Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Richard E. Besser, M.D. to receive “Mercy Moves Though Me Award from Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services

Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services will host its fifth Mercy Moves through Me Award celebration in the Georgian Ballroom of the Atlanta Biltmore Hotel on February 18 honoring Richard E. Besser, MD for his “committed and outstanding service and advocacy for the underserved.” This year’s Gold Sponsor for the event is UPS.

In September, 2009, Richard Besser, MD became ABC News’ senior health and medical editor. Prior to accepting this position, Besser served as director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Besser served as Acting Director for the CDC and Acting Administrator for the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry from January through June 2009, leading the CDC and its response to the “swine flu” influenza outbreak. He began his career at the CDC in 1991. Staff writer David Montgomery of the Washington Post said of him, ”He is a scientist who has mastered the healer’s delicate art of simultaneously projecting deep concern and profound calm, telling national audiences to worry but not to worry.”

Introducing the honoree will be friend and colleague Anne Schuchat, MD, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, CDC. Attending the luncheon will be Besser’s colleagues, community and business leaders, members of state legislature and city government, church leaders, Saint Joseph’s Health System and Mercy Care Services board members and staff and community partners.

The Mercy Moves through Me Award is given to individuals or organizations for committed and outstanding service or advocacy for the underserved. Inaugurated in 2005 in celebration of Mercy Care Services’ 20th anniversary, it has continued as an annual luncheon event and vehicle for honoring outstanding community servant leaders. Inaugural honorees were Mayor Shirley Franklin and Congressman John Lewis.

Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Saint Joseph’s Mercy Care Services is celebrating 25 years of offering a health care and health related services safety net to some of the city’s most needy citizens—new immigrants, persons experiencing homelessness, the uninsured and underinsured. Sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy and Saint Joseph’s Health System, Mercy Care Services’ clinics have become the medical home for thousands throughout the metropolitan area.
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