Detroit Physician Among 10 Finalists for J.H. Kanter Prize

Detroit physician Herbert C. Smitherman Jr. is one of the 10 finalists for the inaugural J.H. Kanter Prize for physicians who have dedicated their medical careers to enhancing health care delivery.

The top five winners will receive cash prizes and national recognition “for their landmark work, their tireless efforts and creativity in developing new systems to eliminate disparities and to optimize health care for more people in the U.S.,” according to The Health Legacy Partnership, sponsor of the prize.

Dr. Smitherman, an internal medicine specialist, is president and CEO of Health Centers Detroit Foundation Inc., which operates three community-based health centers in the city.

According to Michigan State Medical Society (MSMS) president Dr. Richard E. Smith, Smitherman has been working under the radar for the past 23 years to improve access to health care and reducing health care disparities for tens of thousands of underserved people in Detroit and Wayne County.

The winning Kanter Prize laureate will receive a $100,000 cash prize while four runners-up will receive $25,000 each. Dr. Smitherman was nominated by MSMS and the Wayne County Medical Society of Southeast Michigan.

The prize, named for Joseph H. Kanter, a pioneering health care reform advocate for a personal electronic medical database, is sponsored by The Health Legacy Partnership (HELP), a private-public partnership with the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).


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