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Kugel-Zuroweste Award Winner Emanie Dorival: Rising Star, On a Mission

Emanie Dorival sits at her desk at the Ephphatha Medical Care Services office in Seaford.

Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN) is proud to announce the selection of Emanie Dorival, CRNP, as the third recipient of the annual Kugel-Zuroweste Health Justice Award.

Named after Candace Kugel, FNP, CNM, MS, former Specialist of Clinical Systems & Women’s Health and Ed Zuroweste, MD, Founding Medical Director, the Kugel-Zuroweste Health Justice Award recognizes young clinicians making an impact at the intersections of vulnerability, migration, and health. “Emanie Dorival is the epitome of a young leader, and she’s on a mission,” Dr. Zuroweste said. “She is exactly who we want [for this award].”

Dorival, a native of Haiti, is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Ephphatha Medical Care Services, a community-based, bilingual and bicultural primary care office serving the communities of Seaford, Delaware and Salisbury, Maryland. The Seaford clinic’s doors opened in December, 2019—just months before COVID-19 triggered the closure of many freshman businesses, including medical offices. But closing Ephphatha was “never an option” for Dorival, who focused instead on sustaining the practice out of her own life savings.

“When COVID occurred, she kept her office open and worked without giving herself a paycheck for two years—just so her staff and her community would not have to suffer,” colleague Cynthia Calixte, MD, MPH, explained. “She has sacrificed so much.”

Dr. Calixte, who submitted the essay nominating Dorival, believes just as important as her passion for her patients is her impact on providers themselves.

“After she experienced racism that was plainly inhumane [in a professional setting], she made it her life’s mission to bridge the gap of health care disparities in her community located in the Delmarva area of Delaware and Maryland,” Dr. Calixte wrote. “And so she opened the door for providers to have a place to provide care in a biculturally and bilingually inclusive environment. More providers like her would do so much to improve the medical community in the name of health justice.”

Two other finalists include Jose Alfredo “Freddy” Luviano, LCSW-A of the 30th Judicial District Alliance, and Nancy Carballo, MD, MPH, Assistant Medical Director of the Asylum Seeker Medical Screening and Stabilization Program at the Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health, University of California, San Diego. MCN’s Founding Chief Executive Officer, Karen Mountain, RN, MSN, MBA, who served on the Award’s selection committee, described the decision as “exceptionally difficult.”

“All three were such inspirational candidates,” she explained. “We could only choose one, but all of them are winners in my book.”

As the recipient of the Kugel-Zuroweste Health Justice Award, Dorival will receive a gift in the amount of $1,000, as well as considerable recognition across MCN’s network of partners, collaborators, and constituents. A virtual ceremony acknowledging the finalists and honoring Dorival’s accomplishments will be hosted March 30. Those interested in participating are encouraged to request a formal invitation by emailing before March 28.