Master of Ceremonies, and 11Alive anchor DeMarco Morgan, promised the audience an evening of enlightenment, education and encouragement.
“The night definitely delivered on all three of those goals,” Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. the FDHA chair said.
Two of the highlights came from a song and an extemporaneous acceptance speech. Jazz soloist Kathleen Bertrand sang a tribute to former FDHA board, member Frank Monteith. Mr. Monteith passed earlier in the year and the entire program was dedicated to his memory. Mr. Montieth’s family gathered on stage while Ms. Bertrand sang, “What they see is what they will be.” The FDHA created a fellowship program in Mr. Monteith’s honor for graduate college students studying public health. The first three recipients were introduced during the program.
Sherri Jefferson speaks
But it was a passionate acceptance speech from the person who received the 2014 FDHA chairman’s award that brought the almost all 250 people to their feet in applause. Sherri Jefferson received recognition for founding the African American Juvenile Project. But she gained the audience’s enthusiastic support by passionately explaining why parents, principals, police, prosecutors and professionals all play a part it keeping young African-Americans out of prison.
Three other groups and two individuals received Healthcare Champion awards.
Pamela Roshell, PhD and the Regional Director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (region 4) received the Community Health Leadership Award. She couldn’t attend and the award was accepted on her behalf by daughter and Ms. Roshell’s husband.
The Brighter DeKalb Foundation received the Partner for a Healthier Georgia award.
Priscilla Johnson, Associate Director for Clinical Research at Morehouse School of Medicine, was recognized as the FDHA’s Community Health Advocate.
The Impact on Youth recognition went to Odyssey Family Counseling Services.
The Grady ACT (Assertive Community Treatment) Team earned the Mental Health and Wellness Award.
The awards ceremony was held the night before the FDHA’s 3rd annual health summit entitled MIND MATTERS: Who Does Mental Health Affect? It also took place at the Marriott Marquis and more than 500 people attended a full day of sessions.