Dr. and Mrs. Armitage named "Samaritans of the Year"

by Chuck Brown, UNMC public affairs


A regional counseling center is making official Thursday what the UNMC community has known for a long time — James Armitage, M.D., and his wife, Nancy, are good Samaritans.


The Armitages will receive the “Samaritan of the Year Award” from the Samaritan Counseling Center of the Midlands at a Thursday dinner at Omaha’s Holiday Inn Central Convention Center, 3321 S. 72nd St.


The Armitages are being honored for their dedication to community service, as well as their contributions to the global community, said Nizar Mamdani, executive director of the Office of International Healthcare Services at UNMC and The Nebraska Medical Center.


“Dr. Armitage has spent countless hours organizing and providing no-cost training to 76 health care professionals from 18 countries, and has treated hundreds of individuals worldwide,” Mamdani said. “His patient care and insightful global vision inspired me to set up the International Healthcare program. He was one of my main supporters from the program’s inception and continues to motivate me today.”


Dr. Armitage is currently a professor of oncology-hematology at UNMC. He had served as dean of the College of Medicine from 2000 to 2003 and may be best known for starting the bone marrow transplant program at UNMC in 1982. Before becoming COM dean, he served 10 years as professor and chairman of the internal medicine department.


Dr. Armitage also is considered one of the world’s top experts on lymphoma.


Nancy Armitage has been involved with many volunteer organizations and community-service projects, including her current position on the board of directors of the Samaritan Counseling Center of the Midlands, a non-profit, interfaith counseling center that provides low-cost social service to those in need.


“Nancy and I are honored to receive such an award,” Dr. Armitage said. “What is important, though, is that this evening brings attention to the Samaritan Counseling Center and the good work it is doing in our community.”


No couple is more deserving of such an award, said UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D., who will serve as master of ceremonies for Thursday’s dinner.


“Anytime is a good time to honor the Armitages,” Dr. Maurer said. “Their contributions to UNMC, the state and the world-at-large have made life better for many people. It’s an honor to be in a position to draw attention to this wonderful couple.”


Seating for the event, which starts with a reception at 6:15 p.m. followed by a dinner at 7 p.m., is limited. Contact Beth Eliason at 625-2733 for tickets.

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