2024 Recipients

Stephanie Belger

Stephanie BelgerStephanie Belger joined the School of Medicine Dean’s Office in 2005 as the Manager of Special Events. In her almost two decades of service, she transformed her role to Director of Strategic Initiatives, managing some of the School's most impactful programs, including the Annual School of Medicine Retreat, Differences Matter, Watson Scholars, Chairs and Directors Committee on Diversity, and the School of Medicine's Strategic Plan. Stephanie is relied upon by leadership, faculty, and staff alike for her deep programmatic expertise, understanding of the School, and creative approaches to challenges. She strives to continuously improve approaches to projects and problems by identifying opportunities to increase impact and developing strategies to enhance the work. When asked about working with Stephanie, “joy” is the word used most often. Stephanie is unfailingly hopeful, optimistic, unflappable, and calm.

"Dr. Holly Smith brought sweeping change to UCSF. I am incredibly honored to receive the Holly Smith Award, as I aspire to do the same - working with colleagues across the university in our collective pursuit to advance diversity, equity, belonging, and anti-oppression. This award is significant to me because when I started my career at UCSF, I had the great pleasure of working with and being entertained by Holly. He was a great man who set a high bar and challenged everyone around him to be and do better. I am humbled to be associated with him."

Elena Fuentes-Afflick, MD, MPH

Dr. Elena Fuentes-AfflickElena Fuentes-Afflick, MD, MPH has served as Vice Dean of ZSFG since 2022 – managing the ZSFG Dean’s Office enterprise to successfully collaborate with a wide array of individuals and organizations throughout UCSF and the City and County of San Francisco. Prior to that time, Dr. Fuentes-Afflick served as Vice Dean for Academic Affairs for the UCSF School of Medicine for 10 years. During her tenure, Dr. Fuentes-Afflick has been instrumental in diversifying the pediatric faculty at ZSFG and cultivating an environment that encourages belonging and respect for all. Her passion for diversity has carried through in her health-equity research, as well as her numerous lectures and workshops, but it is truly impressive how she has carried these principles into true action and results. Her efforts have not only amplified the department's reputation but have also paved the way for a more equitable academic culture. Dr. Fuentes-Afflick has left an indelible mark on the institution, embodying the very essence of Holly Smith – exceptional service embellished with compassion and integrity.

"I am humbled to receive the Holly Smith award. Dr. Smith was a shining example of innovation, commitment, humor, and impactful leadership, values which inspire me."

Margot Kushel, MD

Dr. Margot KushelMargot Kushel, MD is an innovator who thinks beyond science to improve our community, particularly the lives of those impacted by social forces such as homelessness. Dr. Kushel consistently goes above and beyond the parameters of her University appointment to advocate at local, state, and federal levels for initiatives that ameliorate the burden of homelessness. As founder and now Director of the Benioff Homelessness Initiative, she will leave a legacy of laser-like focus on the needs of those with housing instability or homelessness. She is also training a whole new generation of learners who will carry on both her research on underserved populations and her history of fierce advocacy for their wellbeing. Not only does her high-quality and impactful research inform and support our shared commitment to social justice, but that commitment also permeates her roles as division chief, teacher, and mentor. She is known for her ability to listen actively and deeply and provide both professional and personal support.

"I am so honored to receive the Holly Smith Award, and am fortunate to be able to spend my career working with inspiring and devoted colleagues at UCSF committed to building a healthier world for all."

Michelle Mourad, MD

Dr. Michelle MouradMichelle Mourad, MD serves as Vice Chair for Clinical Care and Value for the Department of Medicine and has been instrumental in enhancing the clinical services within the department. Her strategic vision and negotiations have led to significant improvements in multiple clinical divisions, and she is widely recognized for her ability to drive growth and improvement across the health system. Dr. Mourad is also an exceptional leader during times of crisis, as evidenced by her work during the COVID-19 pandemic to facilitate patient access to testing and treatment. Her commitment to mentorship and education is evident in her extensive involvement in quality improvement and patient safety training for both residents and faculty, both at UCSF and nationally. She is a thought leader on the harmonization of a productive academic/clinical career and is an inspiration to many.

"I am deeply honored to receive the Holly Smith Award. Having met Dr. Holly Smith, I was inspired by his wit, grace, and visionary leadership. Dr. Smith’s transformative contributions to UCSF, fostering a culture of excellence and dedication, have left an indelible mark on our institution. This award motivates me to continue his legacy, working diligently to improve patient care, support my colleagues, and advance the mission of UCSF with the same spirit of innovation and humanity that Dr. Smith exemplified."

Allison Savage

Allison SavageAllison Savage is both a trusted partner in navigating the operational processes of the university and an expert in supporting staff and faculty growth and development through the learning and development programming she has created for the Office of Medical Education. Allison constantly anticipates and sees well over the horizon - looking for ways to move initiatives forward and identify process improvements. Allison’s operational skill and impact are well matched by her passion for her colleagues in medical education and the leadership she provides to support their professional development. She is widely known and appreciated for her extraordinary problem-solving skills, pragmatism, and ability to proactively anticipate the needs of the team. From her leadership in faculty recruitment to her operational stewardship, she serves as a role model and pacesetter for a world-class education unit and tirelessly works to improve the climate and community in the office.

"I’m thrilled to receive this award. While I didn’t know Dr. Smith, his dedication to not only improving UCSF, but doing so with a sense of humor and kindness is what I strive for."

Previous Recipients


Lucy Zumwinkle Kornblith (2023)
Alicia Lieberman, PhD (2023)
​​Diane Havlir (2022)
Leticia Rolon (2022)
Stephen Hauser (2021)
Jyothi Marbin (2021)
Aimee Medeiros (2020)
Nancy Ascher (2020)
Claire Brindis (2019)
David Wofsy (2019)
Ellen Laves (2018)
Elizabeth Harleman (2018)
Bruce Miller (2017)
Shonul Jain (2017)
Ron Arenson (2017)
Joseph (Mike) McCune (2016)
S. Andrew Josephson (2016)
Sue Carlisle (2015)
Nancy Adler (2014)
Samuel Barondes (2013)
Molly Cooke (2012)
Diana Farmer (2011)
Donna Ferriero (2010)
George Rutherford (2009)
Robert Wachter (2008)
Helen Loeser (2007)
Dan Lowenstein (2006)
Lawrence Tierney (2005)
Kanu Chatterjee (2004)
Diane Colby (2003)
Ira Herskowitz (2002)
Keith Yamamoto (2001)
Neal Cohen (2000)


Rochelle Blanco (2023)
Kalpana Harish (2023)
Emily Leang (2022)
Fonda Smith (2022)
Kristen Fox (2021)
Michael Kincaid (2021)
Jon Rueter (2020)
Rosalie Gearhart (2020)
Margaret Damiano (2019)
Maxine Davis (2019)
Alissa Perrucci (2018)
Rebecca Hoh (2018)
Jessica Wolf (2017)
Maria Novelero (2017)
Wylie Liu (2016)
Shary Eiser (2016)
Clarice Estrada (2015)
Cathy Duran (2015)
Cliff Skinner (2014)
Sally Mead (2013)
Alicia Velasquez (2012)
Laurae Pearson (2012)
Vivian Robinson (2011)
Cathryn Thurow (2011)
Isaac Sato (2010)
Marge O’Halloran (2009)
Kathy Healy (2008)
Cathy Garzio (2007)
Vickie Lewis (2006)
Georgina Lopez (2005)
Chuck Smuckler (2004)
Jaclyn Boyden (2003)