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Hispanic doctors heralded at DC event

Puerto Rican pride on parade in Manhattan.
Puerto Rican pride on parade in Manhattan.Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images

Although Hispanic Heritage Month doesn’t officially begin for another 6 months (commencing September 15, 2014) Latino Americans spent the past weekend celebrating their various cultures, from New York City’s 56th Puerto Rican Day Parade to Long Island’s 1st Portugal Day Parade held on Sunday.

Latinos were also lauded at The Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce which celebrated its 38th Annual Gala June 8th by honoring the accomplishments of local Hispanic doctors during a special ceremony at the Marriott Marquis. The event was attended by more than 500 community leaders including Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III; Prince George's County Council District 2, Will Campos; Councilmember At-Large Vincent Orange; and Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander.

"The Gala celebrated the GWHCC's accomplishments as a leading business organization committed to helping move Hispanic-owned businesses forward by promoting a business-friendly environment and improving our community and overall region," said Mario Acosta-Velez, Chair of GWHCC Board of Directors and Verizon's Director of State Government Affairs. "This year, we honored outstanding Hispanic doctors whose accomplishments and contributions serve as an inspiration to business leaders and our younger Hispanic generation."

Honorees included: Academia - Dr. Fernando Pagan, Medical Director of the National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence and Professor of Neurology at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital; Government - Dr. Hortencia M. Hornbeak, Associate Director for Scientific Review and Policy at the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Non-Profit - Dr. Clayton Lawrence, Chairman of the Board and Founder of the LEAP Foundation;and Cooperative Medicine - Dr. Carlos Picone, Associate at Chevy Chase Pulmonary Associates.

"We have seen firsthand the important role of doctors in our lives and their desire to enrich the health and wellbeing of our community," stated GWHCC President and CEO Angela Franco. "It is with great honor that we recognized their incredible work at this event. A special thanks to all of our sponsors and partners, and particularly Kaiser Permanente and Verizon, the gala main sponsors."