romaine and Sycamore, in conjunction with the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition (which provides free dinners daily to those in need). The clinic was relocated to Ocean Park Community Center in Santa Monica, to expand a reach of more than 1,000 patients.

James Cotter, MD, MPH
Northern California

Dr. James Cotter is a community advocate for children’s health. He recently completed his Master’s degree in public health with a focus on health disparities and health access.  In partnership with the Children’s Health Initiative in Napa County, Dr. Cotter was instrumental in transitioning 1,300 children into the Kaiser Permanente Child Health Plan after the state’s Healthy Kids program lost funding in 2008.  Dr. Cotter researched and published a study about children’s health that showed the value of the “medical home” in improving wellness care and immunization status and in decreasing health disparities in Napa County children.

Michael Wong, MD
Northern California

The Neighbors in Health program is a yearly health care event that aims to improve community health in the Central Valley. Originally called Su Salud, it was founded by Dr. Michael Wong in 1987 in partnership with Kaiser Permanente and The Permanente Medical Group in the Central Valley. Offered to uninsured individuals and families, especially for the agricultural community, the event offers free medical screenings including blood pressure, cholesterol, vision, dental, diabetes and prostate. Immunizations, health education and pharmacy services are also available.

Quincyetta (Quincy) McClain
Northern California

Chaplain Quincy McClain, Spiritual Care Manager for the Central Valley, is the founder and CEO of F.U.N. Club Program of Manteca, Inc. (aka: Friday Unity Night in the Neighborhood). For seven years, she’s been working with at-risk students, ages 6-17, to help reduce childhood obesity and chronic diseases by increasing their access to health education, physical fitness, and healthy foods. The free program empowers students with education about drugs, alcohol and gangs, and provides them with tools for success, such as scholarship programs, career nights, free backpacks and school supplies. Furthermore, the program offers a health and wellness center, providing students with access to health care and dental needs, as well as music lessons, exercise classes and equipment, and an arts and crafts program.

Jack Read, MD

Dr. Jack Read is the volunteer medical director at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH), a small nursing home in Atlanta with a mission to fulfill the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of people with incurable cancer. Operated by a Dominican order of sisters, OLPH provides housing and around-the-clock care for men and women diagnosed with terminal cancer who cannot afford the care they need. At OLPH, Dr. Read’s goal is to provide comfort for patients who often have only months or weeks to live. With the support of the sisters and a chaplain, he manages patients’ pain and chronic illnesses while helping them find emotional and spiritual peace in their final days.

Kelli Brown-Neuman
Southern California

Kelli Brown-Neuman’s passion for volunteerism is evident whether she’s preparing and serving food with the Ronald McDonald House, building homes for low income, vulnerable populations with Habitat for Humanity, or helping doing household chores for individuals with multiple sclerosis. Kelli has been a regular volunteer for organizations that target vulnerable populations and root causes of disease and health inequality.

Sara Spencer, RN, MPH
Southern California

For seven years, Sara has co-led a traditional Mexican folk dance group for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, named the Las Palmas Grupo Folklorico (LPGF). Many of her students say they do not get any regular exercise outside of school – mostly due to the cost of extracurricular activities. Four years ago, at the request of parents, school staff and community members who wanted to learn to dance, Sara created an adult dance group and now she has families dancing together. In addition to great exercise and fun, Sara has seen the positive impact LPGF has had on the students’ self-confidence, self-esteem and family and community bonds.

Individual Awards: International Service

Amy Porter, MD
Southern California  

Dr. Amy Porter’s work in combating childhood obesity and enabling access to healthy foods has been recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama. In addition to also dedicating her energy to support and advocacy with the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning youth in Los Angeles, Dr. Porter also volunteers abroad. She volunteers with Global Medical Brigades by providing health care for patients in third-world countries such as Honduras and Panama. After a volunteer trip to Honduras, she started recruiting Kaiser Permanente physicians to join her. The medical team recently travelled and worked in Eastern Panama, in a rural area called Plantanilla, where many residents have no access to health care.

Seham El –Diwany, MD
Northern California

Dr. Seham El-Diwany has volunteered with a number of local and international organizations that provide care to individuals and communities affected by natural disasters, chronic diseases, congenital malformations or epidemics. In Zambia, she provided medical care to sexually abused girls and worked in the NICU and the malnutrition ward. During her mission to the Congo, Dr. El-Diwany provided medical care to children affected by a severe malaria epidemic. Most recently, she served as a physician at a Yida refugee Camp in South Sudan. The refugees were fleeing atrocities and starvation warfare in their homeland and needed medical care after their long and harsh journey. In addition, she taught neonatal resuscitation skills to the midwives who are in charge of 80 percent of the deliveries in the refugee camp.

Ronald Wyatt, MD
Northern California

Since 2002, Dr. Ronald Wyatt has completed 12 international volunteer assignments with Orthopedics Overseas (OO), a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of health care in developing countries through the training of local orthopedic surgeons and residents. Dr. Wyatt also served as the “stateside” director for the Peru Orthopedic Overseas program from 2006 to 2009 and worked with the country’s national director to develop a curriculum to meet local training needs. Domestically, Dr. Wyatt helped establish Operation Access in the Diablo Service Area in 2008, caring for the underinsured and uninsured in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. He continues to serve as the Walnut Creek site director.

Laure Lisk, RN, MS

Laure Lisk’s volunteer missions to remote overseas locations started in 1995 by teaching neonatal resuscitation courses over a period of three years in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Since then, she volunteered over a four year period in the Ukraine doing HIV prevention and taught pediatric nursing assessment courses in the former Soviet Union. Since 2006 she’s been volunteering with Alliance For Smiles (AFS), joining expert pediatric cleft lip and palate repair teams to provide care in poor rural villages. In many cases, those patients have traveled for several days to get care that would have otherwise been unavailable to them.

Augusta “Auggie” Calimbas, RN
Southern California

Auggie Calimbas is one of the founders of Angels of Hope (AOH) an organization that provides education, medical, housing, and food to vulnerable individuals and communities in the Philippines.  For the last 10 years, AOH has served more than 10,000 individuals in need. Currently, AOH is building a shelter for the aborigines living in Porac. After last year’s disastrous Typhoon Haiyan, AOH has been raising funds to purchase boats and equipment for fishermen. She also volunteers to feed the homeless in the San Gabriel Valley, Los Angeles, and Pomona.


Group Award: Domestic/US Service

Physician Volunteer Engagement Program Steering Committee
Southern California

The Physician Volunteer Engagement Team created a program in 2010 to recruit colleagues to volunteer by providing free medical care to underserved and uninsured populations in San Bernardino County. Today, there are 30 physicians volunteering regularly at five local safety net clinics, donating more than 1,300 hours to provide care to 2,732 patients in areas of primary care, dermatology, nephrology, orthopedics, rheumatology, physical medicine, facial and plastic surgery, psychiatry and neurology.

The African American Health Initiative (AAHI)
Northern California

To improve health awareness and health equity in San Francisco’s African American community, the AAHI Task Force uses Kaiser Permanente’s “Caring for Your Family’s Health” video and guidebook to create educational and motivational workshops. Since 2007, the program has trained individuals to become peer leaders and advocates for health by conducting workshops in their respective organizations and communities.  By the end of the workshops, more than 80 percent of participants increased their intake of fruits and vegetables. The workshops include historical perspectives on African American health, goal setting, healthy nutrition, “Knowing Your Numbers,” barriers to health care, and short range and long range problem solving. Community partners include the Black Coalition on AIDS, the Arthur H. Coleman Medical Center, The Links Inc., and a number of local churches and religious organizations. The program was so effective, a documentary was created to show the depth of its reach.

Group Award: International Service

Bay Area Surgical Mission
Northern California

The Bay Area Surgical Mission (BASM) was formed in 2010 to provide free medical and surgical care to patients in very remote and poor communities in the Philippines. Formed by a group of surgeons from Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, BASM brings a group of 30 physicians and nurses to Provincial Hospitals in the Philippines and offers surgical services to patients who otherwise would not receive care.  During the one-week mission, the team will see about 500 patients and perform 200-250 major and minor surgeries. With each trip, the volunteers donate their time, professional services, and provide their own travel expenses to the Philippines. Donated surgical supplies are collected through ongoing efforts of the volunteers throughout the year.

Mama Pikin Foundation

Dr. Shekou Sesay and Dr. Fatu Forna are a husband-wife team who founded The Mama-Pikin Foundation in 2008 to enhance, improve, and positively contribute to the health and well-being of mothers and children in Sierra Leone, West Africa. The foundation (which has since expanded with additional volunteer physicians) conducts annual medical mission trips to support four clinics, providing both free medications and medical treatment to an average of 600 patients each visit. Conditions treated during the mission trips include malaria, anemia, hypertension, gynecological infections, skin infections and minor surgical treatment of wounds and abscesses. The foundation also provides medical supplies to maternity and pediatric hospitals, and supports its four clinics with medications, training, and supplies throughout the year. This year, the foundation started a new initiative to provide basic delivery kits to all women delivering in their clinics. The delivery kits contain a bucket, a piece of soap, a blanket to wrap the baby, and a piece of plastic to use as a clean surface during delivery of the baby.

Previous David Lawrence Community Service Award Winners

2012 winners

2011 winners

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