Champion of Diversity Award Winners
David Douglas (2015): David provided strong support to the Section's diversity program and initiatives. He is a member of the ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity; a Fellow of the ABA Foundation; and a member of Appleseed, a non-profit network of 16 public interest justice centers in the United States and Mexico dedicated to building a society in which opportunities are genuine, access to the law is universal and equal, and government advances the public interest. As the leader of his firm's Diversity Committee, David uses his personal experiences and keen insights to give his fellow lawyers not only an understanding of highly complex and emotionally-charged issues, but to leave them with a passionate desire to do better.
Denise Hanna (2016): Denise's unfailing commitment to the practice of law and her exceptional efforts to promote diversity and inclusion within her practice. Denise has been a friend, a mentor, and an inspiring role model for many young lawyers as they navigate the early years of their careers in health law. Denise has encouraged new lawyers to explore their leadership potential both inside and outside of the workplace, she has helped to intensify their love of the practice of health law, and she has been instrumental in guiding many young lawyers to be the best that they can be.
William Hopkins (2017): Despite the great strides that the ABA has made in diversity and inclusion, Bill is among the first to challenge the ABA and the Health Law Section to be better and do more. His diversity perspectives are reflected through his efforts to recruit new members and his work to ensure diversity on speaker panels during live conferences, teleconferences, and webinars. Bill has repeatedly served as a valuable resource in helping the ABA and the Section become more diverse and inclusive. He served on the Section’s Nursing and Allied Professionals Interest Group and the ABA Commission on Law and Aging where he worked to expand the areas of health law in these areas thus attracting members with difference perspectives and practice settings.
Dr. W. Thomas (Tommy) Smith (2018): Demonstrating Tommy’s passion for teaching and his dedication to students, he has been committed to developing innovative educational resources for individuals with disabilities. His commitment to students is evidenced in his involvement with student organizations. He has served as preceptor for APPE students, worked with PharmD students for their summer research experience and served on doctoral committees of PhD students. Tommy’s research scholarship focuses on health disparities with a primary focus on increasing health equity for the disabled population and improving the competency of educators and clinicians to provide culturally responsive health care for this at-risk population. His scholarly activities include peer-reviewed publications and national presentations. His personal experience with disability has led to his emergence as a leading national expert in disability disparities and more importantly, a strong advocate for patients.
Montrece Ransom (2019): Montrece was recognized for her inspiration in actively recruiting diverse lawyers to the Health Law Section, facilitating their engagement, and nurturing their long-term involvement into leadership positions within the Section. Her exceptional efforts to provide diversity and inclusion within the Section, the legal profession, and the greater community truly embodies the spirit of the Champion of Diversity Award. Read Montrece's Acceptance Speech