NEW YORK, NEW YORK, October 3, 2017—United Hospital Fund paid tribute tonight at its annual gala to leaders in philanthropy, banking, and health care—James H. Simons, PhD, Priscilla Almodovar, Robert Gore, MD, and James R. Tallon, Jr.—in recognition of their important contributions to improving health and health care.
The event at Cipriani 42nd Street raised over $1.7 million and was attended by more than 500 health care, business, and community leaders, marking the opening of UHF's 139th fund-raising campaign in support of its work to build a more effective health care system for all New Yorkers.
James H. Simons, PhD, Co-founder and Chairman of the Simons Foundation, received the Health Care Leadership Award for his transformative philanthropy and commitment to advancing basic scientific research, promoting collaboration, and strengthening New York's scientific and medical community. Founder and board chairman of Renaissance Technologies, one of the world's most profitable hedge funds, he retired as CEO in 2010 to focus full time on the Simons Foundation, which he founded in 1994 with his wife Marilyn to advance the frontiers of research in math and basic science. The Foundation makes grants to scientists in mathematics and physical sciences, life sciences, autism research, education, and outreach. One of the Simons Foundation's most ambitious undertakings is the recently launched Flatiron Institute; some 250 participating scientists will include quantum physicists, astrophysicists, biologists, programmers, and data scientists.
The Health Care Leadership Award was established by United Hospital Fund in 1998 to recognize strong and sustained leadership aimed at improving health care in New York City and beyond.
Priscilla Almodovar, Managing Director and Co-Head of Real Estate Banking at J.P. Morgan , was given a Special Tribute in recognition of her important work supporting affordable housing that helps improve the health of low-income New Yorkers. While President and CEO of New York State's Housing Finance Agency from 2007 to 2009 she oversaw the financing of almost 11,000 affordable units, 800 of which provided health and behavioral supports to residents. In 2009, Ms. Almodovar became head of Community Development Banking at J.P. Morgan Chase, where each year her team deployed some $2 billion in financing to develop affordable housing, schools, clinics, supermarkets, and community centers in more than 80 cities.
Robert Gore, MD, emergency department physician at NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County and adjacent SUNY Downstate Medical Center, and clinical assistant professor of emergency medicine at SUNY Downstate, received the Distinguished Community Service Award for his efforts to address youth violence as a public health issue by founding the Kings Against Violence Initiative (KAVI), a hospital-, community-, and school-based violence intervention program in Brooklyn. KAVI offers mentoring, tutoring, and behavioral support services to approximately 200 teens and young adults annually.
The Distinguished Community Service Award, established by UHF in 1987, recognizes volunteer leadership that significantly improves health care in New York City. For the twelfth year, the Award has been generously supported by TIAA, the leading provider of retirement services in the medical, academic, research, and cultural fields. Roger Ferguson, President and Chief Executive Officer of TIAA, presented the award to Dr. Gore.
James R. Tallon, Jr., received a Farewell Tribute in recognition of his four decades of health care leadership—19 years in the New York State Assembly and 24 years as president of United Hospital Fund. Known for his mastery of consensus and coalition building and collaborative approach to health care improvement, he was a prime mover behind legislative achievements including hospital finance, expanded Medicaid services, AIDS research and services, and malpractice insurance reforms. Important milestones during his tenure at United Hospital Fund included the creation of the National Quality Forum, the New York eHealth Collaborative, the Medicaid Institute, and partnerships with New York area hospitals to improve quality of care and patient safety. He also served as chair of The Commonwealth Fund and the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, and Secretary/Treasurer of the Alliance for Health Reform.
J. Barclay Collins II, chairman of United Hospital Fund's board of directors, served as Gala chairman.
“The individuals we are honoring tonight truly embody the ideals of United Hospital Fund and our mission to improve health and health care,” said Anthony Shih, MD, MPH, president of UHF. “We are inspired by their commitment to addressing the health needs of all people, especially of vulnerable populations.”
About United Hospital Fund
United Hospital Fund works to build a more effective health care system for every New Yorker. An independent, nonprofit organization, we analyze public policy to inform decision-makers, find common ground among diverse stakeholders, and develop and support innovative programs that improve the quality, accessibility, affordability, and experience of patient care. For more on our initiatives and programs please visit our website at www.uhfnyc.org and follow us on Twitter.