Leaders in Global Health Honored at 9th Annual Project HOPE Gala

MILLWOOD, VA., June 14, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Project HOPE, the global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, today announced the recipients of the Project HOPE Global Health Awards. The awards, which recognize individuals and organizations that have made exceptional contributions toward improving health care worldwide, will be presented at Project HOPE's ninth annual gala tonight at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C.

This year's gala will highlight the importance of Project HOPE programs benefiting individuals and communities suffering due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Project HOPE's HIV/AIDS programs provide many services to people living with HIV and their communities including treatment, counseling and parenting skills training.

The gala will also celebrate the recent successes of all of Project HOPE's programs, which currently provide health care education and humanitarian assistance – with a focus on women's and children's health, infectious diseases and noncommunicable diseases – in more than 30 countries around the world. Last year nearly one million people were helped, more than 23,700 health care workers were trained and more than $206 million of donated medicines, medical supplies and equipment were delivered through Project HOPE programs.

The annual Project HOPE Global Health Awards, inaugurated in 2012, are presented to individuals whose achievements and daily contributions support the core mission of Project HOPE – to make long-term, sustainable health care available in communities around the world, especially those most in need.

This year's honorees are:

"Project HOPE's lifesaving work is made possible with the support of our dedicated partnerships. Our global health awardees, Pascal Soriot of AstraZeneca, Jiang Zhongyi of Shanghai Children's Medical Center and the government of Sierra Leone offer exceptional examples of what can be accomplished in global health when organizations work together," said Tom Kenyon, M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO of Project HOPE. "Tonight we are honoring these outstanding individuals for the tremendous contributions they have made against scourges such as Ebola, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, and childhood diseases. We are proud to be their partner."

About the 2016 Project HOPE Global Health Awards Recipients

Pascal Soriot will be presented with the Project HOPE Global Health Leadership Award, which recognizes a distinguished leader from a company or organization that has made a significant contribution to global health through the donation of medicines, medical supplies or expertise. As Executive Director and CEO of AstraZeneca, Mr. Soriot was instrumental in AstraZeneca's launch of five programs in partnership with Project HOPE in 2015. These programs aim to prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases, especially diabetes and chronic respiratory illnesses in China. Noncommunicable diseases – especially diabetes and chronic respiratory illnesses – have been a significant and growing problem in China.

"I'm really proud to have received this important award from Project HOPE on behalf of AstraZeneca," said Mr. Soriot. "I believe it recognizes the determination of people from across the company to improve the health and well-being of those in need. It is a determination we share with Project HOPE. We have already made tremendous progress with our work in Brazil and China, and I look forward to continuing our partnership and turning our shared vision into a reality for more and more people around the world."

The Project HOPE Global Health Partner Award, which acknowledges an individual who has been a lifelong champion for global health issues, will go to Jiang Zhongyi. Mr. Jiang has been President and CEO of Shanghai Children's Medical Center (SCMC), ranked as one of the top three children's hospitals in China, since 2012. Under his leadership, SCMC has established several international partnerships with children's hospitals in Europe and the United States to promote research toward improved treatments of many childhood diseases. Also under Mr. Jiang's leadership, SCMC provides free medical services for children with congenital heart diseases. In addition, Mr. Jiang has worked with Project HOPE to procure crucial medical equipment for use in the hospital.

"I'm honored to receive the prestigious Global Health Partner Award from Project HOPE," said Mr. Jiang. "I look forward to continuing to work together with Project HOPE to improve the health and well-being of children in China, address critical global pediatric health issues and improve children's health worldwide."

The Project HOPE Global Health Impact Award, which honors an organization that has achieved significant global health advances, will be awarded to the government of Sierra Leone in recognition of its role in controlling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens of Sierra Leone will accept the award on the government's behalf. In the summer of 2014 during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Project HOPE received a request for assistance from Ambassador Stevens along with a list of medical supplies needed to combat the outbreak. Working closely with the embassy and Sierra Leone's Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Project HOPE secured, shipped and distributed more than $2.2 million of critically needed items. Thanks to the leadership, coordination and commitment of the government of Sierra Leone, the desired impact was achieved and Ebola was brought under control.

"During my diplomatic career, I have been fortunate to receive many awards recognizing my work with communities, organizations and institutions alike," said Ambassador Bockari Kortu Stevens. "But getting an award from Project HOPE, I can safely say is the highest point of my career because of what this organization stands for. They are always there to confront global health challenges and provide lifesaving support for the most vulnerable anywhere in the world. I accept this award with immense pride and unbridled humility."

Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Abbott are the signature and platinum sponsors respectively for the gala.

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training and health education, and conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 30 countries. Visit our website, www.projecthope.org and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.

CONTACT: Geraldine Carroll +1-540-257-3746 gcarrroll@projecthope.org

Source: Project HOPE