Thursday, February 14, 2008

Roedy, Kristof and Wharton Volunteers to be honored at Health & Human Rights Awards

On May 19, 2008, HealthRight International (formerly Doctors of the World-USA) friends and supporters will gather in New York to celebrate the 2008 Health and Human Rights Leadership Awards. Each year, HealthRight presents the award in recognition of extraordinary leadership in the cause of health and human rights, whether in the role of public servant or advocate, through the mobilization of an industry, or through volunteer service as a health professional.  
This year we are delighted to present the award to Bill Roedy, Nicholas D. Kristof, and the Wharton Healthcare International Volunteer Project.  The event will be hosted by Alina Cho, general assignment correspondent for CNN/U.S., and will include the participation of David Remnick, Editor of The New Yorker, and Kelly Rowland, Sony BMG recording artist and MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation ambassador, and Dr. Mitchell J. Blutt, CEO of Consonance Capital.
Roedy, Vice Chairman of MTV Networks, leads all of MTV Networks InternationaI’s global efforts to promote HIV and AIDS education, fight complacency and lessen the stigma attached to the disease, through the Staying Alive campaign. Under his leadership, MTVNI has produced award-winning HIV and AIDS-related documentaries, concerts, discussion programmes and public service announcements. All Staying Alive content is made available to broadcasters rights free and at no cost. In 1998, he was invited to become an Ambassador for UNAIDS (the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS). In April 2005, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Mr Roedy as Chair of the Global Media AIDS Initiative (GMAI) Leadership Committee.  Mr Roedy has also served as Chair of the Global Business Coalition (GBC) on HIV and AIDS from 2000-2002. He also serves on the Board of Directors of HealthRight International.
KRISTOF, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times op-ed columnist, has helped bring attention to many of the issues facing communities in the developing world through his columns on global health, poverty, and gender. In 1990 Mr. Kristof and his wife won a Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of China’s Tiananmen Square democracy movement.  Mr. Kristof won a second Pulitzer in 2006, for commentary for what judges called “his graphic, deeply rooted columns that, at personal risk, focused attention on genocide in Darfur and that gave voice to the voiceless in other parts of the world.”

THE WHARTON HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS PROJECT (WHIVP) is an MBA student-alumni organization at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, drawing mostly from students majoring in Health Care Systems at the School.  WHIVP harnesses the skills and creative energy of students to strengthen and improve healthcare systems in communities dealing with limited resources and severe health problems. WHIVP volunteers have partnered with HealthRight to create innovative health delivery and social entrepreneurship systems in the West Pokot District of Kenya, where HealthRight is working to improve access to HIV/AIDS, TB, and Maternal and Neonatal healthcare. The collaboration has focused on creating microfinance systems for people living with HIV, and in developing creative methods to increase utilization of lifesaving Maternal and Neonatal Healthcare services in isolated communities.

The 2008 Health and Human Rights Leadership Awards will highlight our work to advance the cause of global health and human rights, by focusing on our efforts to serve one of the world’s most at-risk populations: children and youth. When children and youth are deprived of healthy development - as millions are around the world - their rights have been violated and their future is threatened.  HealthRight is working to ensure that the most vulnerable groups of children - those in institutions, with disabilities, on the street, or made vulnerable to or orphaned by diseases such as HIV/AIDS – are given access to the services that will enable them to build a healthy future. 
Past Health and Human Rights Awards recipients include Stephen Lewis, Allan Rosenfield, MD; Kofi Annan; Mary Robinson; Richard Holbrooke, Aryeh Neier; William Foege, MD; Alicia Keys; Sir Bob Geldof; and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The event will be held on Monday, May 19th at Bridgewaters, 11 Fulton Street, New York, NY, located in Manhattan’s South Street Seaport. Cocktails will be served at 6:30 pm.