Culturally Responsive Health Care Award

The Culturally Responsive Health Care Award recognizes healthcare professionals or teams who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and innovation in addressing health disparities among patients or populations through culturally responsive care. This award acknowledges the importance of recognizing and addressing the unique cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic factors that influence healthcare access, delivery, and outcomes. Recipients of this award embody a commitment to providing equitable, inclusive, and patient-centered care that respects and integrates diverse cultural backgrounds, beliefs, and practices. This award will be presented during the Annual Culturally Responsive Health Care Conference on Thursday, June 6th, 2024. Deadline for submissions: Monday, April 1, 2024.

Selection Criteria:

  • Cultural Competency: Demonstrates a deep understanding and respect for diverse cultural backgrounds, including but not limited to ethnicity, race, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, and socioeconomic status.
  • Patient Advocacy: Advocates for the needs and preferences of patients from marginalized or underrepresented communities, ensuring their voices are heard and their rights are upheld within the healthcare system.
  • Inclusive Practices: Implements inclusive practices that promote access to care for all individuals, regardless of cultural or linguistic barriers, and actively works to eliminate disparities in healthcare access, quality, and outcomes.
  • Community Engagement: Engages with diverse communities to build trust, foster partnerships, and address health concerns through culturally tailored outreach, education, and programming.
  • Innovation: Demonstrates creativity and innovation in developing and implementing culturally responsive interventions, programs, or policies that improve health outcomes and reduce disparities among underserved populations.
  • Continuous Learning: Engages in ongoing professional development and education to enhance cultural competence, diversity awareness, and responsiveness to the evolving needs of diverse patient populations.
  • Impact and Outcomes: Achieves measurable improvements in health outcomes, patient satisfaction, and healthcare equity for underserved or marginalized populations through their efforts in culturally responsive care.

Application Requirements:

To apply for the Culturally Responsive Health Care Award, please submit the following:

  • Completed application form 
  • 1-2 letter(s) of support:
    • One required letter of support from an assistant/associate dean, division director or department chair, nurse manager or clinical supervisor, clinical administrator, or course director.
    • One optional letter of support from a colleague, mentor, patient, or community partner

Note: Nominations can be made for individuals or teams, and the recipient can be faculty, staff, or trainee. Nominations should highlight specific examples or initiatives that illustrate how the nominee(s) have met the selection criteria and made significant contributions to advancing culturally responsive healthcare.


Culturally Responsive Health Care Award Winners


Marina Del Rios, MD, MS

Interpretation and Translation Services team


Sundara Reddy, MBBS

Maternal Substance Use Disorders Clinic, Department of OBGYN


Meghan Connett, MD

Spanish-speaking team members of the Internal Medicine Department-Raul Villacreses, MD, Alejandro Pezzulo, MD, Claudia Corwin, MD, Rolando Sanchez, MD, Joseph Zabner, MD, Alejandro Comellas, MD, and Tahuanty Peña, MD


The University of Iowa Health Care Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Questioning (LGBTQ) Clinic 

2019 - 

Trudy Laffoon, MA, RN-BC 

2018 - 

Anjali A. Sharathkumar, MBBS, MD, MS

University of Iowa Children's Hospital Sickle Cell Clinic

2017 -

Lama Nourreddine, MD 

Complete the Nomination Form here