Founders of Walnut Way, veteran advocate, obstetrics and gynecology professor emeritus, education and youth development philanthropists and medical author receive honorary degrees at the Medical College of Wisconsin Commencement
Milwaukee, May 10, 2018 – The Medical College of Wisconsin's (MCW) upcoming 2018 Commencement Ceremony for graduate and medical students on Friday, May 25 will present the following nine individuals with honorary doctoral degrees from MCW:
Sharon and Larry Adams founded Walnut Way Conservation Corporation in 2000 to create and sustain economically diverse neighborhoods. Under their leadership, Walnut Way grew into a neighborhood campus where neighbors, organizations and entrepreneurs come to learn and engage. Their goal has always been to improve the quality of life for the residents of these neighborhoods, whom they call friends and neighbors. In 2015, the couple retired from Walnut Way and formed HN Development, LLC, to inspire possibilities for the common good. They remain board members of Walnut Way and MARKETPLACE Bid 32 and live in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood.
Vietnam War veteran Michael S. Orban has dedicated his life to helping fellow veterans heal from the experiences of war. He co-founded The Warrior Partnership, an MCW program in which veterans talk about their traumatic war experiences with medical students who learn how to integrate the unique needs of this population into their care. He also co-founded the Incarcerated Veterans Project and serves on the community-academic advisory board for Milwaukee PROMPT (Prevention of Opioid Misuse through Peer Training project), a collaboration between MCW and local veterans that is developing innovative ways to address opioid use disorder among veterans. Orban, a 45-year sufferer of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), spent five years in the U.S. Peace Corps Africa and USAID Africa and gives keynote talks on PTSD, suicide and transition to civilian life. He is the author of Souled Out, Conquering Combat PTSD.
Roland A. Pattillo, MD, Professor Emeritus of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Morehouse School of Medicine and a 27-year MCW faculty member, has been a strong force in women's health for five decades. Dr. Pattillo is an expert on gynecologic and trophoblastic (placental) cancers and stem cell research, and he led a team of physicians who successfully cultivated cervical tissue cells outside the body to develop a vaccine for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). For this and other accomplishments, he received the MCW Distinguished Service Award in 1994. Dr. Pattillo established the ovarian cell system, which was then used to develop a new treatment for ovarian cancer. He authored the first stem cell publication in 1968. He completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency at MCW and was on the MCW faculty from 1968 to 1995, serving as Acting Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1979 and Vice-Chair from 1980 to 1984. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles, one book and many book chapters.
Husband and wife Agustin A. Ramirez, Jr., and Rebecca Page Ramirez, have made giving back to the community a centerpiece of their lives. They supported construction of a new elementary and middle school at the United Community Center in central-city Milwaukee, which provides educational opportunities to more than 1,300 predominantly Hispanic students. The Agustin A. Ramirez, Jr. Family Foundation provides college scholarships to more than 100 Milwaukee-area students each year, and the family has committed $1 million for a new Ramirez Lean Scholars program that funds a collaborative effort between the Milwaukee School of Engineering and MCW. Most recently, the Ramirez Family Foundation committed to investing $60 million to build a new K-4 through 12 school on Milwaukee's South Side. They have also funded a Chair in the Mechanical Engineering School at the Georgia Institute of Technology and endowed two scholarships at the University of Virginia. The Ramirez family also is committed to building Christian schools in Central America, with a long-term goal of reaching 1,000,000 children. Agustin Ramirez, Jr., currently serves as Executive Chairman of HUSCO International, a global engineering and hydraulics manufacturing company he founded in Waukesha in 1985 and where he served as CEO for 26 years.
Mary Ellen Stanek, CFA, and Scott P. Stanek, DDS, are generous community supporters and have focused many of their philanthropic efforts on youth development and education. They established the Scott and Mary Ellen Stanek Family Fund at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Mary Ellen Stanek is Managing Director and Director of Asset Management at Robert W. Baird & Co., Chief Investment Officer for Baird Advisors and President of the Baird Funds. She has been a member of the MCW Board of Trustees since 2001 and has served on the boards of Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, Boys and Girls Clubs, Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Junior Achievement, Marquette University, Milwaukee World Festival and United Way of Greater Milwaukee. She also has served on the corporate boards of Baird Financial Group, Journal Communications, Journal Media Group, Northwestern Mutual, West Bend Mutual Insurance Company and Wisconsin Energy Corporation. Dr. Stanek is in private practice at Stanek Family Dental and is considered a thought leader and role model for dental practice in our region.
Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, PhD, a breast oncologist and author, has dedicated much of his career to healthcare reform, research ethics and end-of-life care. He serves as Vice Provost for Global Initiatives, the Diane v.S. Levy and Robert M. Levy University Professor and Chair of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Emanuel’s recent book, Prescription for the Future, identifies standout medical organizations that have achieved high-quality, patient-focused and low-cost care, and from their examples distills 12 practices that could transform the entire healthcare sector. Dr. Emanuel was the Founding Chair of the Department of Bioethics at the National Institutes of Health and held that position until August 2011. He recently served as a Special Advisor on Health Policy to the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and National Economic Council. Dr. Emanuel also serves as a Venture Partner at Oak HC/FT and as a contributor for the New York Times and CNN.
MCW's 2018 Commencement Ceremony will take place Friday, May 25, at 1:30 pm at the Miller High Life Theatre, 500 W. Kilbourn Ave.
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