Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces 2007 Community Health Leader Awards

Leaders chosen from California, Connecticut, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Puerto Rico

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced the 2007 recipients of its Community Health Leaders award last night in Washington, D.C. Each receives $125,000.

“We are honored to recognize such committed, courageous, and creative people.”

"The 2007 Community Health Leaders represent the diversity of America geographically, culturally, ethically, socially, and economically," said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "We are honored to recognize such committed, courageous, and creative people."

Since 1993, the program has distributed 150 awards in 47 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico. Visit www.communityhealthleaders.org.

Summaries:

ALICE AYALA, Executive Director, Casa Joven del Caribe, Dorado, PR

When Reverend Alice Ayala decided to help people often dismissed by society homeless drug addicts and people with HIV/AIDS in the rural areas of the north west region of Puerto Rico, she was relentless.

ALFRED DAVIS, Program Director, Resident Services, Boston Housing Authority, Boston, MA

Alfred Davis' commitment to bringing healthy life style programs to the vulnerable elderly goes beyond the community room and into the community.

MONTE FOX, Diabetes Project Manager, White Earth Tribal Health, WhiteEarth, MN

Growing up on a reservation Fox saw the toll diabetes can take. With his creative and culturally sensitive Diabetes Bingo, Native Dancer and Honor the Beat programs, Fox is creating a healthier community.

ANDREW FRIEDMAN, Co-Director, Make the Road by Walking, Brooklyn, NY

Friedman witnessed the struggles of immigrants through the eyes of his grandparents and understood early on that easing the plight of immigrants required both education and advocacy.

JOANNE GOLDBLUM, President, The New Haven Diaper Bank, New Haven, CT.

Goldblum saw a need among poor families that was vital to the health and well-being of their infants and toddlers - diapers.

SARA O'DONNELL, Executive Director, Cancer Center of Mendocino County, Mendocino, CA.

O'Donnell grew up in California's central valley, working in the fields and exposed to crop dusters and pesticides. She watched family members die of cancer and dealt with cancer herself. Today she helps people navigate the daunting road of cancer care.

LAURA PEREZ, Executive Director, Street Level Program, Oakland, CA.

Perez experienced the isolation and discrimination of low-wage immigrants. Today she leads the Street Level Health Project which connects uninsured and low-wage day laborers to a variety of health and social services.

ANNE ROLFES, Founder/Program Director, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, New Orleans, LA.

Rolfes' environmental health advocacy began in , where as a Peace Corps volunteer she saw the results of environmental destruction. Today, Rolfes residents living near pollution and contamination to advocate for a healthier community.

WEHNONA ST. CYR, CEO, T. Curtis Health Education Center Macy, NE

St. Cyr, a member of the Omaha Nation returned to the reservation to work for her community and change the health care paradigm from treatment of avoidable illnesses to prevention.

PAMELA TALLEY, Owner & Clinical Nurse Specialist, Therapeutic Solutions, determined to address the unique needs of senior citizens rearing young children, Talley, a nurse and counselor, organized the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program.

As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation works to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

Contacts

Laine Communications
Susan Laine, 301-530-6231
susan.laine@verizon.net

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