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Mary Wilson to receive UB's Norton Medal


Wed, May 6th 2020 05:50 pm

Wactawski-Wende to receive President’s Medal; SUNY Honorary Doctorates for Donnica L. Moore, Richard A. Schatz

By the University at Buffalo

Mary Wilson, wife of the late Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson Jr. and a strong advocate of Western New York for the past 29 years, will be awarded the Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal, the University at Buffalo’s highest honor.

Jean Wactawski-Wende, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the department of epidemiology and environmental health and dean of the School of Public Health and Health Professions, and an internationally recognized researcher on women’s health issues, will receive the UB President’s Medal in recognition of extraordinary service to the university.

In addition, SUNY honorary doctorates are being presented to UB alumna Donnica L. Moore, president of the Sapphire Women’s Health Group, and Richard A. Schatz, research director of cardiovascular interventions at the Scripps Heart, Lung and Vascular Center.

Full bios, photos available at: http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2020/05/008.html

Wactawski-Wende will receive the President’s Medal during the School of Public Health and Health Professions’ virtual commencement ceremony on May 16; the other award recipients will receive their honors at a later date.

Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal – Mary Wilson

The Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal is presented annually in public recognition of a person who has, in Norton’s words, “performed some great thing which is identified with Buffalo … a great civic or political act, a great book, a great work of art, a great scientific achievement or any other thing which, in itself, is truly great and ennobling, and which dignifies the performer and Buffalo in the eyes of the world.”

Announcing this year’s Norton Medal recipient, Jeremy M. Jacobs, chair of the UB Council, said Mary Wilson – a life trustee of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation – richly deserves the honor for her longstanding commitment to the region.

“This year, we were absolutely unanimous in our decision to honor Mary Wilson,” he said. “In her leadership of the Wilson Foundation, Mary is making an enduring and unprecedented impact on Buffalo and all of Western New York, which will be felt for many generations to come. Her dedication and work align perfectly with the spirit of the Norton Medal.”

UB President’s Medal – Jean Wactawski-Wende

The UB President’s Medal, first presented in 1990, recognizes “outstanding scholarly or artistic achievements, humanitarian acts, contributions of time or treasure, exemplary leadership or any other major contribution to the development of the University at Buffalo and the quality of life in the UB community.”

President Satish K. Tripathi described recipient Wactawski-Wende as a world-renowned epidemiologist who has brought great prominence to UB through her scholarly pursuits and academic excellence in the area of women’s health.

“A dedicated member of our university community for more than 30 years, Dr. Wactawski-Wende has made seminal contributions that have significantly impacted health care practice and disease prevention for women in the U.S. and around the world,” he said.

Of particular note is Wactawski-Wende’s leadership role in the Women’s Health Initiative, the largest longitudinal study of women’s health in the U.S. In 1993, she was part of the team that spearheaded UB’s successful bid to become one of the federally funded study’s 16 original vanguard clinical centers.

Since the inception of the WHI, UB has received more than $30 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health to investigate health issues impacting postmenopausal women.

“For those of us who know and have worked closely with Dr. Wactawski-Wende, we readily recognize the magnitude and excellence of her contributions to academic medicine,” said Michael E. Cain, vice president for health sciences and dean of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB. “She is an eminent and distinguished scholar and leader whose work, professional service, and stature in her discipline and research field are outstanding and continue to grow.”

SUNY Honorary Doctorates

An internationally recognized women’s health expert and advocate, Donnica L. Moore is president of Sapphire Women’s Health Group, a multimedia firm that educates women about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. A pioneering physician, Moore utilizes public speaking and multiple media platforms – including her own website and podcast – to share impactful health information in layperson’s terms.

She will receive a SUNY honorary doctorate in science.

Moore is a 1986 alumna of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, and underwent residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at Temple University, followed by a year of family medicine training at Memorial Hospital of Burlington, New Jersey.

She has appeared more than 800 times on such programs as “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Anderson Cooper Show” and “Good Morning America.”

Richard A. Schatz is co-creator of the first coronary stent approved by the Food and Drug Administration for restenosis. Known as the Palmaz-Schatz stent, this life-saving device has been used to treat coronary artery disease in nearly 100 million patients worldwide since its approval in 1994. It is considered one of the top 10 medical device patents of the past 50 years.

He will receive a SUNY honorary doctorate in science.

A New York native, Schatz is the research director of cardiovascular interventions at the Scripps Clinic and director of gene and stem cell therapy. He is an elected fellow of the American College of Cardiology.

Schatz attended UB in the early 1970s before gaining early admission to Duke Medical School, then completed his cardiology training at Brooke Army Medical Center. Throughout his career, he has maintained a strong affinity for UB, crediting the university’s faculty and curriculum for inspiring him to pursue a career in medicine.

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