The Award

First presented by Grantmakers In Health (GIH) in 2017, the Andy Hyman Award for Advocacy recognizes a nonprofit or public sector champion who has made significant contributions to the field of health advocacy. The Andy Hyman Award for Advocacy is presented each year to an outstanding advocacy grantee who embodies a commitment to principled action, leadership to advance social change, and dedication to making progress in policy and practice despite challenging political environments. The award carries a $5,000 honorarium.

"Despite the policy fluctuations, the headlines, and the ongoing political battle, health reform has already helped millions of people and will soon help millions more. We certainly have to work with our grantees to address the current and developing challenges, but we also have to keep a hopeful eye on the horizon... This is where our leadership is vital. This is where we reveal ourselves, to our grantees and to the public... This is our moment.”
– Andy Hyman (1966-2015)


The field of health philanthropy lost one of its greatest champions when Andy Hyman of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation passed away in 2015.

Andy was an avid supporter of Grantmakers In Health (GIH). He was the driving force behind several of GIH’s most lauded health reform activities, including the State Grantwriting Assistance Fund, the Federal-State Implementation Program, and the Outreach and Enrollment Learning Community.

As a Team Director and Senior Program Officer at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Andy focused on the foundation’s efforts to expand coverage and secure meaningful access to health care for all Americans. He recognized that “the promise of equal opportunity in this country is empty while we permit millions to be uninsured.”

Andy was a smart, passionate, and innovative grantmaker, with a generous spirit and a great laugh. He asked hard questions, expected honest answers, and never shied away from difficult challenges. Those who knew and worked with him were touched by his humility and his dedication to social justice.


Any funder may nominate a grantee for this award using the nomination process described below. The nominee must be an individual and a foundation grantee; organizations or collaboratives cannot be nominated for the award. Funders can nominate grantees for their work in the nonprofit or public sectors. Staff of foundations are not eligible to be nominated for this award. This is not a lifetime achievement award; awardees can be at any stage in their career and at any position within their organization. The recipient must be available to participate in the award presentation during the GIH Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy.

Award Criteria

Nominators are encouraged to address the following questions in their submission:

  • Describe the nominee’s professional journey and achievements. What makes this individual an outstanding advocate? How have they worked to improve health for all? What have their most significant contributions to the field been thus far?
  • In what way has the nominee advanced an innovative, compelling strategic vision for advocacy work, exhibited the persistence to carry it out, and demonstrated the ability to bring others along with them?
  • How has the nominee worked effectively across sectors; overcome resistance in politically polarized situations; and embraced optimism, good humor, and humility in their work?

The Selection Process

The recipient of the award is selected by a committee chosen by GIH, which will include current and former grantmakers from GIH Funding Partner organizations. A member of the GIH board of directors chairs the committee. The committee reviews all nominations and chooses a single awardee. For those not chosen, nominators are welcome to resubmit in subsequent years. The decisions of the committee are final and not subject to review by the GIH board, staff, or its Funding Partners. The award recipient and nominators will be notified of the committee’s decision in March. The award will be presented during the GIH Annual Conference on Health Philanthropy.


Please Contact Ann Rodgers, Program Director, with any questions.