The Jan Pfeiffer Distinguished Service Award recognizes members of the community who have stood out in their commitment to community involvement and service. This year’s recipient has not only taken an interest in service, but has made a career of it. A world-renowned specialist in the surgical management of complex spinal cord injuries and spinal disorders, and a co-founder of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, Dr. Barth Green has devoted his life to saving and improving lives.
Dr. Green acts as professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, and is Chief of Neurosurgery Service at Jackson Hospital. Dr. Green’s commitment to improving lives extends well beyond the bedside and classroom. Dr. Green sought to empower the less fortunate through his cofounding of Shake-A-Leg Miami, an adaptive water sports center combining education and recreation to annually serve more than 12,000 children and adults with physical, developmental, and economic challenges.
According to his biography on the Shake-A-Leg Miami website, Dr. Green’s interest in and commitment to neuroscience and spinal cord rehabilitation originated during medical school, where he was exposed to “the extraordinary courage and integrity of paraplegics who volunteered in the spinal cord injury research laboratory.”
On the international front, Dr. Green co-founded Project Medishare for Haiti to help improve the health status of Haiti’s citizens through an integrated, bottom-up, community approach to development. Dr. Green is also cofounder of the University of Miami’s Global Institute for Community Health and Development, a university-wide program focused on improving healthcare and advancing community development in the Western Hemisphere.
Within 24 hours of the earthquake in Haiti, Dr. Green had arrived in Port-au- Prince with medical supplies and a small group of physicians who treated hundreds of critically injured Haitians daily. While Dr. Green was in Haiti, his colleagues at the UM Global Institute/Project Medishare and Jackson Memorial Hospital established a massive relief effort and airlifted over 5,000 medical volunteers from around the world along with tons of medical supplies and equipment. The UM Global Institute/Project Medishare field hospital was the only referral center for severe critical care and trauma cases in Haiti. Dr. Green is committed to implementing sustainable capacity building programs in Haiti, which will save millions of lives in the future.
Dr. Green has made tangible and inspirational contributions both within South Florida and internationally. The Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce is honored to present the Distinguished Service Award to Dr. Green.