Fenway Health is excited to announce our 2018 Awardees: former Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick, who will be honored with the Congressman Gerry. E. Studds Award, and renowned athlete Diana Nyad, who will be honored with the Dr. Susan M. Love Award. Patrick is being recognized for his work in advancing affordable health care in Massachusetts. Nyad is being recognized for her contributions to women’s athletics and fitness.
The Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award is given at The Men’s Event to honor individuals of integrity and selflessness who embody the spirit of service and provide positive leadership for the LGBT community. Congressman Studds represented southeastern Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress from 1973 to 1997 and became the first openly gay Member of Congress in 1983 when he proudly acknowledged his sexual orientation standing on the congressional floor. The Congressman Gerry E. Studds Award is given at each year’s Men’s Event in honor and memory of Studds, who passed away in October 2006.
The Dr. Susan M. Love Award is given at The Dinner Party to honor and celebrate a woman and/or organization that has made a significant contribution to the field of women’s health. The Love Award is given in honor of its founding recipient, Dr. Susan M. Love, a pioneer in the fields of women’s health and breast cancer. Love helped found the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center in 1992 and currently heads up the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, which is dedicated to eradicating breast cancer.
Originally from the South Side of Chicago, Deval Patrick came to Massachusetts at age 14, when he was awarded a scholarship to Milton Academy through the Boston-based organization A Better Chance. After Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he clerked for a federal appellate judge and then launched a career as an attorney and business executive, becoming partner at two Boston law firms and a senior executive at Texaco and Coca-Cola.
In 1994, President Clinton appointed Patrick to the nation’s top civil rights post, Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. In 2006, in his first bid for public office, he became the state’s first African-American governor. In his two terms as Governor, Patrick oversaw the expansion of affordable health care to more than 98 percent of state residents, launched initiatives stimulating clean energy and biotechnology, won a national Race to the Top grant, and steered the state out of recession to a 25-year high in employment.
After leaving office, Patrick briefly served as Senior Advisor of the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force. Patrick currently serves as a Managing Director of Bain Capital Double Impact, where he focuses on investments that deliver both a competitive financial return and significant positive social impact. He is a Rockefeller Fellow, a Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute, and the author of two books, A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life and Faith in the Dream: A Call to the Nation to Reclaim American Values.
On September 2, 2013, at the age of sixty-four, Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage, swimming 111 miles in fifty-three hours from Havana to Key West. In the 1970s, she became known as the world’s greatest long distance swimmer with her open-water achievements, including a record-breaking swim around Manhattan.
For the next thirty years, Nyad was a prominent sports broadcaster and journalist, filing compelling stories for National Public Radio, ABC’S Wide World of Sports, and others. She is the author of the upcoming memoir, Find a Way, and three other books, is a national fitness icon, is a talented linguist, and is one of today’s most powerful and engaging public speakers.
Diana is a brave survivor who encourages women to tell their stories of the trusted sexual predators who are so dominate in our society and who continue to victimize women every day. By sharing her own story of abuse, she inspires other women to begin the long journey of healing themselves.
Patrick will be honored at The Men’s Event on Saturday, March 10, 2018. Nyad will be honored at The Dinner Party on Saturday, April 21, 2018. More information, including how to purchase gala tickets, is available at www.mensevent.org and at www.dinnerparty.org.
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