2017 Nikhil J. Bhatt, MD International Humanitarian Award

September 2017 - Vol. 36, No. 8

Johanna D. Sembergman León, MD

The International Humanitarian Award honors a non-U.S. otolaryngologist-head and neck surgeon who has selflessly treated persons for whom access to care would have been financially or physically prohibitive.

This year’s awardee is Johanna D. Sembergman, MD, from Venezuela. Dr. Sembergman León is on staff at the Hospital Central Dr. Luis Ortega and has a private practice, both of which are located on Isla de Margarita.

Dr. Sembergman is deeply committed to improving the lives of the people of Venzuela. Working with three humanitarian organizations — Fundación Proyecto Maniapure, Fe y Alegría, and Aviación para la Salud — she administers hearing exams in some of the most remote and rural parts of Venezuela. With little access to medical care in these areas, she often provides health services beyond ear, nose, and throat care, including treating snake bites and stingray injuries and assisting with labor and delivery. Through her humanitarian work, she has become deeply passionate about the people of Venezuela and the country itself.

She graduated from medical school at  Universidad Central de Venezuela and completed her residency at Hospital Vargas de Caracas. She participated in an observership in facial plastic surgery at Johns Hopkins University and mini-fellowships in Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery and Laryngology at Emory University.

Dr. Sembergman has gained the respect of physicians, peers, and patients for her compassionate care and devotion to her profession. She is dedicated to her community and demonstrates the true spirit of volunteerism.