The Michael E. DeBakey Medical Library Services Outreach Award, for outstanding outreach librarians serving rural or underserved populations, was established in the early 1990s to recognize the contributions to medical education and librarianship by Michael E. DeBakey, M.D. (1908 – 2008). A world-renowned American cardiac surgeon, innovator, medical educator, and international medical statesman, Dr. DeBakey worked tirelessly in numerous capacities to improve national and international standards of health care. This award is presented to a practicing health sciences librarian who works in the tradition of the incredible advances and medical innovations of Dr. DeBakey to provide valuable health information to underserved and rural populations.
The award was renamed in 2021 to the Michael E. DeBakey Librarian Outreach and Community Collaboration Award and the selection criteria were expanded to reflect the current focus of the National Library of Medicine strategic plan and the evolving ways health sciences librarians provide outreach to underserved communities and create community collaborations.