“Partnering with the Pan American Health and Education Foundation makes it possible for us to accomplish our philanthropic goals in ways that are much more efficient and cost-effective than direct cross-border grant making.”

Ms. Nancy Frees, Managing Director of the Frees Foundation, Houston, Texas

International Awards » Bioethics 

The Manuel Velasco-Suárez Award in Bioethics 2004

Rosa Angelina Pace, MD, Escuela de Medicina del Hospital Italiano, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Research Project: "Organ Transplants and the Teaching of Bioethics"

Rosa Angelina Pace of Argentina Wins the 2003 Manuel Velasco-Suarez Award in Bioethics

Suarez 2003 (1)
The Pan American Health and Education Foundation, a US-based non-profit partner of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) awarded the Manuel Velasco-Suarez Award in Bioethics to Dr. Rosa Angelina Pace for her proposed research, "Organ transplants and the teaching of Bioethics” (Los transplantes de órganos y la enseñanza de la Bioética). Dr. Pace, an Argentinean medical doctor and coordinator of Bioethics at the Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, is the second recipient of the bioethics award. The award was presented by Mr. Matthew McHugh, Treasurer of the Foundation, in an official ceremony during the Directing Council meeting of PAHO, held in Washington D.C., on 22 September.

In her remarks of acceptance, Dr. Pace said: “The thesis will make an exhaustive investigation concerning organ transplantation in Latin America and its relation to the problem of equity in health. This issue is an excellent subject for the teaching of bioethics to students, since it poses numerous ethical problems in medicine in general, and the specific issue of allocation of scarce resources can be studied based on the model of organ distribution. The idea of writing a textbook of bioethics for medical students based upon the subject of organ transplantation is timely for my country and other countries of this region.”

Suarez 2003 (2)
Among the guests attending the ceremony were: Dr. Mirta Roses, Director of PAHO, Dr. Pedro García, Minister of Health of Chile and President of the Council, Dr. Roberto Tapia, Assistant Secretary of Preventive and Protective Health of the of Ministry of Health of Mexico, Dr. Carlos Vizzotti , Assistant Secretary of Sanitary Regulations and Research in Health of the Ministry of Health in Argentina, Dr. Joxel Garcia, Deputy Director of PAHO, Dr. Jesus Velasco Siles, the son of Dr. Velasco-Suarez, and his wife, Mrs. Elisa Bezauri de Velasco, and Ms. Jess Gersky, Executive Director of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation.

Born in Chaco, Charata, in north Argentina, Dr. Pace holds a medical degree from the Universidad del Noreste and a masters degree in bioethics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She is a surgeon at the Children's Hospital “Dr. Pedro Elizalde and professor of Human Sciences in the School of Medicine at the Hospital Italiano, in Buenos Aires.

The Manuel Velasco-Suárez Award in Bioethics has been introduced last year by the Pan American Health and Education Foundation and PAHO with the support of the Ministry of Health of Mexico, to recognize this emerging discipline. The field of Bioethics seeks to humanize and mediate the advances of science, technology and global development.

The award honors Dr. Manuel Velasco-Suárez, Mexican physician, scientist, humanist and pacifist, who dedicated more than sixty years of his life to public health, becoming one of the pioneers of neurology and neurosurgery in Mexico and Latin America. He is a founder of the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery, which now bears his name. He also was a pioneer in the field of bioethics in Mexico and Latin America, founder of the National Commission of Bioethics, and the Mexican National Academy of Bioethics. Outstanding among his numerous achievements are his receipt of the Medal of Honor from the American Association of Neurosurgery, more than ten honorary doctorates from universities in Mexico and around the world, and recognition in Mexico as one of the twenty last wise-men at the end of the twentieth century.

He was a visionary man, a man who showed ideas and turned them into realities, always participating in outstanding creative activity, all for the purpose of serving humanity. His solid convictions, lead him to work in the field to prevent what would be the last pandemic of humanity, a nuclear war and was a founding member of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which received the Nobel peace prize in 1985.

The award consists of a certificate of merit and a cash prize of $10,000 that will help support the work of the winner. Award winners are selected by a distinguished jury appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Pan American Health and Education Foundation and the Director of PAHO. The Pan American Health and Education Foundation is dedicated to the improvement of the health of the peoples of the Americas and to the support of PAHO programmatic objectives. Its grant making program and highly successful textbook and medical instrument program further the aims of public health in hemisphere. The Foundation also promotes public health through its International Award Programs. The Manuel Velasco-Suárez Award in Bioethics is one of five awards organized yearly by the Foundation.