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The Kugel & Zuroweste Health Justice Award

The Kugel & Zuroweste Health Justice Award

Kugel and Zuroweste Award Logo

Named after MCN’s own Candace Kugel, FNP, CNM, MS and Founding Medical Director Ed Zuroweste, MD, the Kugel & Zuroweste Health Justice Award recognizes the frontline clinicians making an impact at the intersections of health and vulnerability within migrant and mobile populations. The winning recipient will receive $1000 to honor the clinician's work in health justice!

To qualify as a potential recipient of the Kugel & Zuroweste Health Justice Award, candidates must be an actively working clinician — a behavioral health practitioner, community health worker, dentist, nurse, nurse-midwife, nurse practitioner, optometrist, outreach specialist, physician, physician assistant, social worker, etc. — who:

  1. Demonstrates a significant commitment to health justice and contributes to the field of health justice. For example, they created a best practice or creative way to provide services to an underserved population such as agricultural workers or migrants in their community.
  2. Is a “rising star” — within their first years of practice and has not yet received a major or national award.

Special consideration will be given to a person who faced and overcame significant barriers to be a clinician; or a clinician whose parents or immediate family members are migrant workers or from another underserved community.

Nominate your colleague or peer: The potential recipient must be nominated by a peer or colleague who can affirm that the individual is still early in their career, and as of yet, unrecognized by any other comparable award or professional recognition. Those wishing to nominate someone should compose a brief essay (no longer than 850 words) explaining how their desired candidate not only meets the criteria for the award, but also embodies the legacy of what the award stands for: courage, compassion, and health justice. These are the same qualities that make Candace Kugel and Ed Zuroweste “beacons for so many of us” in the devoted pursuit of health justice, explains Karen Mountain, MCN’s Chief Executive Officer. “Their legacy, through the Kugel & Zuroweste Health Justice Award, is to acknowledge and celebrate these leaders early in their careers and to engage with them in our mutual passion to help.”


2023 Kugel & Zuroweste Health Justice Award Recipient


Deysi Merino-Gonzalez, Kugel and Zuroweste Health Award Recipient

Read about Deysi and her work here!


Check out this moment from MCN's interview with Deysi:


About Candace Kugel and Ed Zuroweste

Candace Kugel, FNP, CNM, MS, and Ed Zuroweste, MD, both exemplify commitment and meaningful contribution to health justice.

Working alongside one another for decades in the fight for health justice, they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in 2019.


Quote about Ed Zuroweste
Ed in the field visiting tomato workers in Tennessee.


Quote about Candace Kugel
Candace laughing with a storekeeper in Honduras.


“Candace and Ed devoted their careers to the pursuit of health justice,” said Karen Mountain, MBA, MSN, RN, MCN's CEO. “They are two of my personal heroes.”



Candace Kugel at a Hombres Unidos Contra la Violencia Familiar training in Pennsylvania in 2008.
Candace at a Hombres Unidos Contra la Violencia Familiar training in Pennsylvania in 2008.

Candace Kugel, FNP, CNM, MS

Candace became a Family Nurse Practitioner in 1983 and 10 years later also completed training and certification as a Nurse-Midwife. 

The majority of Candace's clinical career was spent working in both roles serving farmworkers and others at a migrant and community health center in rural Pennsylvania. Additionally, she has performed extensive training and technical assistance in the areas of women's health and clinical management internationally and in US health centers and clinics.

"I met Candace in Australia and later worked with her in Honduras. She is wonderful, and a fabulous teacher. Both Candace and Ed have an innate spirit of adventure," reflected Mamie K. Guidera, MSN, CNM, FACNM, Advanced Senior Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. 

"There are so many lovely things that one can say about Candace: her ability to connect with people from all walks of life; her warmth, kindness, and profound empathy; her deep passion for and commitment to service; her meticulous attention to detail to make certain the work is of the highest quality; her obviously loving relationship with Ed; and her joy and laughter even in trying circumstances," said Suzanne Stalls, CNM, MA, Senior Technical Advisor, Jhpiego. "I am deeply grateful that Candace is a part of my life and I know there are hundreds of others whose lives she and Ed have touched. They make the world a more compassionate, just place."

Candace has numerous publications, including a chapter on US migrant health as global health in an award-winning textbook on global health nursing. She continues to serve as a consultant for the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Bureau of Primary Health Care and has been MCN’s Specialist for Clinical Systems and Women’s Health since 2001.

“I am so grateful for all the work Candace does to ensure a professional, genuine portrayal of the challenges faced by women employed in agriculture,” said Melissa Castillo, Director of Community Outreach for Kinston Community Health Center in North Carolina.



Photos from Ed Zuroweste's career
Ed getting his nose tweaked by a patient in the early 80s (left) and again decades later at a Honduras clinic (right).

Ed Zuroweste, MD

Ed’s 40-year career in health justice centers on migrant health and outreach to agricultural workers.

“Ed exemplifies what it means to practice the art of medicine. Truly devoted to his patients, he is a strong leader in improving health care for the migrant community. His life’s work focuses on improving working conditions and raising awareness of the dangers prevalent in agricultural work,” said Mary Englerth, director of the Keystone Farmworker Health Program in Pennsylvania.

Ed’s previous positions include: Medical Director of Keystone Health Center, a large Migrant and Community Health Center in Pennsylvania; Assistant Professor of Medicine at the John Hopkins School of Medicine; Tuberculosis Medical Consultant for the Pennsylvania Department of Health; and Special Medical Consultant for the World Health Organization. Ed received the Global Health Education Consortium's Christopher Krogh Memorial Award. He serves as MCN’s Founding Medical Director.

“Right away, Ed made me feel comfortable and part of the team when I joined MCN. It’s so important in my position as a Health Network Associate to have such a solid and communicative relationship with MCN’s Founding Medical Director,” said Luis Retta, a former MCN Health Network Associate.

Read more about Ed's career in MCN's 35-year anniversary series here

“I’ve worked with Ed for over 20 years and I know him to be such a calm and reassuring presence during challenging times in the migrant health field,” said Laszlo Madaras, MD, MPH, SFHM, MCN’s Chief Medical Officer. “Ed is someone you want to do right by.”


How to Donate


Previous Award Recipients

2022 Recipient

Emanie Dorival K&Z Award Recipient
Read about Emanie's work


2021 Recipient

Paulina Segovia
Read about Paulina's work


2020 Recipient

Caroline Johnson
Read about Caroline's work




Award Contact

Sonia Alvarado


Phone: 602.350.4166