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Risa Lavizzo-Mourey Chosen to Receive WOMAN ONE Award

April 16, 2007

Drexel University College of Medicine’s Institute for Women’s Health and Leadership is presenting the fifth annual WOMAN ONE award to Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest health care philanthropy. The ceremony will take place at the Rittenhouse Hotel located at 210 West Rittenhouse Square beginning at 5:30 p.m., on Monday, April 23, 2007.

The WOMAN ONE award recognizes women of exceptional achievement who, through their leadership and humanitarian contributions, inspire other women to achieve great goals. Previously, the award has gone to television personality Suzanne Roberts, public service leader Estelle Richman, attorney and community leader Leslie Anne Miller, and Olympic champion Dawn Staley. Several former awardees will attend this year’s WOMAN ONE ceremony.

“We are thrilled with the selection of Dr. Lavizzo-Mourey,” said the Institute Director, Lynn Yeakel. “She is a nationally recognized leader in health care policy and a woman who has exhibited extraordinary devotion to improving health conditions for people of all ages. She typifies what our ‘WOMAN ONE’ initiative is intended to communicate.”

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey is the first woman and the first African-American to be president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a patient-centered institution dedicated to improving the health care system. Lavizzo-Mourey’s inspiration to become a doctor was the desire to provide high quality care to those previously denied such care. She joined the foundation to “alter the trajectory and to push society to change for the better.”

The WOMAN ONE ceremony helps raise scholarship funds for medical students; preference may be given to underrepresented minorities. Drexel University College of Medicine will offer the scholarships to talented students in high academic standing who show great potential, leadership skills and financial need, among other requirements. The hope is many of them will go on to practice medicine in underserved areas, where they are most needed. In its first four years, this initiative has raised nearly $750,000. With this year’s proceeds, total funds raised will exceed one million dollars.