ASFHG recognizes an individual annually at our annual Celebration of Service luncheon who has made a great contribution to our community through service. These are our past Humanitarian of the Year award recipients.

Carl Josehart (2018)

Carl Josehart recently retired as the Senior Vice President and CEO TIRR Memorial Hermann. We honor him for his leadership with TIRR Memorial Hermann, his dedication to inclusion, his service to some of our most vulnerable and stigmatized people and populations in the Houston area, his passionate work towards systems change, and his advocacy to meet the health needs of all.

Bob Sanborn (2017)

Dr. Robert Sanborn is a noted leader, advocate, and activist for education and children. He works tirelessly to address issues of human trafficking, food insecurity, child health, and nutrition public policy. Dr. Sanborn presently serves as President and CEO of Houston’s Children at Risk, which acts as a catalyst for change to improve the quality of life for children through strategic research, public policy analysis, education, collaboration and advocacy.

Gracie Cavnar (2016)


Gracie Cavnar believes that you can do anything you put your mind to, and she’s spent a lifetime proving it. In 1998, following careers in architecture, hospitality and public relations, Gracie retired to write feature stories for national magazines and newspapers. But when she learned about the childhood obesity epidemic and its astounding affect on American lives and wallets, she spent years researching best practices around the world and then launched Recipe for Success Foundation in 2005 to change the way children understand, appreciate and eat their food.

She has received numerous local and high profile national awards for her work. Celebrating its 10th anniversary year and 30,000+ children taught, Recipe for Success Foundation is the largest initiative of its kind in the country and has attracted attention from many activists, the White House and national press. Its signature Seed-to-Plate Nutrition Education™ program, is now available in schools nationwide. Her annual public service campaigns: the VegOut! Challenge and farmers marKIDS days designed to raise awareness, normalize the concept of healthy eating and drive behavioral change are catching fire throughout the country and her vision for Hope Farms and the Rolling Green Market, an urban agricultural project designed to provide affordable produce in food deserts and train a new generation of farmers, is taking root in Sunnyside in south Houston. Gracie’s first children’s book, Eat It! Food Adventures with Marco Polo published in 2012 has snared a dozen national awards and she has another in the works.

As former Houston Mayor Bill White says, “Gracie Cavnar can get things done.”

Michael Walton (2015)


Michael Walton has taught at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University since 2004, and has been visiting fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, Delhi, since 2007. He was VKRV Rao Professor at the Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore for 2008 and 2009, and visiting professor at the Delhi School of Economics in 2008. He previously worked for the World Bank, including on Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico, and Zimbabwe, as director of the 1995 World Development Report (WDR) on Labor, Chief Economist for East Asia, Director for Poverty Reduction and co-director of the 2006 WDR on Equity. Major publications include an edited volume on Culture and Public Action, the 2006 WDR itself and an edited book on equity and growth in Mexico. Current research is mainly on India, on rural education, inequality, the political economy of cities, corporate behaviour and the politics of state-society and state-business interactions. He has a B.A. in Philosophy and Economics and an M.Phil. in Economics from Oxford University.

Isabel Guerrero (2015)


Isabel Guerrero is an economist that has worked in development all her professional life. She started as a macroeconomist, designing policy reforms from the World Bank adjustment operations in Philippines, Morocco and the Former Soviet Union; she also wrote the World Bank’s first Poverty Report on the Philippines. Isabel was a manager in the Economic Development Institute, training government officials, parliamentarians and journalists on macroeconomics, decentralization and trade. Between 1997 and 2008, Isabel was a Country Director for Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Colombia, Mexico and India. In that capacity she designed the World Bank Country Strategy for each of these countries, covering a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure, social development, environment, private sector development, rural development and livelihood programs, the financial sector, macroeconomics and trade policy. In 2013, she retired from the WB after five years as Vice-President for the South Asia region where she managed a US$39 billion dollar portfolio, a US$150 million administrative budget and US$6 billion in Trust Funds.

Isabel studied economics at Catholic University in Peru and at the London School of Economics. She studied psychoanalysis at the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute and the Peruvian Society for Psychoanalysis. She is co-founder of the non-profit IMAGO whose goal is to support grassroots organizations on scaling up.

Bernard Harris (2014)

Bernard A. Harris Jr., Astronaut, Physician, Entrepreneur and President of the Harris Foundation, holds a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Biology from the University of Houston, a Master of Medical Science (MMS) from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Houston Clear Lake and a Doctorate of Medicine (MD) from Texas Tech University School of Medicine. He completed a Residency in Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, a National Research Council Fellowship in Endocrinology at the NASA Ames Research Center and trained as a Flight Surgeon at the Aerospace School of Medicine, Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. He is also a licensed private pilot and certified scuba diver.

He holds several faculty appointments including, Associate Professor in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch and Assistant Professor at Baylor College of Medicine. Additionally, he is the author and co-author of numerous scientific publications.

Dr. Harris was at NASA for ten years, where he conducted research in musculoskeletal physiology and disuse osteoporosis. He conducted clinical investigations of space adaptation and developed in-flight medical devices to extend Astronaut stays in space. Selected into the Astronaut Corp in January 1990, Dr. Harris was a Mission Specialist on the Space Shuttle Columbia STS-55/Spacelab D-2 in 1993. As Payload Commander on Space Shuttle Discovery STS-63 in 1995, he served on the first flight of the joint Russian-American Space Program, becoming the “First African American to walk in Space”. A veteran astronaut for over twenty years, he has logged more than 438 hours and traveled over 7.2 million miles in space.

Dr. Harris is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Partner of Vesalius Ventures, Inc., a venture capital firm, that invests in early to mid-stage Healthcare technologies and companies. He is also the Founder of the Harris Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports math/science education and crime prevention programs for America’s youth.

Dr. Harris’s goals in life have been achieved through self-empowerment and self-determination. He believes that education and effort will allow anyone to meet any challenge in life, inspiring others to reaches for the stars.

Mark Kline (2013)

Dr. Mark Kline, chair of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine ( and physician-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital (, received the Houston-Galveston Schweitzer Fellows Program’s first annual Humanitarian Award at an awards dinner April 27, 2013.

An internationally recognized HIV/AIDS specialist, Kline was honored for his extensive efforts to address pediatrics HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa and global health.

Kline has been treating children with HIV/AIDS since the epidemic first surfaced among these youngest of patients in the late 1980s. He has been instrumental in investigations of clinical therapies that have radically changed the outlook for children with HIV/AIDS from one of little hope to successful treatments that are allowing children to enter adulthood with a quality of life never imagined only 15 years ago.

Kline is founder of the Baylor College of Medicine International Pediatric AIDS Initiative at Texas Children’s Hospital ( BIPAI operates pediatric HIV/AIDS clinics in six African countries and Romania. BIPAI provides HIV/AIDS care and treatment to more than 175,000 children and their family members, more than any other organization in the world. The program also trains thousands of health professionals worldwide.