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Joan H. Tisch Legacy Project

The Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize

The Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize annually recognizes one individual and one nonprofit organization in the New York metropolitan area for outstanding accomplishment in the field of urban public health. The nominee’s work should be focused upon improving urban public health in areas such as: reducing health disparities; obesity/diabetes/nutrition; chronic disease prevention and management; environmental health; HIV/AIDS; health problems associated with poverty; healthy aging; mental health; substance abuse and addiction; public health policy and advocacy; and access, financing, and quality of care.

Nominees for the prize are evaluated by a distinguished panel of Hunter College faculty, health experts. and policy specialists.  The following criteria form the base for evaluation:

  • Achievement: Outstanding accomplishment and future potential in the development and implementation of a community-based public health initiative in an urban setting.
  • Imagination: Demonstrated originality, creativity and innovation in tackling an urban public health problem.
  • Impact: Positive and lasting improvement in health, well-being and community life for a significant proportion of the target population, and potential for replication in other communities.

Melony Samuels, Founder and Executive Director of Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger, the inaugural 2010-2011 individual recipient, notes:

Receiving the Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize is an invaluable honor; it’s an investment in the community and our organization and the returns are much greater than its monetary value. The Prize has raised the profile of our organization, providing long-term benefits and support from donors and other interested parties.

Echoing this sentiment 2014 Prize winner Robert Cordero offers a glimpse of just how significant of an impact the Prize had on not only his career, but on the larger NYC public health community:

A new partnership developed when I made an invaluable connection at the award ceremony with the Executive Director of Callen-Lorde Community Health Center that resulted in the formation of a groundbreaking venture to build a co-located LGBT-focused health center in the South Bronx with my former nonprofit agency BOOM!Health. The $1.3 million health center is now open and the collaboration is the direct result of the brilliance of the Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize in brining attention and interconnection to nonprofits and community leaders who are focused on serving the most under-served communities in New York City.