Bernard Lown Award for Social Responsibility

About the Bernard Lown Award

Dr. Bernard Lown

To honor Dr. Lown’s memory, and because our society needs more leaders like him, we created the Bernard Lown Award for Social Responsibility. The BLASR is given each year to a young clinician who demonstrates bold leadership in racial equity, environmental, global peace, or other humanitarian efforts.

Dr. Bernard Lown, founder of the Lown Institute, was one of the most accomplished physicians and activists of the 20th century. Not only did he create medical innovations that saved countless lives, he repeatedly risked his career to stand up against racial injustice, nuclear war, and the industrialization of healthcare.

Today’s clinicians face challenges that seem similarly insurmountable, such as global health crises, climate emergencies, systemic racism, and growing inequality. Addressing these issues will take a new generation of clinician leaders, who aren’t afraid to go outside the healthcare system to tackle critical health problems. We need more clinicians who have the vision to see the healthcare system as it is, the courage to take a stand, and the confidence to lead the movement for radically better healthcare.

With this award we recognize and lift up these extraordinary clinicians, who are dedicating their time, skills, and energy to tackle the most important health issues of our time, in a world that desperately needs healing.

2024 BLASR Award Recipient

The Lown Institute is proud to present Lilia Cervantes, M.D. with the 2024 Bernard Lown Award for Social Responsibility, for her exceptional work advancing health equity and expanding access to care for undocumented immigrants. press release | video | blog | timeline

2023 BLASR Award Recipient

Dr. Altaf Saadi has been named the winner of the 2023 Bernard Lown Award for Social Responsibility for her outstanding work as a health justice advocate for immigrants and others impacted by trauma. press release

2022 BLASR Award Recipient

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Michigan-based pediatrician who helped expose the Flint water crisis, has been named the winner of the inaugural Bernard Lown Award for Social Responsibility.A pediatrician, scientist, and activist, Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, FAAP, is a Charles Stewart Mott Endowed Professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. In 2015, she uncovered high levels of lead in the Flint, MI water supply and risked her career to bring this information to the public. press release

Donate to support this award

Donate to lift up the voices of the next generation of bold healthcare leaders. In a world that desperately needs healing, these are the leaders we all want and need.

The Lown Institute is a tax-exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 04-3291770. For more information, contact us at