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Awarding Excellence in Advocacy and Philanthropy

April 2017

On March 14, GIH announced that Chet Hewitt, President and CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation, is the 2017 recipient of the Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy, and that Ron Pollack, the Founding Executive Director of Families USA, is the 2017 recipient of the Andy Hyman Award for Advocacy. The awards will be presented at luncheons (on Thursday and Friday, respectively) during GIH's annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts, with remarks by each recipient. If you are attending the annual conference, you do not want to miss these special opportunities to hear from outstanding health leaders.

Chet Hewitt is a passionate and collaborative leader who is known for fostering deep connections with community stakeholders and residents. He has displayed a fierce dedication to achieving health equity in California’s underserved communities and improving the well-being of vulnerable children and youth. Ron Pollack has devoted his career to achieving high-quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans. Under his leadership, Families USA has become one of the most respected and effective consumer health advocacy organizations in the country. Both Hewitt and Pollack were selected by outside committees that were chaired by members of GIH’s board.

Over a 50-year career with the Ford Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Terrance Keenan set the standard for creativity, caring, and vision in philanthropy. One of the founders of GIH, he created and led many of RWJF’s signature funding programs, including the Nurse Faculty Fellowships, Community Care Funding Partners Program, and the Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers Program (later Faith in Action). Since 1993, GIH has given the Terrance Keenan Leadership Award in Health Philanthropy to outstanding grantmakers whose work is distinguished, like Keenan’s, by leadership, innovation, and outstanding achievement.

Like the Terrance Keenan Award, the Andy Hyman Award sustains the legacy of an exemplary grantmaker. Andy Hyman, its namesake, led the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s work on health insurance coverage from 2006 until shortly before his death in 2015. He was a visionary leader; lifelong believer in the power of advocacy; and fierce champion of ensuring access to affordable, quality health care coverage for all Americans. An avid supporter of GIH, Andy was the driving force behind several of our most lauded health reform activities, including the State Grantwriting Assistance Fund, the Federal-State Implementation Program (F-SIP), and the Outreach and Enrollment Learning Community.

The Andy Hyman Award recognizes a nonprofit or public sector champion who exhibits persistence, courage, and determination in the field of health advocacy. Because it is for a grantee, rather than a funder, it is an important opportunity for philanthropy to acknowledge the vitally important work of the people on the frontlines of health.

Please join us in celebrating the contributions of Chet Hewitt and Ron Pollack!