University of Nebraska Medical Center

Current Award Recipients

Distinguished Alumnus Award

Brandon Grimm Photo

Brandon Grimm, PhD'13, MPH'05

Dr. Brandon Grimm is a native Nebraskan and is committed to creating the conditions so that all communities can be healthy and thrive. Dr. Grimm received a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Wayne State College, NE in 2002, a Master of Public Health from University of Nebraska Omaha in 2005, and a PhD in Health Promotion Social and Behavioral Health in 2013 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Grimm is currently the Senior Associate Dean and a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Health Promotion at the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health. 

Dr. Grimm has been working in public health for over almost 20 years and has been instrumental in enhancing the capacity of the current public health workforce, translating data into action, building mutually beneficial academe practice partnerships, and training the next generation of practitioners. In 2004, Dr. Grimm co-created the Great Plains Leadership Institute, which has graduated over 300 public health professionals from Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. In 2012, Dr. Grimm established the Office of Public Health Practice at the UNMC College of Public Health. Faculty and staff of the Office have provided resources for technical assistance, evidence-based programming, assessment and evaluation, practice-based research opportunities, and student field placements that support and impact the public’s health in Nebraska, the region, and the globe. Dr. Grimm’s research focuses on community driven health transformation and creating the most effective models and systems for communities to tackle their most relevant and wicked public health issues.

Additionally, Dr. Grimm is an expert in competency development, assessment, and evaluation. His relationships, critical thinking, and respect have led to Dr. Grimm to becoming a recognized resource locally, regionally, and nationally. Dr. Grimm is the past president of the Public Health Association of Nebraska, current board chair of the Sarpy Cass Health Department, a member if the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Practice Committee among others. He is also the past recipient of the Balderson Award from the National Public Health Leadership Development Network and the Academic Public Health Practice Excellence Award from the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health and the outstanding alumnus award from Wayne State College.

Early Career Achievement Award

Issaka Kabore photo

Issaka Kabore, MD, MPH'18, DrPH(c)

Dr. Kabore is a Senior Public Health Analyst with the Office of Global Health and HIV/Peace Corps Headquarters & Interagency Collaborative for Program Improvement at the State Department. Before working for the federal government, he gained experience in epidemiology at the Harris County Health Department in Houston, Texas and at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. He also served over five years as a Public Health technician in the Nebraska Air National Guard. Dr. Kabore received his Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 2018.

Prior to arriving in the United States, Dr. Kabore was a physician in his home country of Burkina Faso. While at UNMC, he served in leadership positions and volunteered on campus and in the community. His spirit of service has continued in each of his subsequent roles, and he currently volunteers with Team Rubicon. Dr. Kabore is currently attending Georgia Southern University in pursuit of a Doctor of Public Health in Leadership.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award

Armando De Alba Rosales photo

Armando De Alba Rosales, MD, MPH'13

Inaugural Recipient

Dr. Armando De Alba is a faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine and an Assistant Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), College of Medicine. He earned his medical degree from the Autonomous University of the State of Puebla, Mexico, and is currently an active primary care physician and a researcher. In 2013, Dr. De Alba received his Master's degree from Public Health at UNMC.

From 2013 to 2014, Dr. De Alba was a national Health Disparities Fellow for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Office of Minority Health. He has extensive work in advocacy and community engagement. Dr. De Alba has assisted in various projects as a lead coordinator, including providing communication resources from UNMC to the Hispanic community during the public health emergencies of Ebola in 2014 and, most recently, with COVID-19. Dr. De Alba was part of the early COVID-19 response from UNMC when the first patients with COVID-19 arrived in the U.S. in February 2020. He was one of the first physicians to inform in Spanish through the national media about the novel coronavirus and how to prevent the spread of the disease. He has translated medical protocols in Spanish and culturally adapted several educational materials for COVID-19. He also created a YouTube channel to post educational videos for Hispanics about updates related to the pandemic and how to take care of patients with COVID-19 at home. Through these videos, he has engaged with audiences within the U.S., Latin America, and Spain. He has engaged in over 100 community conversations throughout the pandemic with diverse communities, including Hispanic, Native American, African American, and refugee populations, to combat COVID-19 misinformation. He was inaugural keynote speaker in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services campaign to overcome vaccine hesitancy among Hispanic Americans, Juntos Si Podemos. He is sought as a medical expert by national media across the U.S., including Univision, Telemundo and NBC News. Dr. De Alba is also a medical and public health consultant to the Embassy of Mexico in the U.S., and the Consulate of Mexico in Omaha, Nebraska, for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. De Alba has been recognized by national and international governments, academic institutions, and community organizations. In 2021, the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis from the U.S. House of Representatives invited Dr. De Alba to write a letter to be entered into the Congressional record at the hearing "Building Trust and Battling Barriers: The Urgent Need to Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy" and offer recommendations to adjust the national COVID-19 response. In 2020, he was the recipient of the President's Excellence Award from the University of Nebraska. In 2018, he was selected as one of the 31 professional Mexicans worldwide awarded from the Government of Mexico with a Medal of Honor as a "Mexicano Distinguido en el Exterior."

Twitter: @dr_dealba

Instagram: dr.armando.dar