UHF Annual Gala, in Person for First Time Since the Pandemic, Honors Four Health Care Leaders

Blackstone Chief Medical Officer Robert Galvin, MD, Hip Hop Public Health founder Olajide Williams, MD, Northwell Health leader Jennifer Mieres, MD, and Anthony Shih, MD, former UHF president, all honored

NEW YORK, NY—October 3, 2022—United Hospital Fund’s annual fall Gala, one of New York's premier health care events, was held in person today for the first time since 2019 at Cipriani 42nd Street in Manhattan. The event honored four exceptional New York-area leaders: Robert S. Galvin, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Senior Managing Director of Blackstone; Olajide Williams, MD, Founder of Hip Hop Public Health and Professor of Neurology and Chief of Staff, Neurology Department, Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons; Jennifer Mieres, MD, Professor of Cardiology, Zucker School of Medicine, and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Northwell Health; and Anthony Shih, MD, former UHF president. 

Each year the UHF Gala brings together health care, community, and business leaders to support its work to build an effective and equitable health care system for every New Yorker, and to honor exceptional individuals for their efforts to improve health and health care. This year some 500 people attended the event.

This is also the first Gala to be led by UHF’s new president and CEO, Oxiris Barbot, MD, who took office on September 12. “I am absolutely thrilled and honored to take on the role of UHF president and CEO and to lead an organization with such an important history and record of accomplishment,” Dr. Barbot told the Gala attendees. “UHF’s mission to build an effective and equitable health care system for every New Yorker is what I’m passionate about. It is a mission that’s never been more urgent.”

UHF presents three awards annually at its Gala: The Health Care Leadership Award, the Distinguished Community Service Award, and a Special Tribute. This year’s Health Care Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Galvin for his pioneering efforts to help the business community embrace quality measurement, public reporting, and reforming how doctors and hospitals are paid for care. 

From his trailblazing work to tackle health care spending and transparency as the chief medical officer of General Electric, to co-founding the groundbreaking Leapfrog Group to address patient safety, to his current position as a chief medical officer and senior managing director at Blackstone, where he oversees global medical and health issues for several hundred portfolio companies, Dr. Galvin has focused tirelessly on making health care more responsive to patients’ needs by leveraging the power of the nation’s employers.

The Distinguished Community Service Award, underwritten by TIAA, was presented to Dr. Williams for improving health literacy through the transformative power of music, art, and science. Over the past 15 years, the organization he founded, Hip Hop Public Health, has created evidence-based music and multimedia resources and interventions to deepen knowledge and raise awareness among children and their families about health and healthy lifestyles. The organization has deepened health literacy and inspired behavior change throughout New York and the nation. 

UHF awarded a Special Tribute to Dr. Mieres for her role as a leader in women’s health; in diversity, equity, and inclusion in health care; and in advancing heart care in the United States and around the world. For three decades, she has been an outstanding advocate for heart health for women—becoming a leading spokesperson for the American Heart Association, authoring several books on heart health, and fighting to overcome gender disparities in the treatment of heart disease. She is also a pioneer in integrating diversity and equity into medical practice. 

The event also featured a Farewell Tribute to Dr. Shih, former president of UHF, in gratitude for his leadership and steadfast pursuit of better health and health care during his five-year tenure as UHF president, before stepping down on August 1, 2022. 

“We are grateful and proud to pay tribute to such exceptional individuals, whose work reflects the core values of UHF and of our mission to improve health and health care in New York,” Dr. Barbot said. 

Proceeds from the Gala support UHF’s work to build an effective and equitable health care system for every New Yorker, one that is affordable and accessible, provides a better patient experience and the highest quality of care, and achieves optimal health outcomes, with a special focus on those facing the greatest barriers to good health and health care. 

United Hospital Fund
United Hospital Fund works to build an effective and equitable health care system for every New Yorker. An independent, nonprofit organization, we are a force for improvement, analyzing public policy to inform decision-makers, finding common ground among diverse stakeholders, and developing and supporting innovative programs that improve health and health care. We work to dismantle barriers in health policy and health care delivery that prevent equitable opportunities for health. For more on our initiatives and programs, please visit our website at www.uhfnyc.org and follow us on Twitter. 


Oct. 3, 2022