Defeating Stigma in Healthcare Award for 2013: Rick Rador, MD

We feel thrilled to get to share some news from the Simon Foundation for Continence.

They recently announced Rick Rader, MD, as the 2013 Defeating Stigma in Healthcare Award recipient.

Dr. Rader is in fact the Director of the Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center at the Orange Grove Center (Chattanooga, TN), a nationally known community agency supporting the needs of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Defeating Stigma in Healthcare AwardRader was presented the Defeating Stigma in Healthcare Award at a Black Tie Gala April 12th in Chicago. As a matter of fact, the Gala marked the conclusion of a year-long celebration of the 30th anniversary of the founding of The Simon Foundation for Continence in 1982. As a result, this event attracted an international audience of guests, including participants from Japan, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, England, Sweden, Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and Israel along with individuals from throughout the USA.

“Our organization was delighted to surprise and honor Dr. Rader for his tremendous efforts to reduce stigma in healthcare with the 2013 Defeating Stigma in Healthcare Award.

Stigma negatively impacts the quality of life of individuals with conditions such as cancer, AIDS, and incontinence; conditions that sadly yet today, cause so many to fear that society will marginalize them.

It is, however, impossible to overestimate the impact of stigma,” stated Cheryle Gartley, President and Founder of The Simon Foundation for Continence.

Dr. Rader trained as an internist and is a medical futurist, moreover responsible for the creation of innovative healthcare programs addressing the challenges of aging in the marginalized population he serves. He lectures frequently on stigma and its impact on healthcare access for compromised and underserved patient populations.

Dr. Rader’s outreach includes: Editor-in-Chief of Exceptional Parent Magazine; over 300 articles published in the arena of disabilities; past president of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry; consultant to four Surgeon Generals; adjunct Professor of Human Development at the University of Tennessee; an appointment to the National Academy of Practice in Medicine as a Distinguished Practitioner; Founding President of the American Association on Multi-Sensory Environments; Emeritus Advisor to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality at the US Department of Health & Human Services in the area of Healthcare Innovation; and he is also a co-founder of Label Me Not, an organization working to defeat stigma.

In accepting the Defeating Stigma in Healthcare Award, Dr. Rader, who began his career as a medical anthropologist, told the audience that in fact the stigma he observed as an anthropologist led him to his career in medicine.

Therefore, Rader stated: “According to Goffman, [sociologist] stigma spoils an individual’s identity; and in doing so it also robs him/her of their visibility. It is this rendering of a person’s invisibility that relegates them to injustice and often removes them from mainstream healthcare. The medical, nursing and therapy community is often the worst offenders. This award from the Simon Foundation is greatly appreciated and is deserved by all of us in the daily throes of supporting and protecting vulnerable individuals. It serves to inspire me to work harder, work longer and work smarter along with my colleagues in the defeat of misguided healthcare stigma.”

Congratulations Dr Rador, and thank you for all your work!