September 01, 2020

Okor and Snyder receive 2020 Brewer-Heslin Award

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Erin Snyder, M.D. and Mamerhi Okor, M.D. are this year’s winners of the highly regarded Brewer-Heslin Award. The award recognizes physicians at UAB who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to providing highly skilled and deeply compassionate medical care to their patients.

Founded in 2015, the Brewer-Heslin Award is named for the late Alabama Governor Albert P. Brewer and Martin J. Heslin, M.D., chief of Medical Staff at UAB Medicine and executive vice-chair of the Department of Surgery.

About the winners

Erin Snyder, M.D.

Erin Snyder, M.D., associate professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine, is a recipient of the 2020 Brewer-Heslin Award for Professionalism in Medicine. Snyder’s colleagues have identified a characteristic that sets her apart from other clinicians—her interest in our entire community. She wants to change the world of primary care.

Snyder is also the assistant program director for the Tinsley Harrison Internal Medicine Residency Program, assistant program director for Ambulatory Education, director of Primary Care Track, and the medical director for the Internal Medicine IV Clinic Resident Continuity Clinic. She has played a critical role in several curricular innovations for Ambulatory Education, including women’s health, prescription of chronic opiates, and ambulatory morning report. She has also created a Primary Care Scholars program designed to train the leaders of outpatient care for the future. 

Snyder completed her undergraduate studies at Florida State University before moving to Birmingham to complete both medical school and residency at UAB, where she found her passion for internal medicine. She joined the Department of Medicine in 2006.

Those who nominated Snyder for this award sum up her exemplar of medical professionalism as having a brilliant mind and a heart of gold. Her ultimate goal is to give trainees the foundation they need to practice high quality outpatient medicine, no matter their subspecialty or practice environment. 

Mamerhi Okor, M.D.

Mamerhi Okor M.D., associate professor in the Department of Neurosurgery, joined the department in 2007, shortly after completing his neurosurgery residency at UAB. Before that, Dr. Okor completed his fellowship at East Jefferson General Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he specialized in minimally invasive spinal surgery. Dr. Okor’s undergraduate and medical studies were completed at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

His interests include minimally invasive techniques for the treatment of degenerative and traumatic spinal conditions as well as the treatment of complex degenerative and traumatic spinal diseases.

Dr. Okor’s colleagues describe him as emanating passion, dignity, and compassion in his daily patient care routines. He ranks in the top 20% of Neurosurgery faculty for communication. Moreover, he is known for defying the stereotype of “the surgeon too busy to spend time with his patients,” as he is often working late hours in clinic to allow him to spend adequate time consulting with each patient about his, her, or their problem. 

Dr. Okor regularly develops new approaches to improve patient care and experience, always putting the patient first. He is highly-interested in training the next generation of neurosurgeons, and his teaching experiences extend to undergraduate students who shadow him in clinic, as well as nurse practitioners and residents.

For more information on the Award and past winners, please visit our website.