The Brown Medical Alumni Association sponsors a number of awards and honors to recognize distinguished alumni, faculty, and members of the community who support The Warren Alpert Medical School's mission and purpose. These awards are typically presented over Commencement-Reunion Weekend.

This award recognizes medical alumni (within 15 years of graduation) for outstanding service to the Medical School, their local community, or for a scientific or academic achievement. 

Rory Merritt '09 MD'13 nominated Dr. Rougas for the 2021 award and shares why in this video. Dr. Lee was nominated for this honor in 2020 by Sutchin Patel '00 MD'04 RES'09 who explains his nomination in this video.

2021 Recipient: Steven Rougas MD'09 RES'13

Dr. Steven Rougas is assistant professor of emergency medicine and medical science at Brown University. In addition to his clinical work as an attending physician and clinical preceptor for residents and medical students, he oversees the four-year clinical skills training curriculum at The Warren Alpert Medical School. Dr. Rougas is chair of the Northeast Group on Educational Affairs and is committed to promoting high quality health professions education research as chair of the Group on Educational Affairs National Grant Award Program. 

As director of the Doctoring Program, Dr. Rougas has been instrumental in strategic development of the Medical School curriculum by adding important topics in clinical skills education across the four-year MD curriculum such as LGBTQ patient care, anti-racism, trauma-informed care, health equity, and service learning. In response to the national outcry for racial justice after continued anti-Black violence, Dr. Rougas spearheaded an effort to co-develop and require anti-racism professional development for 80 small group faculty who teach across the doctoring curriculum.

2020 Recipient: Peter Lee '94 MD'05 PhD'15

Dr. Peter Lee is a cardiothoracic surgeon at Southcoast Health in Massachusetts and an assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at Brown University. He has a longtime interest in aerospace medicine and space life sciences research having earned a Master of Science in Space Studies from the International Space University in France. He was a Canadian astronaut finalist in 2018. 

A true surgeon-scientist, he has been funded by the NIH and NASA. His basic science research focuses on skeletal and cardiac muscle tissue engineering, gene therapy, and the use of stem cells. He has flown multiple microgravity and space flight experiments including on parabolic zero gravity flights, the space shuttle, and the International Space Station. He has received numerous awards and has held several national leadership positions. He has been awarded the Young Investigator’s Award by the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research and is an elected academician of the prestigious International Academy of Astronautics. Dr. Lee is also a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air National Guard and served as the medical officer on a one-month Mars simulation mission in the Canadian Arctic as part of the Flashline Mars Arctic Research Station crew. 

Throughout his career, Dr. Lee has served as an ambassador for the space sciences by mentoring countless students and residents, and giving outreach presentations to hundreds of elementary school children over the years.

This award recognizes medical alumni (within 10 years of graduation) who have demonstrated leadership in diversity, equity, and inclusion activities that have led to improving awareness and engagement related to diversity in medicine and/or health equity.

The BMAA honored Dr. Lee with this award in 2021. Watch this video to learn more. 

2021 Recipient: Marshala Lee MD’11

Dr. Marshala Lee is a board-certified family medicine physician, the director of the Harrington Value Institute (HVI) Community Partnership Fund at ChristianaCare, and the director of the HVI Translational Research Internship. She also serves as the lead physician at Shortlidge Academy’s School-based health center and is a founding member of ChristianaCare’s Physician Diversity Alliance Employee Resource Group, where she supports efforts to strengthen community partnerships, mentors premedical students from underrepresented backgrounds, and develops new models of patient-centered health care that address the social determinants of health.

In Dr. Lee’s current role, she created a gap-year internship program and MCAT-prep training program for students from underrepresented backgrounds in Delaware. She also has mentored more than 50 students from underrepresented backgrounds. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Lee has led efforts to provide personal protective equipment, testing, and vaccines to underserved communities. Dr. Lee has presented on a number of panels and published several papers that highlight the importance of workforce diversity, health equity, and racism/bias in medicine. Dr. Lee works effectively with local communities, legislators, state leaders, and national society leaders to enact policy change to address health disparities.

This award honors alumni who have excelled in their careers, making significant contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally. 

Peter Chai '09 MD'13 nominated Dr. Henderson for this award and shares why in this video.

2021 Recipient: Galen Henderson MD’93

Dr. Galen Henderson is director of neurocritical care in the Department of Neurology and chief diversity and inclusion officer for faculty, trainees, and students at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. A Mississippi native, he is a graduate of Tougaloo College. He completed his residency in the Harvard-Longwood Neurology Training Program and a fellowship in Neurocritical Care at the Brigham. In addition to his work at the Brigham, Dr. Henderson is the founding deputy editor of Journal Watch Neurology, editor of Reprints in Stroke, and the associate medical director of two federally designated organ procurement organizations. He received awards from three different secretaries of Health and Human Services for his contributions to the development of the Organ Donation National Collaborative.

Dr. Henderson has been a longtime leader at Brown, serving as president of the Brown Alumni Association and the Brown Medical Alumni Association. Dr. Henderson is a member of Brown’s Board of Trustees. He received a notable alumni service award from the university for his leadership and many contributions. He is a great leader, continues advocating for others of color, and is a great example of an alumni of color who has continued to lead outside of the Brown community.

This award honors medical alumni who embody the philosophy that medicine is a socially responsible human service profession and have contributed significantly to further the personal and professional development of medical students as well as the community-at-large. This lectureship was established in tribute to Sauber’s uninterrupted 23 years as Medical Student Affairs Officer.

Deborah Archer '95 MD'02, P'22 MD'26, P'24, explains why the BMAA recognized Dr. Ferrer with this honor in 2021. Watch the nomination video. Roger Waltzman '88 MD'92 nominated Joel Selanikio MD'92 for this award in 2020. He shares the background of Dr. Selanikio's nomination in this video.

2021 Recipient: Kathleen Ferrer MD '95

Dr. Kathleen Ferrer is an attending physician in the Pediatric Hospitalist Division and the Special Immunology Section of the Infectious Disease Department at Children’s National Hospital and education lead for its Global Health Initiative. She also serves as a clinician for the Children’s National immunology clinic caring for children with perinatally- and horizontally-acquired HIV. She previously served as the medical director of the Baylor College of Medicine Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Clinical Centre of Excellence in Lesotho, where she assisted with a scale-up of pediatric HIV care and treatment for the country. Ferrer later became involved in pediatric HIV projects in Romania, Kyrgyzstan, and China where she encountered many of the same challenges, namely the accessibility and affordability of antiviral drugs. 

Ferrer is actively contributing to training the next generation of global health providers and she has lectured frequently on pediatric HIV, malnutrition, tuberculosis and global health topics in sub-Saharan Africa, Romania, Kyrgyzstan, China and the United States. Most recently, she has used her expertise to support the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in Washington D.C. In February 2021, she was interviewed on PBS NewsHour for her work on the frontlines.

Dr. Ferrer presented The Ruth B. Sauber Distinguished Alumni Lectureship on May 1, 2021, as part of the Medical Reunion weekend festivities. Watch the lecture.

2020 Recipient: Joel Selanikio MD'92

Dr. Joel Selanikio is a physician, TED speaker, inventor, emergency responder, and consultant working in the fields of technology, health care, artificial intelligence, entrepreneurship, social innovation, big data, child health, and disaster response. He is the winner of both the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award for Healthcare and the Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainable Innovation for the development of the Magpi mobile data collection system, the first cloud-based application created for global health and international development.

An emergency responder and former CDC epidemiologist and outbreak investigator, he was the lead physician at the IMC Ebola Treatment Center at Lunsar, Sierra Leone, from December 2014 through January 2015. As an officer of the Public Health Service, Selanikio served as chief of operations for the HHS Secretary's Emergency Command Center after the 9/11 attacks. In 2005, he was given the Haverford Award for Humanitarian Service for his work in treating tsunami victims in Aceh.

Named for William Williams Keen—Class of 1859 and one of Brown’s most distinguished and well-known alumni in the medical profession—this award recognizes outstanding contributions (lifetime or a single achievement) to medicine, encompassing research, education, leadership, or extraordinary contributions to patient care or public health.

Aggie Hernandez '92 MD'96, P'25 nominated Dr. Domenech for this honor in 2021 and shares the background of her nomination in this video. Watch this nomination video to learn why Adam H. Skolnick '99 MD'03 nominated his classmate, Dr. Gardner, for this award in 2020.

2021 Recipient: Mercedes Domenech, MD, PhD

Dr. Mercedes Domenech has been a member of the Brown community for over 30 years—first as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Pediatrics, then in the Office of Admissions. In 1995, she was the first medical doctor to serve as associate dean of medicine for Minority Affairs at Brown’s medical school. She has had a significant impact on the development of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs and the lives of countless students. In recognition of her outstanding mentorship of Latinx students, the Brown University Latino Alumni Council Endowed Scholarship was renamed the Mercedes Domenech Brown University Latino Alumni Council Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Domenech brought a fresh perspective to recruiting underrepresented students to Brown and the Program in Liberal Medical Education by travelling to communities that were previously untapped. She recruited countless first-generation students and continued to support their journeys at Brown. “She was a driving force in nurturing a community,” says Aggie Hernandez '92 MD'96, P'25. “By the time she retired this past January, Mercedes had helped thousands of students thrive at Brown. She has also helped create physicians who are addressing health inequities in their communities.”

2020 Recipient: Adrian F. Gardner '98 MD'03

Dr. Adrian Gardner, MPH is an infectious disease physician and the associate dean for global health and director of the Indian University (IU) Center for Global Health. He joined IU School of Medicine in 2012 as the executive field director of the AMPATH (Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare) Consortium based in Eldoret, Kenya, where he worked closely with Kenyan program leadership to make strategic investments and policy decisions while also providing service to inpatients on the medical wards at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and outpatients in the HIV clinics and HIV resistance clinics. 

Gardner first traveled to Kenya as a medical student in 2001 and this experience, along with clinical experience in the Rhode Island TB clinic, drove his interest in program development and health systems strengthening in resource-poor settings, clinical and operational research in tuberculosis and HIV, and global health training and education. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Gardner is the director of contact tracing for the IU Medical Response Team.