2019 Cura Personalis Award

Ed Healton, Wafaa El-Sadr and Jack DeGioia stand side by side onstage
(From left) Executive Vice President for Health Sciences and Executive Dean of the School of Medicine Edward B. Healton, MD, MPH; Cura Personalis Award recipient Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA; and Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia

Twelfth Annual GUMC Convocation: Cura Personalis Award

The Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis, which means “care of the whole person,” suggests individualized attention to the needs of others, distinct respect for unique circumstances and concerns, and an appropriate appreciation for singular gifts and insights. This is the founding principle of Georgetown University Medical Center, and has special resonance for the scientific and educational missions of the university.

Every year at the Annual GUMC Convocation, the Cura Personalis Award is bestowed upon a health professional who has made outstanding contributions to human health guided by compassion and service.

Wafaa El-Sadr
Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA

This year’s awardee is Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA, University Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine at Columbia University. El-Sadr is the founder and director of ICAP at Columbia University, director of Columbia’s Global Health Initiative at the Mailman School of Public Health, and the Dr. Mathilde Krim-amfAR Chair in Global Health.

El-Sadr, a MacArthur Fellow and prominent researcher, has led numerous epidemiological, clinical, behavioral and implementation science research studies that have furthered the understanding of the prevention and management of HIV and tuberculosis (TB) as well as non-communicable diseases.

She has been involved in HIV/AIDS research and treatment since the height of the epidemic. From 1988 to 2008 she led the Division of Infectious Diseases at Harlem Hospital Center, where she helped develop HIV/AIDS and TB programs.

El-Sadr’s work leading ICAP at Columbia — a global health center founded in 2003 to improve the health of families and communities — spans more than 30 countries, providing technical assistance and implementation support to strengthen health systems in addition to conducting research in partnership with governmental and non-governmental organizations.

As ICAP director, she leads the design, implementation, scale-up and evaluation of large-scale HIV, TB and maternal-child health programs in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia that provide access to HIV services to more than 2.2 million people and support more than 5,200 health facilities. She is also a principal investigator of the NIH-funded HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and a member of the National Academy of Medicine.

El-Sadr holds a medical degree from Cairo University, Egypt, a master’s of public health degree in epidemiology from the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health, and a master’s in public administration degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is Board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases.

President John J. DeGioia will present El-Sadr with the Cura Personalis Award after she delivers the keynote address during Convocation ceremonies on Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, at 2:30 pm in the Research Building auditorium.