For her humanitarian work at home and abroad, Patricia Curtin, M.D., FACP, CMD, of Christiana Care Health System received the National Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by an Employee at a ceremony on June 16 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Curtin is the first Christiana Care employee to win a national honor from the Jefferson Awards Foundation.
The Jefferson Awards are a prestigious national recognition system honoring public service in America. The winner exemplifies the concepts of service, leadership and caring. In April, Dr. Curtin was honored with a 2016 Jefferson Award at the local level for her dedication to high-quality care for the elderly, her passion for mentoring students, and her medical service abroad caring for underserved people in Haiti.
A respected and beloved health care professional, Dr. Curtin is chief of Christiana Care Health System’s Geriatric Medicine Section in the Department of Medicine and has helped establish Christiana Care as a national leader in elder care. She has won an Award for Best Practices for Older Adults from the American Organization of Nursing Executives/John A. Hartford Foundation Institute for Geriatric Nursing and the 2015 Harrington Award for Distinguished Service from Christiana Care’s Trustees.
“Dr. Curtin is a true servant leader,” said Janice E. Nevin, M.D., MPH, president and CEO of Christiana Care. “It is an honor to know her and a privilege to have her on our faculty. This national recognition reflects what we know about our wonderful colleague – that she is a career-long exemplar of The Christiana Care Way, always working in service of others.”
Dr. Curtin was nominated for a Jefferson Award in part for her volunteer efforts with the University of Notre Dame’s Haiti Program. Since the island nation was struck by a devastating earthquake in 2010, she has traveled there 10 times, bringing her professional skill, personal commitment and powerful advocacy to the aid of Haitians.
Dr. Curtin has led and organized medical mission teams in providing care to families in mobile clinics and children in orphanages. Caring for more than 100 patients per day and teaching them basic health information, she set up clinics where patients were screened for diabetes and hypertension, treated for malaria and other diseases, and given hope for a brighter, healthier future.
She also volunteers for the Sunday Breakfast Mission, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Multiple Sclerosis Society and St. Mark’s High School.
“As a physician and a volunteer, Dr. Curtin is a respectful, expert, caring partner with her neighbors in their health, whether it be in Haiti or right here in Delaware,” said Margarita Rodriguez-Duffy, MSW, CAVS, director, Visitor & Volunteer Services and program coordinator of the Jefferson Awards at Christiana Care.