The Achievers Award Program recognizes and highlights underrepresented minorities across Johns Hopkins Medicine who exemplify excellence and exhibit our Johns Hopkins Medicine core values. Recipients of these awards will be recognized during their respective Heritage Months.
Johns Hopkins Medicine faculty, staff and learners who meet the following criteria are eligible to be nominated:
- Self-identify as a member of the heritage group being celebrated
- Make outstanding contributions to the field of health care and/or surrounding communities
- Are employees or learners in good standing
- Have been employed for at least one year
Award recipients will be profiled on the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity website, on Inside Hopkins, and at the signature Employee Resource Group events during each heritage month.
Nominate a Colleague
Please take a moment to nominate a deserving colleague for an Achiever Award in honor one of the following National Heritage Months:
Celebrate Past Achievers Awards Winners
Celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride Month
JHM Technology Innovation Center
Adler Archer has spent most of his life advocating for LGBTQ rights in the government and the local community. Adler served in the US military from 2000 - 2004 under Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which prohibited him from being openly gay. Adler later had the opportunity to lobby at the White House and US Capitol from 2008 - 2010 for the repeal of that policy. Since then, he has continued to advocate for important causes. In 2011, he served on the executive board for the LGBT Law Students Association at New York Law School and co-founded the military and veteran law school association there in 2012. From 2016 - 2018, Adler served on the Advisory Board for the Chase Brexton LGBT Health Resource Center. He was also the vice president of the founding board of directors for the Maryland LGBT Chamber of Commerce. In this role, he collaborated with local LGBT entrepreneurs to build a nonprofit that highlights LGBT businesses and rallies the community to support them.
Since joining the Johns Hopkins family in 2015, Adler served as the staff advisor for the JHU Carey Out for Business LGBT student group and facilitated a community meditation program through the JHU LGBTQ Life office. He has been recognized for numerous awards, including the Hopkins Citizen of the Year Award from the Graduate Student Association, the Biomedical Scholars Association's Leadership Award, and the Diversity Recognition Award from the JHU Provost's Office. In 2019, Adler won the David E Rogers Award from Johns Hopkins Medicine for community leadership, and in 2020 he won the Johns Hopkins Presidential Management Fellowship.
As a United States Air Force Veteran, Adler's community involvement activities have expanded well beyond the LGBTQ activities, being involved in a host of Veterans activities and public health informatics initiatives. Adler has launched two nonprofit initiatives: 1) Wakeful Warriors, which is teaching community members about mindfulness and group fitness; and 2) Warrior Justice, which will provide medical-legal resources to veterans in Baltimore. Adler's engagement with the Johns Hopkins community and all levels of government highlights the excellence in the Johns Hopkins core values.
Johns Hopkins University
A representative of the LGBTQA+ community on the East Baltimore campus, Andrianna Ayiotis has educated peers on providing queer-affirming care, participated in focus groups related to both education and policy, and provided input on other researchers’ work to ensure it was inclusive to gender and sexual minorities. Through her studies as a PhD student in the Biomedical Engineering program, Ayiotis continuously works to improve recruitment, retention, and engagement of underrepresented minorities by building a sexuality-and-gender-inclusive environment.
Ayiotis has been involved in the leadership of the Gertrude Stein Society (LGBTQA+ group for the Schools of Medicine, Nursing, and Public Health) as an Executive Board member (2018-2020) and currently as President. During this time, she has facilitated and organized seminars, networking events, and social outings to promote community within the LGBTQA+ trainees, faculty, and staff of the East Baltimore Campus. Through Ayiotis’s leadership and dedication, the Gertrude Stein Society has seen tremendous growth in the last few years and has expanded the organizations’ leadership to more accurately reflect the campus population. Ayiotis has built relationships with other student organizations on the East Baltimore Campus like the Biomedical Scholars Association, the Arab Public Health Organization, and Students for Disability Justice to co-host events focusing on intersectionality between ethnicity, race, disability status and LGBTQA+ identities. In the local Baltimore community, Ayiotis provides career mentoring and tutoring for students at Dunbar High School, near the East Baltimore Campus, as a part of the P-TECH program. Ayiotis’s work with the Gertrude Stein Society and other diverse organizations shows her commitment to diversity and inclusion and how she exemplifies the core values of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
LGBTQ Resource Nurse
Sibley Memorial Hospital
Clare Madrigal has dedicated herself to helping support the LGBT+ community. As a LGBTQ Resource Nurse for both Sibley and Howard County Hospitals, Madrigal educates and advocates for patients and staff while performing community outreach. At Sibley, she provides LGBTQ+ education for every new employee while volunteering to help the center for Transgender Health with clinical intakes. In addition, Madrigal serves on Sibley’s DC Pride Parade planning committee and helped to establish the first LGBTQ+ donor fund.
Outside of Hopkins, Madrigal has provided LGBTQ presentations at several national conferences, and is a board member of the Frederick Center – the LGBTQ Center for Frederick County. She provides education to local organizations, businesses, and schools and actively serves on the Frederick Center’s Community services committee, actively facilitating support groups.
Madrigal exemplifies the JHM core values every day, ensuring that all patients and staff are treated with the utmost respect. Her pleasant and cheerful demeanor welcomes all who interact with her, making her a joy to work with.
Clinical Nurse Extern
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Brian Meise is an active HIV advocate who is extremely involved in his LGBTQ+ community. He helps to raise funds for Brother Help Thyself, an organization that awards yearly grants to LBGTQ associations like MADIF which provides interpreters for events that the deaf community would like to attend. Additionally, Meise is one of the three producers of BOS Productions, an LGBTQ burlesque group which regularly hosts and sponsors events that benefit the LGBTQ community. Most recently, their profits went to FORCE, an organization benefiting battered women. They are also active in advocating for sex workers’ rights. Meise’s other work includes volunteering regularly at Moveable feast, helping to assemble meals for those living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening can come illnesses. Meise has gone as far as organizing two events where other staff from the NCCU participated in assembling meals as well. For the last four years, Meise has continued to support Moveable Feast by participating in the 140 mile bike ride fund raiser. In addition, Meise also donates to Hearts and Ears, an organization that offers community resources to LGBTQ+ persons with behavioral issues.
Meise is equally invested in the education of future nurses understanding the impact of an HIV diagnosis on a healthcare professional as he recently created a lecture series at his nursing school that will be offered to future nursing cohorts. Meise also maintains a twitter account @PositiveRN2020 that is dedicated to being a public presence as an HIV Positive Nurse which will help break down the negative stigma associated with this status in the healthcare community. Meise is highly regarded by his NCCU peers who all think that Meise’ is contributions are outstanding, demonstrating all of the JHM core values.
Behavioral Health Program Manager
Howard County General Hospital
Laura Torres has supported efforts to increase education on LGBTQ+ issues across the Johns Hopkins system and at Howard County General Hospital (HCGH). Torres has organized and sponsored presentations by subject matter experts that provided information on how to interact with and care for people from the LGBTQ+ community. Torres advocated for significant changes around the hospital, such as non-gender specific restrooms and has lent her professional support to the Center for Transgender Health during a time when a social worker was needed. Torres volunteers on the LGBTQ Employee Resource Group (ERG) at HCGH and is connected to the larger JHH Diversity & Inclusion community which provides the most recent information on LGBTQ+ issues to the HCGH community.
Within the Howard County community, Torres coordinated and participated in the HCGH-sponsored information table at the first annual Pride event in Howard County in June 2019. . In order to provide the most helpful and comprehensive information to the community, she worked with an LGBTQ member of HCGH’s PFAC to gain her insight and listen to hear feedback about the better understand the needs of the Howard County community. Torres is a leader and role model to staff in the Population Health department, colleagues at our hospital and across the Howard County Community. Her actions consistently exemplify commitment to each of the JHM core values.
National Asian and Pacific Islander American Heritage Month 2020
Alice Lee, M.D.
Office Medical Director, Internal Medicine
Johns Hopkins Community Physician
Dr. Lee’s compassionate care for others has earned her trust by her colleagues, staff and patients. She is welcoming to all providers and patients and strives to deliver excellent quality care regardless of patient race or ethnicity. Since Lee speaks fluent Korean, she is able to communicate and educate Korean speaking patients about the healthcare process, making them feel comfortable about their healthcare experience. Dr. Lee also educates staff members about the heterogeneous needs and language/cultural differences so that staff members can more appropriately understand and care for the clinic’s patients.
Dr. Lee takes the lead in many different initiatives within and outside of our practice. She is the first to sign up for new programs and often proposes and pilots new ideas. She consistently precepts medical students and residents. Lee’s professionalism and care for others exemplifies the Johns Hopkins core values. Lee hopes to serve as a role model not just for Asian Americans or women but for anyone, regardless of race, gender or ethnicity.
Debraj Mukherjee, M.D. M.P.H.
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery
Director of Neurosurgical Oncology
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Dr. Mukherjee has exemplified the JHM core value of Excellence & Discovery through his excellent care of complex neurosurgical patients at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. Through his leadership at the Johns Hopkins Neurosurgical Oncology Outcomes Laboratory, his team has produced more than a dozen high-impact clinical research papers within the last year.
Dr. Mukherjee's research has focused on improving access to care and reducing disparities in minority patients undergoing neurosurgical procedures, including the treatment of brain tumors, which is the core of his clinical practice. Utilizing "big data" analytic techniques to investigate these disparities on a national level, he has helped policy makers take steps to improve patient care for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders.
As a native speaker, Mukherjee provides compassionate neurosurgical care to the Bengali and Hindi speaking Asian-American communities who seek his clinical expertise. He has a long history of contributing to the lives of the Asian American/Pacific Islander community. Mukherjee has led a university-wide "Inter-Cultural Festival" to highlight the unique attributes and contributions of the South Asian/Pacific Islander community. More recently, he has hosted a "Peace Education Program" to help Asian American members of his local Baltimore community tap in to their inner resources of courage, hope, and peace in their Hindi language.
As the leader of a diverse clinical research team of over 30 undergraduate and medical students, residents and fellows, Mukherjee has received local and national attention for care of neurological patients and is highly respected among his colleagues.
Asta Puskarich, BSN
Registered Nurse, Cardiology, Ambulatory
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Asta Puskarich serves as a resource to her coworkers by contributing her insights and knowledge about the Asian American culture. She was born in the Philippines, raised in a Thai American home (her mother is from Thailand), and lived in Japan for 8 years. Puskarich’s cultural experiences and knowledge helps her and coworkers to provide culturally competent care to our Asian American patients. She goes out of her way to help others and to make them feel better mentally, emotionally and physically. She respects everyone regardless of their culture or religion.
Black History Month 2020
Jonathan Grant, PharmDClinical Coordinator
Johns Hopkins Home Care Group/Pharmacy Services
Dr. Grant has demonstrated dedication to improving healthcare for the African American community since he began his professional training. Since starting at Johns Hopkins Home Care Group, Dr. Grant has served the Baltimore community in multiple direct patient care roles. On a daily basis, he helps underserved African Americans managing complex medication regimens while training numerous student pharmacists on how to improve the level of care for vulnerable populations. In addition, Dr. Grant has been extensively involved with the Kappa Alpha Psi Foundation of Metropolitan Baltimore’s Guide Right/Kappa League Program for six years. The purpose of the Guide Right Program is to mentor and help develop the leadership potential of middle school and high school aged African-American males ranging in age from 13-18 years old. Through this organization, Dr. Grant has volunteered hundreds of hours, which include fundraising, mentoring 70 students and accompanying them on college visits. Dr. Grant serves as a role model by his hard work, professionalism and commitment to helping the African American community.
Nathan Irvin, M.D.Assistant Professor
JHU School of Medicine/Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Dr. Irvin’s passion and focus has been treating the most marginalized and underserved patients in the community. He directs the JHBMC ED HIV/HCV screening program and spearheaded efforts to initiate medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for opioid dependence from the emergency department. He has extensively studied and contributed to programs aimed at decreasing gun violence which disproportionately affect African-American youth. Furthermore Dr. Irvin works to address the trauma experienced by individuals living in urban areas. His work has been presented on a national stage, and he is an influencer in the ED and the health system at large, leading to changes at local, state and national levels. Other community involvement include grant funded research in which Dr. Irvin engages with the community, schools and the health system to better understand and respond to violence and trauma. His HIV/HCV screening program has screened tens of thousands of patients and partners with community health workers to link community members to treatment needed. Dr. Irvin’s clinical, academic and community activities have improved healthcare for all.
Steven McDonaldCase Manager
JHU, School of Medicine, Infectious Diseases
Steve’s passion is promoting safe sex and prevention of the spread of HIV among African American males within Baltimore City. His work involves informing those who identify as at risk of contracting HIV, about PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis) and the benefits of taking one medication daily to maintain a negative HIV status. Steve doesn’t just provide them safe sex education, but also seeks to know and understand each man he encounters. While learning about each person’s interests and passion, Steve provides positive encouragement to turn those passions into purpose. Steve’s availability and ongoing dialogue with those he encounters serves as a reminder for them to practice safe sex and to share any other health or personal issues they may be experiencing. African American males have the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS. Steve’s education on safe sex and HIV prevention to African American males helps to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among the Baltimore communities.
Adrian MosleyAdministrator, Office of Community Health
Johns Hopkins Hospital/General Services
Adrian has dedicated her life and career to improving healthcare for African Americans throughout Baltimore city. Most recently, Adrian founded the Faith and Food Program which has traveled to African-American churches throughout Baltimore. Through this program, Adrian leads worshippers in a special nutrition program aimed at helping people connect with their faith, their health and their heritage by learning about and eating the foods their ancestors ate years ago. Adrian also promotes the African Heritage Diet Pyramid, a healthy eating model followed by African-American ancestors. This model promotes a plant-based diet, fewer animal products and no processed food. Adrian also works with researchers and clinicians on issues of health disparities in the surrounding neighborhoods of Johns Hopkins Hospital. Another project founded by Adrian is the Safe in the Salon, a program aimed at helping beauty salon workers identify victims of domestic violence. Adrian also spearheaded the program, ‘You ‘Gotta Have Heart’ which involves local churches training community residents and health ministries in live saving techniques. It’s clear that Adrian’s passion for community and healthcare has left a lasting foot print in Baltimore city.
Sharon SellersSenior Community Dementia Program Manager
Sibley Memorial Hospital/Sibley Senior Association
Sharon has dedicated her work at Hopkins to supporting people with dementia and their care partners in the most underserved African-American neighborhoods in Washington, DC. She consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to help families navigate the complex healthcare system. Her compassion for her families is overwhelming. Whether it’s giving someone a ride to the hospital, making hospital visits or rendering advice on how to secure quality home care services, she will always make time to provide for the needs of her families. African Americans are twice as likely as other ethnic minorities to develop dementia. Sharon has strategically forged relationships with African-American churches in D.C. where congregants can be taught about the normal aging process and dementia. In addition, she participates in health fairs throughout D.C. which allows her to interact with, educate and provide resources to numerous audiences. Sharon’s eagerness to stay informed on the most current research topics and dementia issues impacting the African-American families in D.C. have given those families hope and confidence in dealing with dementia.
Agnes Usoro, M.D.Resident
JHU/School of Medicine/Emergency Medicine
Dr. Usoro led the establishment of the Johns Hopkins House Staff Diversity Council (HSDC) and is a tireless advocate for making the HSDC an important and engaged part of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine culture. Under her leadership, the HSDC conducted a ‘One Day Medical School’ for Baltimore City high school students in November 2019. Along with her team, Dr. Usoro took 25 students who were mostly from underrepresented groups in Baltimore City, and introduced them to what a career in medicine could look like. The students were highly engaged in the morning speaker panels and the afternoon didactics and simulation lab clinical sessions. Dr. Usoro’s generosity with her time resulted in a lasting change on how these students view themselves and the personal goals they set for their future. Her leadership as the inaugural President of the HSDC has created a mechanism for our housestaff to engage with and serve our surrounding community.
Brian WatersCommunications Specialist
Johns Hopkins Hospital, Marketing and Communications
Understanding the healthcare challenges that exists within the Baltimore communities, Brian has taken a proactive approach to create content that educates community members about the importance of healthcare. He strives to cultivate diverse audiences and influencers to help spread educational healthcare messages throughout the city. Brian also serves as a mentor for students of color and encourages his mentees at his alma mater – Morgan State University, to pursue careers in healthcare journalism and communications. He also volunteers on a committee working to create a pipeline program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to improve representation and equity and inclusion in science communications nation-wide. Brian’s other volunteer commitments include the Christian Memorial Church Food Pantry and the social media and video production teams at his church, The Church of the Redeemed of the Lord in Baltimore. Brian’s leadership within the community has had an impact on the community and his work place at John Hopkins Hospital.