Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Of all forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” These words underscore UTMB's institutional mission to improve health for all people of Texas and around the world. Dr. King also invites reflection on the institutional pillar of community and the role it plays in helping to fulfill our mission. For example, he states that "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?”

The annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Service Award Program honors and recognizes the contributions of UTMB faculty, students and staff who promote diversity, inclusion, community partnership, philanthropy and civic engagement. The award is presented annually to individuals who carry out Dr. King’s dream and have made a profound difference through dedication and service to UTMB and the greater community.

The 2013 recipients were recognized and honored at an awards luncheon ceremony hosted by the UTMB Diversity Council recently at Levin Hall. They are: Amit Kumar, doctoral student in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Lexi Nolen, director of the Center to Eliminate Health Disparities;  the outpatient clinic staff at the Texas Department of Criminal Justice hospital (award accepted by Bryan A. Hicks) ; and second-year medical student Jessica E. Osizugbo.

Program Committee members included Jaisie Stevens, Victor Jackson, Johnny Scott, Adeola Oduwole, Yoni Benson, Kelly L. Panfilli (not pictured),Chelsea McCoy, Ketul Patel, Oluwarotimi Folorunso and Larry Krcma (not pictured).    Award recipients received an honorary plaque, in addition to a cash prize of $500 to be shared by the recipient ($250) and a charitable organization of their choice ($250). Guest speaker was Rodney Sampson, author of "Kingonomics: Twelve Innovative Currencies for Transforming Your Business and Life Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.''  The Ball High School Choir provided a tribute in song.

One of the luncheon attendees, Kim Denton, UTMB  Infectious Disease, encouraged her book club to support the Remember Resha Reading Group at LaMarque Middle School Renaissance Academy by selecting and purchasing a novel for the students to read each month, saying this is her way of giving/serving the community as a result of attending the luncheon.