WASHINGTON, June 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Neilesh Patel DDS was among the awardees announced yesterday evening for the annual 2012 National Jefferson Awards. Patel along with Dolores Huerta and Elie Wiesel were named at the annual Jefferson Awards black tie affair at the Mandarin Oriental. Patel will be awarded the prestigious National Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service by an Individual Under the Age of 35. The ceremony takes place today at the Arena Stage in Washington DC.
31 year old Patel is being honored for his founding of global health 501 (c) (3) non-profit, HealthCare Volunteer, which has facilitated health services for upwards of 1 million people around the world. The force of volunteers spans over 193 countries and comprises professionals from every single health profession. Patel, also a licensed dentist, started the organization as a dental student while at UCLA with $250 of school loan money. "All I wanted is for health volunteering to be accessible by all who want to serve humanity," said Dr. Patel in an interview in Washington. "It's now a reality."
As the recipient of several humanitarian awards, rumors have recently surfaced that Patel will make a run for political office in his home state of California. When questioned about his intentions, Patel refused to comment, but did not deny the rumors either. Patel already holds multiple government appointments at present including a previous stint as the Public Services Representative on the Children's Policy Council for the State of Texas, Public health consultant for the FDA Dental Devices Branch and Dental Consultant for the Tulare County Office of Education Early Childhood Program.
The Jefferson Award is one of the nation's most prestigious awards honoring Americans who have performed public service on a national level. The Award is dubbed as a "nobel prize for public service and volunteerism" and has been bestowed upon many famous Americans since 1972 including Jimmy Carter and numerous Senators. Patel will join Steve Jobs, Faith Hill, Peyton Manning and Bobby Jindal as an awardee of the Award later today; all received the Award in previous years when they were under the age of 35.
SOURCE HealthCare Volunteer