Navigation Links
Community leaders honored for helping Americans most in need

BALTIMOREThe Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is proud to announce today the recipients of its 2011 Community Health Leaders Award, honoring 10 individuals who have overcome daunting odds to improve the health and quality of life for disadvantaged or underserved communities across the country.

"These individuals represent the best of America," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president and chief executive officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "Each of our 2011 Community Health Leaders identified a dire need in their community and took personal and professional risks to address that need. They are helping the people in their communities to live healthier, better lives."

The 2011 Community Health Leaders Award recipients are helping to provide vital health services to residents in their own communitiespeople with disabilities, children growing up in public housing, frail seniors who do not speak English, the uninsured working poor, and those in need of health services who live in remote, rural areas.

Now in its 18th year, the Community Health Leaders Award elevates the work of the leaders by raising awareness of their extraordinary contributions through national visibility, a $125,000 award, and networking opportunities.

The 2011 Community Health Leaders will be named today at an awards ceremony at the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards.

The 2011 Community Health Leaders are:

Jamie Boyd, PhD, nursing assistant professor and health programs coordinator, University of Hawaii at Windward, Kaneohe, Hawaii. She is the University of Hawaii's first Native Hawaiian with a PhD who is also a registered nurse. Boyd created Pathway out of Poverty, a program based on cultural values to train Hawaiians and other disadvantaged students in nursing careers. A former foster child and teen mother, Boyd's vision is to reduce poverty, increase the representation of Hawaiians in nursing, and train more empathetic nurses who will improve the quality of health care. She has worked to generate tuition assistance for nurse's aide students who do not qualify for federal financial aid, and to guide students toward nursing careers with living wages―improving their own lives while helping others.

Im Ja Choi, MS, founder and executive director, Penn Asian Senior Services (PASSi), Jenkintown, Pa. When Choi's mother was diagnosed with stomach cancer, Choi quit her work to care for her mother full time. She soon discovered that she needed help in this role, but it was nearly impossible to find a home health care aide who could speak Korean. After hearing from other families who faced similar challenges, Choi founded PASSi to train and provide Korean-speaking home health aides. Choi has created 260 jobs and has expanded PASSi's reach to include Chinese, Vietnamese, and other languages, growing her organization's client base by nearly 50 percent each year.

Naomi Cottoms, MA, executive director, Tri-County Rural Health Network, Helena, Ark. Living in a community positioned near the bottom of the national rankings on health indicators, Cottoms decided to develop a unique approach to ensuring that the poorest residents of her rural community could access health care services. She started Community Connectors to help people obtain essential health care and prevention resources. The largest component of the program is connecting Medicaid-eligible seniors and adults living with disabilities to home and community-based health resources as an alternative to institutional care. According to a recent study, seniors who had been assisted by Community Connectors were more likely to remain in their homes than to go to a nursing home, thus resulting in Medicaid savings. Cottoms now collaborates extensively with service providers and researchers, all working toward the goal of eliminating health disparities.

Lisanne Finston, MSW, MDiv, director, Elijah's Promise, New Brunswick, N.J. Finston believes that good food should be a right, not a privilege, so she has worked to overhaul the traditional approach to food banks and soup kitchens for the hungry and homeless. She has taken the local soup kitchen and developed a catering business, and a pay-what-you-can caf that provides delicious meals to hundreds of families in the New Brunswick, N.J., region every day. Finston also has worked to create initiatives that help break the cycle of poverty. She created a culinary school that has trained more than 500 people in cooking and catering skills, and has led an effort to push for minimum nutrition standards for food provided at food banks and soup kitchens.

Zane Gates, MD, medical director, Altoona Regional Partnering For Health Services, Altoona, Pa. Despite his humble beginnings in a public housing project, Gates successfully completed medical school, but then found something was missing in his life. He moved back to his hometown and started his own free clinic for the working poorthose who can't afford to buy private coverage but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Later, Gates founded Partnering for Health Services, which provides access to free health care to about 3,500 people a year in the Altoona area. With eight volunteer doctors and a handful of paid staff, Gates' clinic provides care and medications, and allows patients to purchase hospital-only insurance coverage for $99 a month to receive surgery and inpatient care at Altoona Regional Health System hospitals. He also founded the Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation, in honor of his late mother, to provide academic enrichment and mentoring to children in three Altoona public housing projects, including the one where he grew up.

Chrysanne Grund, project director, Greeley County Rural Health Network Inc., Wallace, Kan. When the nearest cardiologist is a two-and-a-half-hour drive away, accessing health care can be a challenge. That doesn't stop Grund, who believes that "rural" shouldn't mean having to do without health care in the Kansas farm belt. So Grund wages a constant battle against the bureaucratic red tape that is often a stumbling block to providing care in a rural area. She helped win a "frontier exception" to legislation that had made it impossible to provide dental care in her community, and started a health care foundation to help local families battling cancer. She also played a key leadership role that led to the construction of a new medical clinic in Wallace County, one of only a handful of counties in Kansas without a hospital.

Andrea Ivory, founder and executive director, The Women's Breast Health Initiative, Miami Lakes, Fla. After Ivory was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer, she realized that having access to early detection and treatment had saved her life. To reach women without access to these vital services, Ivory founded an organization that knocks on nearly 500 doors each week to educate women about breast cancer, early detection, and how to receive low- or no-cost mammograms. Then her organization circles back to neighborhoods with a mammography van to provide free breast cancer screenings. Today, the Women's Breast Health Initiative has a volunteer coordinator on every college campus in the Miami area. The organization recently launched the campaign to inform all women about the importance of healthy eating, exercise, and other steps to reduce the risk of breast cancer.

Deb Jastrebski, founder and chief executive officer, Practice Without Pressure, Newark, Del. Jastrebski, whose son has Down syndrome, was appalled to find that health care providers would often sedate people with disabilities or put them in in a straitjacket during routine medical exams. Her son's fear of dental exams prompted him to scream until the blood vessels in his face broke; ultimately, this led to missed medical visits and health problems. Jastrebski resolved to find a better way for people with disabilities to receive care. She created Practice Wthout Pressure to help prepare people with special needs to handle health care appointments calmly and without sedation. In 2009, her approach saved the state of Delaware from having to pay $260,000 in costs for sedation. Today, in addition to working with hundreds of individuals and families, Practice Without Pressure trains health care providers on how to compassionately and safely treat people with disabilities.

Richard Nares, MFA, founder and executive director, The Emilio Nares Foundation, San Diego, Calif. After the Nares family lost their only child, Emilio, to cancer before his sixth birthday, they channeled their grief into providing support and guidance to families facing the same overwhelming journey. In 2002, Nares founded the Emilio Nares Foundation in their son's memory. The foundation provides a variety of life-enhancing programs, including "Ride with Emilio," which helps transport children battling cancer to their medical visits. Healthy snacks are offered to the young cancer patients, and the foundation also provides support groups where caregivers can knit, sew, and create artwork. A resource center and computer lab is available to families, as well as bereavement and burial support. The Foundation also conducts bone marrow registry recruitment campaigns.

Gabriel Rincn, DDS, founding executive director, Mixteca Organization Inc., Brooklyn, N.Y. In the early days of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Rincn spent part of his dental residency caring for AIDS patients. At that time, according to Rincn, little information was circulated in Spanish about HIV in New York City's Mexican American community, where taboos surrounded the topics of sex and gender roles. So Rincn developed a culturally sensitive presentation to educate Mexicans and other Latinos about HIV, its symptoms, how it is spread, and how it can be prevented. He later started Mixteca Organization, which provides a broad scope of health and education programsliteracy and computer classes, English-language courses, and after-school programsto thousands of Hispanic New Yorkers each year. Meanwhile, Rincn continues to practice dentistry and is working on tackling another taboo among Hispanics: domestic violence.


Contact: Jennifer Combs
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Related medicine news :

1. Burden of HIV/TB infections increasingly falling on Hispanic community
2. Kaiser Permanente Approves $170 Million in Community Benefit Grants in 2009
3. What to Look for When Selecting an Electronic Health Record for Your Community Oncology Practice - Free Educational Webinar
4. The Voice of Compassionate Cancer Treatment Just Got Louder: Website Provides Resources and a Call to Action for the Medical Community
5. Lo Cest Offers a Free Download of a New Bible for the Gay Community
6. Its Time To Talk About It in the Chicago Community and Nationwide
7. Maxell Joins RDX Storage Alliance to Support Growing Storage Professionals' Community
8. Prednisolone not benficial in most cases of community-acquired pneumonia
9. GateWay Community College Receives Strong Endorsement for Re-accreditation
10. March Is National Social Work Month: Social Workers Work to Inspire Community Action While Facing Threats of Budget Cuts
11. Orion Health™ Helps Gestion Sanitaria de Mallorca Become the First Electronic Health Record Solution for Community Care in Spain
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple ... care services, staged a mock evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster ... Fire Department, Echo Hose EMS and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... , ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s ... Alexandria Park in Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s ... The fun run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... Planet Fitness, one of the largest and ... plans to open a flagship location in Covington, LA at 401 N. U.S. Highway ... store next to Office Depot in the Holiday Square shopping center. Its location allows ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Asante, a nationally recognized health system in ... existing home health joint venture through an agreement, effective October 1, 2017, to ... home health company with Asante, delivering clinically integrated care, for the past eight ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... -- NDS received FDA 510(k) clearance in May 2017 for its highly ... designed for endoscopy environments. An innovative secondary monitor solution, ZeroWire ... support the improvement of patient outcomes, procedural efficiency, and the lowering ... ... ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... 4, 2017  South Korean-based healthcare product Development Company ... "cprCUBE" on Kickstarter. The device will educate the user ... with better efficiency compared to the dated and pricey ... on efficacy of the compression for a more informed ... goal to raise $5,000. ...
(Date:10/2/2017)... 2017  Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: ... third quarter of 2017 on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. ... day with the investment community and media to further ... call will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern time. Investors, ... webcast of the conference call through a link that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: