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At commencement, candidate Dole addresses health care concerns

Yale Medicine Magazine, 1999 - Summer


In a commencement speech that touched on gun control, Kosovo and advances in medicine and biology, Elizabeth Dole urged the Class of 1999 to devote time to public service and to maintain a concern for the needy.

“Twenty years from now,” said Dole, past president of the American Red Cross, former cabinet secretary and current presidential candidate, “American physicians will not — must not — be practicing the same medicine they are today. Meanwhile, however, some things will stay the same. Patients will still need to be listened to with concern and attention. The helpless will still need our special care.”

Dole was the graduating class’s choice to deliver the keynote address at the medical school’s commencement ceremony on May 24. Dean David A. Kessler, M.D., who worked with Dole when he headed the Food and Drug Administration, praised her commitment to public service, noting that as transportation secretary she had made the roads safer by requiring additional brake lights on vehicles. As leader of the Red Cross, he added, she had transformed the way the nation protects its blood supplies. “Let there be no doubt,” he said, “that when a patient in our hospital, in any hospital, needs a transfusion, that blood is safer because of Elizabeth Dole.”

Although Dole never mentioned her own campaign to win the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency, she alluded to it in her speech. The budget of the National Institutes of Health should be doubled over the next five years, she said. “We should have the same commitment from our next president, whoever she may be,” she added.

Mindful of her audience, she linked her stands on issues of the day to medicine. “For years we have had safety caps on medicine that might cause injury to children,” she said, holding up an aspirin bottle and a gun trigger lock. “Why not protect children with safety locks on guns?”

She also called for expanded health care coverage to protect the 43 million Americans without health insurance and for changes in the relationship between physicians and health insurers. “We must ensure that our health care providers have the freedom and the flexibility to provide the best possible care,” she said.


Bohmfalk Prize:
Dr. James Jamieson (basic sciences)
Dr. Barry Wu (clinical sciences)
Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Humanism in Medicine Faculty Award:
Dr. Karen E. Brown
Dean’s Medical Education Farr Prize:
Dr. Robert H. Gifford
The Leah M. Lowenstein Prize:
Dr. Shanta E. Kapadia
The Francis Gilman Blake Award:
Dr. Barry Wu
The Betsy Winters House Staff Award:
Dr. Stephen Kavic


Parker Prize:
Michelle M. Pinto
Miriam Kathleen Dasey Award:
Ruth A. Potee
Norma Bailey Berniker Prize:
Sherri D. Sandifer
Dean’s Prize for Community Service:
Alison L. Days
Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Humanism in Medicine Student Award:
Ruth A. Potee
Campbell Prize:
Michelle M. Pinto
Perkins Prize:
Michelle M. Pinto
Merck Book Awards:
Angelo E. Volandes
Meena Thayu
Lange Book Award:
Lawrence Etter
M.D./Ph.D. Award:
Alexandra B. Cohen
Eric A. Hughes
Connecticut Society of American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:
Kristen R. Aversa
New England Pediatric Society Prize:
Tanya E. Froehlich
Society for Academic Emergency Medicine Award:
Joshua S. Broder
Connecticut Society of American Board Surgeons Prize:
Shahram Salemy
Peter A. T. Grannum Award:
Obinwanne F. Ugwonali
Sherri D. Sandifer
Camille M. Hylton
Lauren Weinstein Award:
Paul Huang (posthumously)
Richard X. Lyn-Cook
Connecticut Academy of Family Physicians Award:
Ruth A. Potee
J. Bruin Rugge
Winternitz Prize in Pathology:
Danica N. Barron
Michelle M. Pinto
Endocrine Society Medical Student Achievement Award:
Ursula A. McVeigh
The Courtland Van Rensselaer Creed Award:
Richard X. Lyn-Cook
National Medical Fellowship (NMF) James H. Robinson, M.D.,
Memorial Prize in Surgery:

Obinwanne F. Ugwonali
ACP-ASIM Internal Medicine Award:
Nicole C. Rabidou
National Health Service Corps Certificate of Recognition:
Alison L. Days
Jennifer B. Griffiths