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Health sciences leader Sade Kosoko-Lasaki receives Kingfisher Award

Sade Kosoko-LasakiSade Kosoko-Lasaki, MD, MSPH, MBA, associate vice provost for Health Sciences, received the Kingfisher Award from Creighton’s president during a virtual campus Town Hall on Wednesday, Sept. 30. The award is given in partnership with the University’s Kingfisher Institute for the Liberal Arts and Professions.

For 20 years, Kosoko-Lasaki, a professor at the School of Medicine and an ophthalmologist, has led minority outreach programs through the Health Sciences Multicultural and Community Affairs (HS-MACA) office. HS-MACA’s mission is to improve health outcomes in minority communities while introducing thousands of young people to Creighton through educational pipelines that begin in elementary school.

“Dr. Kosoko-Lasaki’s important work fulfills the vision of the Kingfisher Institute,” said Creighton President the Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ, PhD, “which calls for a transformative educational experience, grounded in the Jesuit tradition, that prepares members of the Creighton community to confront challenges that transcend disciplinary and professional boundaries.”

Fr. Hendrickson said Kosoko-Lasaki “embodies Creighton’s desire to serve underrepresented and disadvantaged students, an important expression of Creighton’s humanitarian calling.”

Under Kosoko-Lasaki’s leadership, HS-MACA has built and supported student recruitment pipelines; organized and supported health-related activities in the Omaha area; raised more than $15.5 million in grants and awards, and more. Most recently, she received a $250,000 grant to study health care disparities related to COVID-19 in Omaha.

“With humility, I accept this Kingfisher Award on behalf of the diverse students at Creighton, the hard-working staff of HS-MACA, and all our partners and collaborators in the community that we serve,” Kosoko-Lasaki said in a short acceptance speech during the Town Hall.

“Together, we have achieved substantial strides and success on diversity and inclusion.”

She added, “The work of diversity involves everyone. We must be bold and forthright, and embrace each other as brothers and sisters.”

Kosoko-Lasaki’s work is both local and global. She created “Preventing Glaucoma Blindness in Nebraska: A Creighton University Initiative,” and has taken this screening program to underserved communities in Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She also leads HS-MACA’s annual trip to the Dominican Republic, where she and her team of medical professionals and students battle vitamin A deficiency, a leading cause of blindness in children and of glaucoma in adults.

Kosoko-Lasaki, a native of Nigeria, has served as a consultant to UNICEF, USAID and Helen Keller International. In 2005, she added an MBA from Creighton to her academic credentials.

The Kingfisher Award includes a $5,000 grant for research and scholarship, along with a Kingfisher statuette created by renowned wildlife sculptor Dan Ostermiller.

Creighton’s Kingfisher Institute is founded on a bold vision for the future of higher education, and Jesuit and Catholic higher education in particular: a vision that liberal arts and professional education complement and reinforce one another. Through the formation of faculty and staff, the institute aims to influence all students in Creighton’s nine schools and colleges.

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