St. Matthew's University, School of Medicine, has graciously decided to create the Dr. Richard D. Martin Humanitarian Award in honor of Dr. Richard D. Martin. The purpose of the award is to recognize a student who embodied the spirit of Dr. Richard D. Martin, an SMU student killed in a car accident by a drunk driver on November 30, 2011 while driving a classmate home from a study group.
Richard was 52 years old and had already obtained a degree in Nuclear Engineering from Penn State University, a Master of Science in Computer and Technology Management from Southern California University, and a Doctor of Science in Computer and Technology Management from Southern California University, summa cum laude.
His desire to return to medical school was inspired by his experience with telemedicine projects that were designed to provide basic healthcare needs to third world countries. He believed that a key to improving community health began with basic healthcare services such as regular diabetes checkups, blood pressure screenings, and awareness of how to manage chronic diseases so that they do not cascade into other health complications.
During his term as St. Matthew’s, Richard was compassionate, helpful, and inspiring to his classmates. Whether it was providing a ride, providing helpful notes for a class, supporting other married students away from their families, giving advice on relationships, assisting fellow students with moving, or taking the time to listen when a classmate needed someone to believe in them to get through medical school, Richard gave his time and energy to those in need.
It is in that spirit that the selection of the recipient of this award embodies the same altruistic attributes of Richard that includes respect and support of his fellow students, and a compassion and drive to help the underserved with basic healthcare needs.