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Human Rights Advocate Receives Providence Award

October 14, 2015
Joan Craig, MD, a retired Spokane oncologist/hematologist and advocate for children's health in Burmese refugee camps, is the recipient of the 2015 Providence Health Care Sister Peter Claver Humanitarian Award.

Spokane, WA—On October 6, Providence Health Care held its 23rd annual Sister Peter Claver Humanitarian Award ceremony. The 2015 award recipient is Joan Craig, M.D.

Sister Peter Claver led Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center for 24 years, and was beloved throughout the Spokane community for her visionary leadership and unparalleled commitment to the poor. Outside Sacred Heart, she helped set up the House of Charity Medical Outreach Clinic and initiated the planning for a network of charitable medical clinics. Watch a Video to Learn More

Presenting the 2015 award recipient, Elaine Couture, chief executive of Providence Health Care, said, “Dr. Craig has embraced her calling and lived with great purpose.”

After a 40-year career as a hematologist and oncologist in Spokane, Dr. Joan Craig did not choose a quiet retirement. In 1997, as she was on the Thai-Burma border assessing medical care in refugee camps, Dr. Craig was moved by the poor conditions. She had a vision that became Alternatives for Burmese Children (ABC), an organization to improve the futures of displaced children by funding educational materials, teacher subsidies, and nutritional supplements to enhance learning.

In the beginning, Dr. Craig’s program served 50-70 students in six schools. She recruited teachers in refugee camps and funneled education supplies on truck delivering rice, fish paste, and salt. ABC has since grown significantly and today, it serves 152,000 students at over 1,300 schools. Nearly 8,000 teachers receive stipends, making it possible for them to devote themselves to teaching children and building a more secure future.

Other nominees for this year's Spokane humanitarian award were:

  • Mollie Dalpae
  • Dr. Harold and Sandra Goldberg
  • Garman Lutz
  • Marilee Roloff
  • Joseph and Polly Schindler
  • Mary Selecky
  • Brenda Tudor

Click here to learn more about this year's nominees.

For more details about the Sister Peter Claver Award, email PHCPublicRelations@providence.org.

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