Lisa H. Harris, MD, PhD, has been named the recipient of The Greenwall Foundation’s 2023 Bernard Lo, MD Award in Bioethics. The Lo Award recognizes Dr. Harris for forging connections across division through bioethics. It conveys a cash prize of $25,000.
“Throughout her career, Dr. Harris has done critical work to reduce polarization around the issue of abortion. Bioethics, with its long-held focus on profoundly contested issues, has a key role to play in mitigating the deepening divides in our society. Dr. Harris’s empirical and conceptual work serves as an inspiring model for how to successfully forge connections by embracing nuance and finding common ground,” said Greenwall Foundation President & CEO Michelle Groman, JD.
Dr. Harris’s major areas of interest are the exercise of conscience in healthcare, including conscientious provision of contested care; racial and social class stratification of infertility treatment in the U.S.; abortion stigma; and burnout and resilience among healthcare providers. Her work to bridge division through bioethics is extensive. For example, fifteen years ago, Dr. Harris published an essay naming the moral complexities in abortion care. She worked to create space for clinicians to have conversations about the moral ambiguities in abortion care, the Providers Share Workshop, in which more than 1,000 doctors have participated. She developed collaborative relationships with scholars who hold opposing views, finding areas of shared values. And, she worked with colleagues to develop evidence-based communication recommendations for physicians to help depolarize conversations about abortion.
“I think what I long for,” Dr. Harris told the Foundation, “and what I have seen that research audiences and people more broadly long for, is approaching conversations on difficult issues with compassion and curiosity about how and why people come to believe what they believe, instead of with disdain, disrespect, or judgment.”
The Greenwall Foundation established the Lo Award to honor Dr. Lo’s service to The Greenwall Foundation as its President & CEO from 2012 to 2020 and founding Director of the Foundation’s flagship Faculty Scholars Program. The Lo Award is given annually and recognizes a different area of accomplishment in bioethics each year.