Amy M. Williams (03C)
Award: 2012 Distinguished Service Award
Achievements: Amy Moskovitz Williams (03C) has earned the 2012 Distinguished Service award for volunteerism with a global perspective in the field of public health. Her service to others highlights her unique ability to assess and respond to those in need, and her volunteer efforts have been marked by a willingness to seek out and meet those she serves on their own terms.
Amy’s work in public health went full-time after her graduation from Berry as she served with a faith-based organization in New Zealand. There she worked with sex workers in her local community to advocate with them for their health and safety needs and started a soup kitchen and resource center called The Upper Room.
Later, while earning a Master’s degree in Public Health from Emory University, she was asked by a non-profit organization to voluntarily lead an eight-week community based needs assessment in Montipora, India. Though advised against the trip due to the difficulties involved, Amy insisted on leading the project and following it through numerous challenges.
“The number and severity of setbacks that Amy experienced when attempting to conduct the assessment would have sent anyone of less strength and character home, “ explains Sandhya Joshi, Public Health Analyst with RTI International.
“Amy, however, believed that the villagers’ voices and needs had to be heard. As a result, she triumphed through the problems and produced an assessment that voiced the needs and concerns of the villagers as well as suggested solutions. Amy continually gave above and beyond of herself.”
Amy recently spent a month in Istanbul, Turkey organizing a regional network of government and nongovernment organizations and individuals who are dedicated to Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Emergencies within Eastern Europe and Central Asia. During this time, she coordinated the 13th Annual Meeting of the Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises, a global network of individuals, governments, and organizations who promote access to quality reproductive health care for refugee women and others affected by humanitarian emergencies.
Back in the U.S., she is on the leadership team for Atlanta’s Health Day with the Homeless, an event that includes health checks and other services for the homeless. She coordinates and runs all services related to women’s health for Health Day.
She has further provided occasional emergency foster care to children being processed into the DFCS system while working as a consultant and advocate for children and she worked with the Metro Atlanta Red Cross Disaster Action Team and was on call for fires, floods, or other natural disasters.
Among the awards Amy has received for her volunteer efforts are a New Investigator in Global Health award from the Global Health Council and an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education Fellowship awarded in recognition of academic excellence and scientific achievements.
The former Bonner scholar has continued her involvement at Berry speaking to classes regarding her professional and volunteer experiences and discussing career options for students. She shared her experiences working with sex workers with Bonner students and the larger Berry community.
She now works as a consultant at the CDC, consulting with the Division of Reproductive Health’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Program. The program’s focus is disaster effects on pregnant/postpartum women and their newborns.
Says Joshi, “Amy does not serve out of pity for the one she is serving; she serves out of genuine affection. Her behavior demonstrates the belief that all of humanity is valuable and deserving.”