(June 21, 2012, New York, NY) – Hunter College President Jennifer J. Raab hosted a ceremony at Hunter’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute to announce the recipients of the second annual Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize. The 2012 recipients are LegalHealth, a division of New York Legal Assistance Group, and Mark Hannay, executive director of Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign. The prize, which was presented June 18th at Roosevelt House, is administered by Hunter College and is awarded to a not-for-profit organization and an individual for distinguished accomplishment in the field of urban public health.
The Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize is a component of the Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project, based at Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College and made possible with a five-year grant of over $1 million from her children Steven Tisch, Laurie M. Tisch, and Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch. The other components are the Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellowship in Public Health and the Joan H. Tisch Public Health Forum.
The winners, chosen by a committee composed of Hunter College faculty and representatives from the health policy and advocacy communities and led by Roosevelt House Interim Director Jonathan Fanton, will each receive a prize of $10,000.
“The Tisch’s unparalleled dedication to community activism and good works is inspired by their mother, Joan, one of New York City’s great humanitarians and hero in the world of public health. When her children approached us with the idea of honoring her with a legacy project at Roosevelt House, we could not have been more honored ourselves,” said Hunter President Raab. “The Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project could have no more fitting home that Roosevelt House, the former residence of another iconic New York family dedicated to public service, the Roosevelts.”
“My mother has worked tirelessly to promote wellness and the quality of life for New Yorkers in need, and this year’s awardees share the same vision for improving access to excellent health care,” said Jonathan Tisch. “I want to congratulate the honorees, LegalHealth and Mark Hannay, who have been staunch advocates for medical rights and services, and have assisted thousands of New Yorkers.”
LegalHealth is the largest medical-legal partnership in the nation. Since its inception in 2001, it has assisted more than 17,000 low-income clients and trained over 5,000 health care professionals. The partnership unites legal and medical professionals to improve the lives of low-income people with serious health issues. Attorneys provide free legal services to patients in medical facilities and also educate health care professionals about the legal issues affecting their patients. LegalHealth works with particularly vulnerable populations, those with serious or chronic diseases, including cancer, the homebound and the elderly.
“In choosing to recognize and promote advocates in the field of public health, the Tisch family and Hunter College are making an important contribution to the improvement of health care delivery systems,” said Randye Retkin, Esq., Director of LegalHealth. “This Award is a testament to the vision of its founders and their commitment to finding solutions to our city’s growing health crises. We are honored to add our voice to this dialogue, particularly the impact of nonmedical issues on health outcomes, and how LegalHealth works to improve patient health by addressing those issues.”
Mr. Mark Hannay, executive director of Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign, has led this citywide multi-constituency health care justice coalition since 1995. His organization brings together community groups, labor unions, professional associations, and faith communities to fight for fundamental reform leading to universal health care. As director, he also co-chairs the New York Network for Action on Medicare and Social Security, and the national Universal Health Care Action Network. He has built a vibrant coalition that has successfully engaged in various initiatives to expand access to health and mental health care for all New Yorkers.
“I want to salute the Tisch family, the award committee, and the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College for recognizing and reaffirming the importance of public policy advocacy and the community organizing behind it as an essential strategy for addressing New York’s public health challenges,” said Mr. Hannay. “By bringing a variety of constituencies together to address New York’s ongoing health care crisis, the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign has worked to foster a variety of collaborations over the years to further the cause of universal health care for all New Yorkers, especially the most needy and vulnerable, through reforms at the state and national level.”
The Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute at Hunter College
Roosevelt House, an integral part of Hunter College since 1943, re-opened in 2010 as a public policy institute honoring the distinguished legacy of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Its mission is three-fold: to educate students in public policy and human rights, to support faculty research, and to foster creative dialogue. The new institute provides opportunities for students to analyze public policy and experience meaningful civic engagement; for faculty to research, teach, and write about important issues of the day; and for scholarly and public audiences to participate in high-profile lectures, seminars, and conferences.