Accomplished Health Policy and Management Alumni Receive 950 Awards

WASHINGTON, DC (October 26, 2018)—The George Washington University (GW) Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) today honored three alumni with links to the Department of Health Policy and Management (HPM) at the university’s annual Colonials Weekend. Sonia Nath, JD, MPH studied health policy; Deneen Richmond, MHA studied health administration; and Joseph L. Wright, MD, MPH, FAAP studied administrative medicine and management and public health at GW.

“We are very proud to present these outstanding alumni with 950 Awards,” said Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MS, MPH, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean of the GW Milken Institute SPH. The well-attended event included faculty, staff, students and alumni from every department in the Milken Institute SPH. Dean Goldman and Forrest Maltzman, PhD, the university’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented the awards in alphabetical order.

Sonia Nath, JD, MPH
Nath is Associate Chief Counsel for Enforcement at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where she has worked for nine years. She earned her MPH in health policy concurrently with her JD from the George Washington University Law School. Her continuing ties to the university include actively mentoring students in a program held at the FDA each summer, as well as serving as an online mentor.

“I always advocate for GW students when they are referred to me by GW professors,” Nath said in her acceptance speech. She also thanked Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Milken Institute SPH’s Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy, “for being a tremendous guide” and years of mentorship since Nath’s first days in the JD/MPH program.

“I was fortunate to take her health law class, which was one of my favorite classes and invaluable to my practice,” said Nath. She worked with Rosenbaum on an independent project for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and on a second project that resulted in a publication on the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. “I can think of no better training for a successful career in health law than the GW JD/MPH program. I will be forever grateful to GW for providing me with the tools to be successful in my endeavors and look forward to continuing to give back to the school for years to come,” she said.

Deneen Richmond, MHA
At the time she received her award, Richmond was vice president for Quality and Performance Improvement at Inova, Northern Virginia’s leading not-for-profit health system. In early November she accepted a position as vice president, Population Health and Clinical Improvement at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, Md. In addition to being an alumni of GW’s MHA program, Richmond is an instructor in the Milken Institute SPH’s online MHA@GW program and earned a teaching award earlier this year.

To Richmond, the key to health administration is in “making a difference in our health and in our outcomes.” She expressed gratitude for the opportunities she has received through her connections to GW and says that she is energized by the students with whom she works. “I don’t hesitate to volunteer when I am asked,” she said, citing recent experiences with both residential and online students.

Joseph L. Wright, MD, MPH, FAAP
Dr. Wright is currently the senior vice president and chief medical officer for University of Maryland Capital Region Health and is a nationally recognized expert on childhood bullying. Dr. Wright expressed gratitude to Richard K. Riegelman, MD, MPH, PhD, the Founding Dean of The Milken Institute School of Public Health for creating a program that aided him in studying public health when we was working across town as a pediatrician. “As a pediatrian and clinician, one of the most important experiences I had as a public health student was the program’s emphasis on disaster preparedness and readiness,” he said, adding that it became one of the threads that binds together his career.

During the time Dr. Wright was an Obama administration appointee to the Food and Drug Administration’s Pediatric Advisory Committee, he served as an adjunct professor in the Milken Institute SPH’s Department of Health Policy and Management. He regularly presents invited expert testimony before Congress and state and municipal legislative bodies. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the Milken Institute SPH’s Department of Prevention and Community Health.