Duke Presidential Award to LATIN-19 Includes DCI Faculty & Staff

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The below intro and LATIN-19 sections were excerpted from an article by Stephen Schramm for Working at Duke/Duke Today. To learn about all of the Duke Presidential Award winners, READ Duke's Presidential Award Winners Meet the Moment in 2020: From a global pandemic to reckoning with inequality, winners rise to unprecedented challenges 

From frontline health workers helping patients, to staff and faculty members figuring out everything from surveillance testing to remote teaching, everyone at Duke responded to the COVID-19 pandemic in their own way.

The challenges facing Duke in the past year were varied and numerous, and the Duke Presidential Awards for 2020 recognize the historic contributions.

The Presidential Awards program, organized by the Office of the President in partnership with Duke Human Resources, recognizes individuals and teams from the University and Health System who best demonstrate the values that define and shape Duke as an institution. The awards are the highest honor given by Duke to staff and faculty members. Many of this year's winners helped Duke rise to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficult national dialogue on race and social justice.

“I am delighted to congratulate this year’s Presidential Award winners, who were selected from our most competitive ever field of nominees,” said Duke University President Vincent E. Price. “Over the past year, we have faced unprecedented challenges as a community, and the leadership of these awardees has helped keep us safe, healthy, and engaged—and on course toward a more inclusive and vibrant future for Duke. We can all be proud to call them colleagues.”


Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke faculty members convened the Latinx Advocacy Team & Interdisciplinary Network for COVID-19 (LATIN-19). Made of 56 volunteer members drawn from Duke University and Duke Health system, and with backgrounds in health care, public policy, education, business and community activism, the group worked to identify and remedy pandemic-related disparities facing the Latinx population. The group helped improve access to testing, contact tracing and care for the Latinx community, increase the amount of Spanish language COVID-19 information available and guide state and local policy changes. All of these steps helped reduce the infection rate among Durham’s Latinx community.

“Every aspect of this group has been extraordinary,” said Duke University School of Medicine Dean Mary Klotman. “They have taken their commitment to our community and turned it into action, filling huge gaps in providing support, advocacy, information and care for our Latinx community in North Carolina.”

DCI Faculty & Staff Recognized as Part of the LATIN-19 Team

by Julie Poucher Harbin, Senior Writer, DCI

LATIN-19 group on zoom for Presidential Awards Ceremony
Click on the photo above to play the section of the awards ceremony recognizing LATIN-19.

LATIN-19 was established in March 2020 to address health disparities within the Latinx community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The multi-sector group includes more than 500 participants (56 from Duke University and Duke Health System) representing academic institutions, healthcare systems, public health departments, public school systems, community-based organizations, government, faith communities, and others.

We would like to single out those individuals from DCI who are part of LATIN-19 team and congratulate them (as members of that team) on being honored with a Duke Presidential Award this year.

At the awards ceremony on April 14, a co-founder of LATIN-19 — Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, MD, FAAFP — accepted the award on behalf of the LATIN-19 team as many of its Duke members looked on (all via Zoom). Martinez-Bianchi, director for Health Equity, and an associate professor in the Duke Department of Family and Community Health, said, "It's an honor to receive this award on behalf of LATIN-19. LATIN-19's success belongs to our comunidad latina and allies working collaboratively to lift up the community."

Learn More About the DCI Honorees