Northwestern Medicine

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 39th Annual Humanitarian Awards

Northwestern Memorial Hospital January 15, 2018

Last week, Northwestern Medicine celebrated the life of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his ongoing legacy of service during the 39th Annual Humanitarian Awards Program at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Four members of the Northwestern Medicine family were presented with awards for their extraordinary contributions to the community and for embodying Dr. King's legacy of humanitarianism.

The Humanitarian Awards Program launched in 1979 to commemorate the life and legacy of the late Dr. King and to celebrate his virtues and ideals of community giving, equality, unity and excellence. The award honors individuals, both employees and physicians from across the Northwestern Medicine health system, who best exemplify the ideals of Dr. King, as demonstrated by a positive impact in the community. Since its creation, the Humanitarian Award has been awarded to 74 employees and 27 physicians.


Northwestern Medicine’s 2018 Humanitarian Award recipients are:


Beth Froese, MD, physical medicine and rehabilitation medicine at Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group, was recognized for her medical mission work, which has included trips around the globe to locations including Nepal and El Salvador. Dr. Froese has also traveled to a remote village in Kenya to provide volunteer medical care and train local residents as community health officers empowering them to better the health of their family, friends and neighbors. Her work is through World Relief, an organization that partners with local churches in the U.S. and abroad to transform communities economically, socially and spiritually, so that the lives of the vulnerable can thrive and grow. Dr. Froese resides in Carol Stream, Ill. VIEW VIDEO


Kristina Ongkiko, RN, clinical documentation programs at Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital, was recognized for her decades of volunteerism and philanthropic efforts. She is an active member and volunteer with the Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Lake Villa, Ill. Her most passionate work is as an adult chaperone for Teens of Unity, through which she leads young people in community service. In addition to her volunteer work, Ongkiko has fundraised for many non-profits and inspired her loved ones to give back through various means including 5k runs, climbing the Willis Tower and celebrating her 40th birthday by bringing 45 family members and friends to volunteer at Feed My Starving Children to pack meals for hungry children around the world. Ongkiko resides in Lindenhurst, Ill. VIEW VIDEO


Mamta Swaroop, MD, trauma and critical care surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was recognized for her efforts to build sustainable healthcare and education in low resource settings both in Chicago and across the globe. Internationally, Dr. Swaroop’s research and work in India has contributed to law changes requiring helmets for individuals driving or riding as a passenger on motorcycles and her Bolivian Trauma Initiative is working to improve pre-hospital care and develop a trauma system in areas of Bolivia. In Chicago, Dr. Swaroop developed the Chicago Trauma First Responder Course that teaches basic first aid and scene management for bystanders who may encounter someone with a traumatic injury. The goal of the course is to give participants the confidence, knowledge and skills they need to provide rapid and effective care to trauma victims and empower them to take an active role in caring for those affected by violence and other traumatic injuries. She recently established the Sadanah Foundation to further her efforts to create change in local and global communities. Dr. Swaroop resides in Chicago. VIEW VIDEO


Abby Toms, LCSW, social work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, was recognized for her advocacy work on behalf of women and men impacted by sexual assault, sex trafficking and other forms of sexual exploitation. As a board member for the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation (CAASE), Toms works to educate the community about sexual exploitation and advocates for legislation to protect those who are vulnerable or already victims of sexual exploitation. She is also a volunteer and volunteer coordinator with Rape Victims’ Advocates (RVA). RVA volunteers respond to emergency departments to be a support for victims of sexual assault. In this role, Toms supports patients through the sexual assault exam and police interview, while helping them understanding their rights and assuring they know how to follow up for medical and emotional care. Toms resides in Chicago.  VIEW VIDEO


The keynote speaker was Jonathan Holloway, PhD, provost of Northwestern University. A historian of African American history, Dr. Holloway specializes in post-emancipation United States history with a focus on social and intellectual history. He previously served as dean of Yale College and is the author of two books: Confronting the Veil: Abram Harris Jr., E. Franklin Frazier, and Ralph Bunche, 1919-1941 and Jim Crow Wisdom: Memory and Identity in Black America Since 1940.

Media Contact

Megan McCann
Manager, Media Relations
Northwestern Memorial HealthCare and Northwestern Memorial Hospital 312.926.5900