2021 Community Champion Award

Lee Bone, BSPH '77

Lee Bone is responsible for the success of hundreds of community initiatives, including sponsored projects, research and service-based care, all aimed at improving health disparities. She serves on committees, teaches, garners program sponsorship, and champions community based participatory services and research. Her remarkable skill is in helping the community identify its own needs and in accessing Hopkins and other resources to attend to social needs and assure quality care. Lee has worked with East Baltimore churches, Baltimore City Schools, the Health Department, Baltimore CONNECT, and state and professional agencies. Notably, she has fostered the growth of successful community health worker training programs and community experiences for Hopkins students. Currently, she directs the Hopkins undergraduate public health program community health course. Lee is known by everyone at Hopkins and in the community, and is universally respected and trusted. She is passionate, relentless, and action oriented. Most importantly, she is “out there” at health screenings, training, and community events. She is a hands-on partner with the community who believes first in community empowerment.

Peter Kannam, Ed '99

Peter Kannam serves as the principal of the Elmer A. Henderson Johns Hopkins Partnership School, also known as Henderson-Hopkins. Kannam began his career as a teacher at Baltimore's Lombard Middle School. After receiving his master's degree in school administration and supervision from the School of Education in 1999, he became executive director of Teach for America Baltimore. He served for four years as executive director of New Leaders for New Schools Maryland, where he launched programs to recruit and train principals for Baltimore City and Prince George's County school systems; and as New England regional director for Catapult Learning. In 2010, he co-founded the education nonprofit America Achieves, which partners with organizations to create clear pathways for economic advancement and civic engagement. He has also served as a member and vice chair for the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners. Kannam has been principal of Henderson-Hopkins since 2018. He says when the outbreak of the coronavirus first started back in mid-March, he knew it was going to make the situation worse for their students and their families, many of whom rely on the school for food and services. Under his leadership, Henderson-Hopkins has partnered with organizations such as the Maryland Food Bank to distribute food and supplies to its community every Friday. Since March, the school has distributed over 450,000 pounds of food to more than 6,600 families through walk up and delivery.

Katherine Phillips, Nurs '10, BSPH '12

Katie Phillips is a Nurse Practitioner Medical Director who helped The Esperanza Center set up a Bilingual COVID-19 hotline in March of 2020 so that immigrant patients without a doctor could get linked to Sars-CoV-2 testing. To date, the hotline has fielded over 5,000 calls and has been a real lifeline. When Hopkins set up its Sars-CoV-2 community testing at Sacred Heart Church, it used the Esperanza hotline to register patients for testing and as a resource for patients to call with questions, worsening symptoms, etc.  Once the vaccine became available, the hotline linked callers to vaccine appointments and to date has helped vaccinate over 4,000 people.  A team of Community Health Workers led by Phillips conducts on the ground outreach at sites frequented by Latino immigrants, including Latino grocery stores, churches and sites where day laborers seek work. In addition to COVID-19 work, Katie leads a team of 13 at the Esperanza Center Health Clinic, which offers free primary care to undocumented immigrants in the Greater Baltimore area.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

Libi Rice, Bus '12

Libi Rice is the head of The Executive Leadership Council’s (ELC) communication, marketing, branding, and external affairs initiatives. She is a member of the ELC’s leadership team and responsible for leading the strategy, management and implementation of all communication-related efforts. During Libi’s seven years at the ELC, she has been instrumental in implementing ELC’s purpose and mission – opening channeling of opportunity for Black executives to positively impact business and communities. This includes developing initiatives targeted for executives, mid-level managers, and students. Libi not only contributes to her community in a professional sense. She tirelessly works to make an impact in her personal and local communities. Libi was a key champion in advocating for the ELC to support the Dr. James Calvin Scholarship at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School, which will provide scholarship support with a preference for underrepresented minority students at Carey. Additionally, she spoke at the Carey Business School’s 2019 Diversity & Inclusion Summit. Libi is also a Charter Member of the Ambassador Donor Program for the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture and past board member of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Sarah Szanton, Nurs '93, '07

A nationally renowned researcher, leader and health equity advocate, Dr. Sarah Szanton, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Patricia M. Davidson Health Equity and Social Justice Endowed Professor, was named Dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (SON) in August 2021.  Szanton took a non-traditional path to nursing, first becoming a lobbyist to fight for reproductive health.  Working on Capitol Hill, she frequently encountered nurse practitioners advocating for their populations and decided to change careers, inspired by the deep understanding that nurses had of the communities with which they worked. After working with migrant workers, people experiencing homelessness, and providing house calls to under resourced communities, she decided to get her PhD.  Szanton is best known for co-developing the visionary CAPABLE program after years spent providing house calls predominately to low income, African American older adults in West Baltimore.  The program, which combines handyman services with nursing and occupational therapy to improve mobility, reduce disability, and decrease healthcare costs, has been researched and scaled to 45 places in 23 States, and is currently expanding through several policy mechanisms as Medicare Advantage and Value Based care. Szanton also has a joint faculty appointment in the Department of Health Policy and Management in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  A prolific health equity researcher, she has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals and received many awards for her work. A Johns Hopkins alumna, Szanton earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from the SON, a Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Maryland, and a PhD from Johns Hopkins.  She joined the SON in 2007 as an assistant professor, was promoted to full professor in 2017, and became an endowed professor in 2018.