Published on April 4, 2017 by Olivia Odom   
Robert Record and Christine Ritchie
Robert Record and Christine Ritchie

Samford University’s Healthcare Ethics and Law Institute (HEAL) has announced the 2017 recipients of its Pellegrino Medal: Robert Record, M.D., and Christine Ritchie, M.D., M.S.P.H. They will be presented with the medal during the institute’s annual conference April 21. 

Record is a family physician who serves as CEO and medical director of Christ Health Center in Birmingham’s Woodlawn neighborhood. In addition to the clinic, he founded the Birmingham Dream Center with Church of the Highlands and continues to serve on the staff as an associate pastor of outreach. 

The call to ministry took Record to Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, where he completed his Doctor of Medicine in 2002. Seeking a family medicine program that would prepare him for health care among the underserved, he did his residency training at St. Vincent’s East Hospital in Birmingham, graduating in 2005. He has a passion for faith-based community development and a focus on developing pioneer ministry leaders, especially those called to health care. 

Ritchie is Harris Fishbon Distinguished Professor in Clinical Translational Research and Aging at the University of California—San Francisco. She is a board-certified geriatrician and palliative care physician with longstanding experience in clinical care delivery and advanced illness research. 

Ritchie has assisted in the development of a wide array of comprehensive clinical programs for seriously ill older adults, first in Louisville, where she started a Veterans Affairs–based Geriatric Medicine and Palliative Care Program, then at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and more recently at the University of California—San Francisco. 

The Pellegrino Medal was established to honor individuals who are nationally recognized as leaders for contribution to health care ethics in the selfless spirit of Edmund D. Pellegrino, who was the first recipient of the award. Pellegrino is known as the father of the American bioethics movement. 

The topic for this year’s HEAL institute is “Pain Management in an Era of Opioid Abuse.” Program tuition cost $79 for in-person participation, and continuing education hours are available in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy and social work. Online participation is available through WebEx and cost $49. 

Olivia Odom is a journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer for the College of Health Sciences.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.