Posted on November 7, 2012

Media Contact:

Rushmie Nofsinger, NEHI


November 7, 2012

Recipients Honored for their Pioneering Contributions to Health Care

 CAMBRIDGE, MA (November 7, 2012) ––The United States Surgeon General and key players in the development of the new cystic fibrosis drug Kalydeco are among the winners of this year’s Innovators in Health Awards, NEHI announced today.

NEHI, a national health policy institute, presents the Innovators in Health award to national leaders who exemplify the spirit of innovation and collaboration and whose work has advanced health and health care. This year’s recipients are: 

  • US Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin for her national initiatives to combat obesity and improve the way patients take their prescription medicines.
  • Dr. Christine Cassel, president of the American Board of Internal Medicine, for her leadership of the Choosing Wisely campaign to educate physicians and patients on avoiding unnecessary tests and procedures.

And four individuals representing a groundbreaking collaboration in drug research and development:

  • Robert Beall, president of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the driving force behind providing significant scientific, clinical and financial support to cystic fibrosis (CF) research
  • Joe and Kathy O’Donnell, representing the Massachusetts-based Joey Fund, which raised more than $250 million for CF research in the name of their son who died of the disease at the age of 12
  • Eric Olson, the scientist at Vertex Pharmaceuticals who led a team of researchers in tireless pursuit of the first drug to treat the cause, rather than the symptoms, of CF. 

“These honorees are health care heroes,” said NEHI President Wendy Everett. “They dared to think big and their contributions to the betterment of health care are truly inspiring.”

The awards will be presented during a dinner celebration on Wednesday Nov. 14 from 5-8 pm at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. Nearly 200 senior health care and life science leaders are expected to attend. 

Media are required to pre-register for the event.  For pre-registration please contact Rushmie Nofsinger at 617-225-0857 or 



About NEHI 
NEHI is a national health policy institute focused on enabling innovation to improve health care quality and lower health care costs. In partnership with members from all across the health care system, NEHI conducts evidence-based research and stimulates policy change to improve the quality and the value of health care. Together with this unparalleled network of committed health care leaders, NEHI brings an objective, collaborative and fresh voice to health policy. For more information, visit


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