One of the nation’s leading humanitarian physicians, Dr. Pedro José Greer, of Miami, has been named the Bob Graham Center’s 2017 Citizen of the Year.
President of 1000 Friends of Florida Inc. and University of Florida graduate Ryan Smart, of Tallahassee, was selected as the 2017 Young Floridian.
Both awards will be presented at the Bob Graham Center Annual Gathering on May 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida.
Pedro José Greer, M.D., Citizen of the Year
Dr. Pedro José Greer, the associate dean for community engagement at Florida International University’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, has spent decades delivering medical care to Florida’s homeless and developing the next generation of culturally competent physicians. He is also a professor and the founding chair of FIU’s Department of Humanities, Health and Society.
At FIU, Dr. Greer oversees a unique educational program that develops highly-skilled doctors who are also socially accountable to their communities. Greer, a gastroenterologist and hepatologist, is the founder of Camillus Health, a private, not-for-profit organization that provides comprehensive health care, behavioral health and social services to the homeless and poor in Miami-Dade County. He is also the founder of the St. John Bosco Clinic, which has helped to meet the health care needs of undocumented immigrants in the Miami area for more than 20 years.
Dr. Greer has advised Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton on health care and poverty and has been honored by several U.S. presidents with some of the nation’s highest honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. Additionally, he has received three Papal Medals and was a 1993 recipient of the prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.”
His autobiography, Waking Up in America: How One Doctor Brings Hope to Those Who Need it Most, co-written with FIU alumna and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Liz Balmaseda, details his early years as a physician delivering care to patients living under highway overpasses in Miami. His story has been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC and HBO, among others.
Ryan Smart, Young Floridian
Ryan Smart is the president of 1000 Friends of Florida Inc., the state's leading smart-growth advocacy organization, founded in 1986 to save special places and build better communities throughout Florida. 1000 Friends promotes land conservation, sustainable communities, affordable housing and transportation alternatives.
As president, Smart works with local residents, legislators and Friends’ board of directors to protect and preserve Florida’s natural lands, fresh water supply and high quality of life. He is a regular contributor to Florida newspapers on environmental and growth management issues and a frequent presenter at seminars and events.
Smart has an impressive track record of coalition building and grassroots organizing, bringing much-needed attention to Florida’s critical environmental issues. For two-and-a-half years, he managed the Florida Conservation Coalition, where he brought together more than 50 organizations to reinvigorate efforts to conserve Florida’s precious environmental resources.
Smart serves on the Board of the Wakulla Springs Alliance—a coordinated effort to protect and restore spring flow, water quality and the ecological health of the world's largest, deepest freshwater spring.
An avid hiker, Smart and his daughter are on a mission to visit each of Florida’s phenomenal state parks. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science from the University of Florida.