For Immediate Release
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) held its annual gala dinner on Wednesday night (May 2) at the Mandarin Oriental in New York, attended by some 250 human rights advocates and activists across industries and sectors, including physicians, philanthropists, journalists, and others who support the important work done by PHR.
PHR’s gala was dedicated to honoring Heroes of Health Care and Human Rights, including Yazidi activist and gynecologist Nagham Nawzat Hasan, MD, whose work to promote gender equality, combat gender-based violence, and provide care to Yazidi women has been internationally recognized. Other honorees included Mona Hanna-Attisha, MD, MPH, who exposed the Flint water crisis and led a movement to ensure action was taken, Norma Price, MD, renowned for her humanitarian work with migrants at the Arizona border crossing, and Alex Wubbels, RN, praised for her brave defense of “do no harm” when she refused a police order to draw blood from an unconscious patient.
“These four brave and strong women epitomize the sweet victories that can come from relentless human rights activism – free of pessimism – and free of defeatism,” Donna McKay, executive director of Physicians for Human Rights, told the gala attendees.
“They know that despite the odds, evidence and facts and the fight for justice matter … We know that we can never stop fighting for precious liberties. We know that yesterday’s wins can be undone tomorrow if we are not vigilant. Yet I am nothing but hopeful. I have no doubt that we can build a more just world when doctors, nurses, psychologists – all clinicians – use the cherished principles of their professions to defend human rights.”
During the gala, which helped raise more than $800,000 to further PHR’s work, the New York-based advocacy organization unveiled its 2018 institutional video, highlighting its work around the globe in training partners to adequately collect evidence, document abuses and atrocities, and use those medical and forensic findings to prove wrongdoing and bring perpetrators to justice. PHR’s work extends from Syria to Iraq, from Myanmar and Bangladesh to the DRC and Kenya, and across the United States, speaking out against attacks on health care, torture, sexual violence, and abuses suffered by asylum seekers.
Highlights of the PHR annual gala can be viewed in these photos.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.