A South Florida doctor who has long advocated for the poor and homeless will travel to the nation's capital next month to receive the prestigious U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Dr. Pedro José Greer, Jr., chief of gastroenterology at Mercy Hospital and founder of Camillus Health Concern, is among an international group of 16 that President Barack Obama will recognize with the nation's highest civilian honor.
"It's very humbling,'' Greer, 53, said of the distinction, which the White House announced Thursday. ``We have a responsibility in society to take care of all people, particularly those who have less. Those who have been lucky enough to have opportunities have to give back.''
Greer finds himself in distinguished company. Other honorees this year include Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, British physicist Stephen Hawking, former Irish President Mary Robinson, tennis player and gender equality activist Billie Jean King, and Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh, who is considered the father of micro-lending. Gay rights activist Harvey Milk will also be receive a posthumous medal.
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