10/31/2018

Dr. Anthony Lazzara Selected as 2018 Integritas Vitae Award Recipient

Each year, the Office of Institutional Advancement presents the Integritas Vitae to a local, national or world leader who has demonstrated the values and philosophy of a Jesuit education-namely moral character, service to others and unquestionable integrity. The Integritas Vitae Award is distinctive as Loyola’s recognition of an individual of outstanding character from any walk of life -- with an enhanced focus on a person whose impact is pervasive and whose character should be subject to emulation by students, alumni, and the community. The literal translation of integritas vitae is "a life of integrity". 

This year's recipient is Dr. Anthony Lazzara. Dr. Anthony Lazzara is a native of Tampa, Florida, and is Jesuit-educated, a graduate of Tampa Jesuit High School and Spring Hill College.  He received his medical degree at Tulane University School of Medicine.

In 1983, Dr. Lazzara left a tenured faculty position at Emory University School of Medicine to begin his mission to serve those in need in Peru. Hogar San Francisco de Asis (St. Francis of Assisi Home), where Dr. Lazzara now practices, provides children with necessary medication, treatment, food, and other health-related needs free of charge.

Explaining why he left the United States and a good position at a renowned medical center, Dr. Lazzara says, “I would have to say I felt an unease, a feeling that I was not where I was supposed to be, that the Lord would have me elsewhere.”  Feeling this unease, in the early 1980s he spent several months writing to various agencies and received no response. Dr. Lazzara began to grow weary and to wonder about his calling. It was then that a Franciscan happened to come to his church parish, speaking about a mission in Africa for which he was raising funds. Inspired by the talk, Dr. Lazzara wrote to the Franciscan provincial in Wisconsin, and two short weeks later he received an invitation to work in Peru.

Shortly after arriving in Peru, Dr. Lazzara established a foundation, Villa la Paz (Home of Peace), with his father, Anthony, and his brother Michael. Villa la Paz collects funds to cover medical care and food for the destitute in his community. No dollar is spent on administrative overhead or expenses.

At Hogar San Francisco de Asis, Dr. Lazzara works with a team of nurses, cooks, and other staff who help care for children 24 hours a day.  The medical team offers treatment for children whose parents cannot afford to buy them the care required to restore them to health. While being treated, children live at Hogar San Francisco de Asis and receive all necessary medications, food, and other needs without charge. Once they are well, the children return to their families. The most frequent illnesses treated are chronic diarrhea, malnutrition, tuberculosis, and chronic respiratory diseases.

Dr. Lazzara and Hogar San Francisco de Asis have been recognized nationally on the PBS television series Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly.  He is also the subject of a documentary film, The Patients of a Saint.

With over 35 years of care in Peru, Dr. Lazzara truly embodies the mission of the Society of Jesus. Loyola University New Orleans is proud to honor Dr. Anthony Lazzara as he continues to fulfill his calling to serve the children of Peru.

Dr. Lazzara will be recognized at the 1912 Society Dinner and Auction. To purchase sponsorships or tickets for the event, please visit www.loyno.edu/1912. 

 

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