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MISTRESS OF CEREMONIES
Soledad O’Brien is an award-winning journalist, speaker, author and philanthropist who anchors and produces the Hearst Television political magazine program “Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.” O’Brien, founder and CEO of Starfish Media Group, also reports for HBO Real Sports, the PBS NewsHour, WebMD and has authored two books. She has anchored and reported for NBC, CNN and others, winning numerous awards, including three Emmys, the George Peabody award, an Alfred I DuPont prize and the Gracie. Newsweek Magazine named her one of the “15 People Who Make America Great.” With her husband, she is founder of the PowHERful Foundation that sends 25 girls to and through college.
We are thrilled to recognize this year’s Honorees for their invaluable support of the Partnership’s mission and corporate citizenship.
CORPORATE CITIZENSHIP AWARD
Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, supports charitable organizations that apply scalable, data-driven approaches to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by providing funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers with a focus on education, economic opportunity, inclusion and crisis response.
Hearst is one of the nation’s largest diversified media, information and services companies with more than 360 businesses. Its major interests include ownership in cable television networks; majority ownership of global ratings agency Fitch Group; Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses; 30 television stations which reach a combined 19 percent of U.S. viewers; daily and weekly newspapers across the U.S., nearly 300 magazines around the world; digital services businesses and investments in emerging digital and video companies.
Jazz Pharmaceuticals plc is an international biopharmaceutical company focused on improving patients’ lives by identifying, developing and commercializing meaningful products that address unmet medical needs. The company has a diverse portfolio of products and product candidates with a focus in the areas of sleep and hematology/oncology. For more information, please visit www.jazzpharmaceuticals.com and follow us on Twitter at @JazzPharma.
JAMES E. BURKE AWARD
Honorable Patrick J. Kennedy
Former Congressman (D-RI); Founder, The Kennedy Forum; Co-Founder, One Mind; Commissioner, President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis
During his 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, serving Rhode Island’s First Congressional District, Patrick J. Kennedy fought to end discrimination against mental illness, addiction, and other brain diseases. He is best known as the lead sponsor of the groundbreaking Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), which was passed with bi-partisan support, and signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 3, 2008.
In addition to the Federal Parity Law, Kennedy authored and co-sponsored dozens of bills during his time in Congress to increase the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including the Positive Aging Act; Foundations for Learning Act; National Neurotechnology Initiative Act; Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act; COMBAT PTSD Act; Nurse-Family Partnership Act; Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act; and Ready, Willing, and Able Act, which called on the Department of Homeland Security to deploy a civilian response system to blunt the psychological impact of terrorism. He served on various committees and subcommittees, including the House Appropriations Committee; the Subcommittee on Health, Education and Welfare; the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; and the Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs.
Kennedy served on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Kennedy’s personal contributions focused on the declaration of a federal emergency and strong parity recommendations.
Amid countless recognitions, meaningful partnerships, and political affiliations, Patrick J. Kennedy’s most important achievement continues to be leveraging his family legacy in the arenas of civil rights, mental health, and intellectual disabilities to advance the cause of social justice and health equity for all people. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, Amy, and their children.