Chicago—Today, The American Medical Association Foundation (AMAF)—the philanthropic arm of the AMA—announced that it will honor Brian Vandenberg, JD, with the Dr. Jacqueline A. Bello Friend of the AMA Foundation Award at the 2022 AMAF Excellence in Medicine Awards on June 11, 2022. Vandenberg currently serves as chief administrative officer and general counsel at Homeward, a company committed to improving access to high-quality, comprehensive care in rural communities.
The awards ceremony recognizes physicians, health care professionals and health equity advocates who exemplify the highest values of volunteerism, community engagement, leadership and dedication to the care of underserved populations.
“Brian is the perfect inaugural recipient for the award bearing Dr. Jacqueline Bello’s name, and I am proud to congratulate him on this great honor,” stated AMAF President Dr. Heather Smith. “Like Dr. Bello, Brian demonstrates unwavering support for the Foundation’s mission. He’s a tremendous friend and champion who always encourages others to give back and pay it forward.”
Formerly the senior vice president and general counsel at the AMA, Vandenberg has generously supported several AMAF scholarship programs through the Vandenberg Health Equity Fund. In 2018, he established a scholarship in support of AMAF’s Physicians of Tomorrow program. Named in honor of David Jones Peck, MD, the first African-American doctor to graduate from an American medical school—Rush University Medical College in 1847—the scholarship is awarded annually to a medical student who demonstrates a commitment to addressing health disparities and promoting health equity in historically marginalized and minoritized communities and patient populations.
In 2020, Vandenberg created the DREAM MD Equity Scholarship, a fund that recognizes the unique experiences of DACA-recipient medical students and other first-generation immigrants, as well as the challenges they face in pursuing careers in medicine. Equally important, the scholarship recognizes the students’ significant contributions to societal and national health.
The same year, Vandenberg established the Native American Center for Health Professions Scholarship for Advancing Health Equity. Targeted toward medical students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, the scholarship supports students who are members of a federally- or state-recognized Native-American tribe, or students who demonstrate a commitment to addressing health disparities that impact Native-American populations.
Vandenberg was nominated for the Bello award by AMAF Board of Directors member Jon Ekdahl, JD, former AMA senior vice president and general counsel.
“Upon learning of the Bello award, I immediately thought of Brian Vandenberg as a deserving recipient to recognize his exceptional generosity and support of the AMA Foundation during the past five years,” explained Ekdahl. “He is a leader in advancing health equity through his actions, both personally and professionally, as well as through his charitable investments in the foundation.”
The AMAF extends its immense thanks to Vandenberg for his support of the AMAF. His partnership and contributions significantly advance the foundation’s mission of improving the nation’s health and ensuring health care is accessible to all.
About the AMAF
Since 1950, the American Medical Association Foundation has been a leader in health care philanthropy with programs that advance public health and medical education. A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt foundation, the AMAF has awarded more than $123 million in grants and scholarships, demonstrating nationwide programmatic excellence.