The RISE Health Care Hero Award

Martin L Block

Nominations are Now Being Accepted for the 2024 Award

Submit a Nomination

RISE is pleased to present the RISE Health Care Hero Award to an esteemed nominee who has made a significant impact on the lives of underserved populations through health care and/or social services interventions, and through superior example of the RISE mission to promote health equity among all patients.

Check out the 2023 award ceremony in the video below.


Submit a Nomination

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2024 award!
The award will be presented at The RISE Summit on Social Determinants of Health on April 15-17, 2024 in New Orleans.

This form must be filled out completely with necessary documentation in order for the nominee to be considered for the 2024 RISE Health Care Hero Award. Nominations must be submitted by December 31, 2023 at 11:59PM EST. The award finalists will be notified by January 31, 2024 and the recipient will be presented at The RISE Summit on Social Determinants of Health 2024.

Submit a Nomination

Is your organization interested in sponsoring the RISE Health Care Hero Award? Contact for more information.

Past Award Winners
2023 Winner
Rick Whitted

Rick Whitted, CEO of U.S. Hunger, is the 2023 RISE Health Care Hero Award recipient. Whitted was chosen for his leadership and innovation in addressing food insecurity while also tackling the systemic causes of hunger and dramatically improving health and wellbeing. “Rick Whitted is redefining how our industry approaches the interconnectedness between hunger and health. Rick recognized that food is just the beginning. He has committed to listening, documenting, and preserving the real-life stories of those affected by food insecurity. These collected voices provide the insight to address root causes and drive lasting change,” said the nomination.

Mariam Merced Headshot (3) (3).jpg (1)
2022 Winner
Mariam Merced

The inaugural award recipient is Mariam Merced, director, community health promotion programs of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, New Brunswick - a RWJBarnabas Health facility. Merced was chosen from a pool of 29 nominees for her work to address social determinants of health (SDoH), the non-medical factors that impact an individual’s health, throughout the New Brunswick community. Among her many accomplishments: oversaw the development of a regional health consortium, spearheaded a medical interpreters' project to provide in-person interpretation services as an alternative to the hospital's telephone language line, and developed a domestic violence training program to educate more than 600 health care workers, across three states, about the public health impact of domestic violence.

Previous Winners