Georgetown Alumnus Honored for Her Advocacy on Behalf of Healthcare Workers
Just a few days into this fall season, on a quiet and brisk Monday evening on the rooftop of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) headquarters in Washington, DC, a graduate alumnus of the Georgetown University Medical School was revered.
R. L. Toni Lewis, M.D., (GU ‘94, M’04) was honored at this year’s SEIU 2012 Progressive Leadership Awards for her work as “a powerful and authentic voice for SEIU’s 1.2 million nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers.”
The SEIU recognized Lewis for her work “to help advance the passage of the Affordable Care Act,” and for her work as a physician and her advocacy for her patients – past, present and future.
“Dr. Lewis is at the forefront of SEIU’s work to improve the quality of patient care and ensure equal rights and fairness in the workplace for healthcare professionals,” explained the SEIU award excerpt. “Dr. Lewis played a central role in building HealthCare United – a grassroots movement of union and non-union nurses, doctors and healthcare workers in 2008. In 2009, she led SEIU’s initiative to unite medical residents and doctors during the national healthcare debate, meeting with physicians to build consensus.”
Lewis received her B.A. in sociology from Georgetown University and her M.D. from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She completed her residency training in family practice in Jamaica (Queens), NY at the New York Medical College/Brooklyn-Queens program. She is a recipient of the 2010 “Phenomenal Woman” Award by the New York Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in recognition of her outstanding commitment to civil rights and her dedicated leadership to the healthcare industry and the 2010 Dr. Paul Cornely Award for her efforts to ensure comprehensive health care for everyone in America. Deeply concerned about the health and welfare of children and working families, Lewis also serves on the board of Families USA.
In the spring of 2010, Lewis was elected chair of SEIU Healthcare, the healthcare arm of SEIU representing more than a million doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers. Lewis leads the union's efforts to improve the quality of patient care and ensure equal rights and fairness in the workplace for all healthcare workers.
By David Blanco, GUMC Communications