Maria Small, MD, MPH, has been selected as a recipient of the 2021 Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award. This award is sponsored by the Arnold P. Gold Foundation and has been supported by Leonard Tow since 2003. Winners of this award demonstrate compassion in the delivery of care, respect for patients, their families and healthcare colleagues, as well as clinical excellence. The committee found this year’s nominees exceptionally impressive, making it extremely difficult to select one recipient for this award. The committee decided to award the prize this year to both Dr. Small and and Duke Health’s Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, MD, FAAFP.
As a Maternal-Fetal Medicine specialist, Dr. Small is extensively involved in championing education and delivery of care to at-risk populations in the Durham community and beyond. She serves as Medical Director for the Durham County Health Department’s Division of Women’s Health Services. She dedicates her time to collaborative efforts with the Durham Academy of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy (DAMDP), the Old North State Medical Society (ONSS) and local and state organizations associated with the National Medical Association (NMA) – the oldest and largest Black physician organization in the U.S.
Dr. Small serves as Co-President of the DAMDP and as the site coordinator for its ONSS/U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) supported COVID-19 testing in Durham. She is active in both Latin19 and organizations focused on addressing COVID-19 in communities of color in Durham and throughout NC. Dr. Small is committed to providing ongoing outreach endeavors, such as walk-up, community-based COVID-19 testing programs sponsored by ONSS through a NC Department of Health and Human Services $1.8 million grant to increase testing in Black and Brown communities. The organizations also partner with Community Health Coalition and Lincoln Community Health Center to bring health outreach events to the community.
Dr. Small is the Chair of the North Carolina Maternal Mortality Review Committee and is Co-Founder and Co-Chair of Born in Durham, Healthy For Life, a coalition of community-based organizations, stakeholders and advocacy groups focused on perinatal equity and reduction of maternal and infant morbidity and mortality.