Meet the honorees of our 2020 Healthcare Heroes Awards
The National Liberty Museum is proud to present the recipients of our 2020 Healthcare Heroes Awards. Read the stories and watch the videos below to learn why they were honored.
Healthcare Hero in the Field of Cancer
Dr. Karen E. Knudsen, MBA PhD
Vice President of Oncology Services, Jefferson Health; and Enterprise Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson
Karen is the Executive Vice President of Oncology Services, Jefferson Health; and Enterprise Director of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, one of only 71 National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated centers of excellence in the nation out of more than 3,400 cancer centers nationwide. Dr. Knudsen oversees cancer care and cancer research at all Kimmel Cancer Center-Jefferson Health sites within the Greater Philadelphia region, and reports directly to Stephen K. Klasko, MD, MBA, President of Thomas Jefferson University and CEO of Jefferson Health. Under Dr. Knudsen’s leadership, Kimmel Cancer Center recently was ranked one of the top cancer centers in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
Dr. Knudsen was appointed Enterprise Director in January 2015 after having served as the Deputy Director and the founding member of the Kimmel Cancer Center Prostate Cancer program. Prior to taking on the directorship, Dr. Knudsen also served as the Vice Provost of Thomas Jefferson University, overseeing basic and clinical research at the six schools within the University at that time.
Healthcare Hero in the Field of Crohn’s Disease
Dr. Kevin Mollen
University of Pittsburg Medical Center Children’s Hospital
Dr. Kevin Mollen was just 15 years old when he was diagnosed with an incurable disease. Unbeknownst to him at the time, that diagnosis would lead him into a career as a pediatric surgeon at UPMC Children’s Hospital and research aimed at finding a cure.
After dealing with severe abdominal pain for about a year, it was seeing blood in his stool that led Dr. Mollen and his parents to see a gastroenterologist, where he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
Now the surgical director of the inflammatory bowel program at UPMC Children’s hospital, Dr. Mollen says that it’s “gratifying” to be able to help children through this often difficult and scary period of their lives. About one-third of all patients with IBD will have to undergo some type of surgery in relation to their disease.
Community Hero Award
Dr. Maurizio Cereda
University of Pennsylvania
Maurizio Cereda, MD is an intensive care physician and Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is director of the Anesthesia-Critical Care fellowship and co-director of the Surgical ICU. He studied medicine at the University of Milan, where he also trained and worked as a faculty member. After a research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, he completed clinical training at UNC Chapel hill and at Penn. His NIH-funded research is directed at the pathophysiology of acute respiratory distress syndrome, using imaging to understand the mechanisms underlying the progression of lung injury and to aid the development of individualized strategies of disease control.
Healthcare Hero of Israel
Founder and President, United Hatzalah
United Hatzalah of Israel is the largest independent, non-profit, fully volunteer Emergency Medical Service organization that provides the fastest and free emergency medical first response throughout Israel. United Hatzalah’s service is available to all people regardless of race, religion, or national origin. United Hatzalah has more than 6,000 volunteers around the country, available around the clock – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. With the help of their unique GPS technology and iconic ambucycles, their average response time is less than 3 minutes across the country and 90 seconds in metropolitan areas.
When creating United Hatzalah, Eli’s mission was to arrive at the scene of medical emergencies as soon as possible and provide the patient with professional and appropriate medical aid until an ambulance arrives, resulting in many more lives saved.
Strength & Fragility: The Story of the NLM highlights the life of the Museum’s founder Irvin J. Borowsky, and how his belief in universal equality and liberty, as well as his passion for contemporary glass art, led to the creation of the National Liberty Museum. Strength & Fragility includes engaging archival material, stunning glass artwork, and immersive soundscapes. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a magnificent 9-foot-high glass canopy by Ulla Darni, entitled “The Peace Portal.” It features a custom sound bath experience, Seeds of Love, written and produced by Philadelphia-based sound artist Luna Maye, in collaboration with composer Alfiya Glow.
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Since the NLM’s founding, a major component of our work has been our series of annual awards programs honoring the everyday heroes who live among us. This exhibition celebrates teachers, students, police officers, firefighters & first-responders, and healthcare professionals who have demonstrated extraordinary courage and made a difference in the lives of others.
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