The Mayo Clinic Alumni Association has awarded its 2019 Humanitarian Award to Philippe Baele, an anaesthesiologist, former head of the Saint-Luc University Hospital Department of Anaesthesiology, and UCLouvain professor emeritus. He is the first non-American to receive this distinction.
During his career, Prof. Baele has been involved regularly in teaching and research assignments at universities and hospitals in several Latin American countries. He has also collaborated with the University of Cotonou (Benin) and other African countries. He has thus contributed to the training of several generations of anaesthetists throughout the world.
‘In my view, this award doesn’t recognise an individual, but is above all a wonderful recognition of the hard work done by our teams, for so many years, in teaching anaesthesia and transfusion, both in Africa and in Latin America', explains Prof. Baele, who points out that his work is in the context of the role played for 40 years by the anaesthesiology and transfusion departments of Saint-Luc, Mont-Godinne and UCLouvain network hospitals.
‘In these times when too many people, too many officials, too many institutions, too many governments preach withdrawal and closing in on themselves,’ Prof. Baele says, ‘this award is a potent reminder of how openness to the world must remain one of the essential values of the university and medicine and must be translated into concrete action.’
The Mayo Clinic (Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science) is an American university hospital and research federation headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota. In 2019-20, it was ranked the best hospital in the United States, in all specialties, by US News & World Report. It also presented a Humanitarian Award to Dr Patricia Walker of Minneapolis.