2023 Bernard J. Tyson Health Equity Award honors late Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO
Washington, D.C. (October 9, 2023) – The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) honors Ruth Williams-Brinkley, President of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic; and Dr. Crystal Clark, Deputy Director of UPMC’s Center for Social Impact, as recipients of the 2023 Bernard J. Tyson Health Equity Award. The annual award honors Bernard J. Tyson and his lifelong commitment to addressing disparities in coverage and care for all Americans.
“Ruth and Dr. Clark work each day to drive change and make real impacts in our health care system to eliminate disparities,” said ACHP President and CEO Ceci Connolly. “Bernard was an example for us all on what it means to be an advocate for a more equitable health care system, and we are proud to continue his legacy with this award.”
Awardee Ruth Williams-Brinkley is a changemaker in health care, improving access to quality care for underserved communities. Ruth’s commitment and dedication to addressing social determinants of health and health care disparities has been the driving force behind her distinguished career. Since joining Kaiser Permanente in 2020, she has elevated its presence across the Mid-Atlantic region, spearheading the opening of six new medical facilities and improving health outcomes for countless individuals.
“Bernard Tyson was a titan in the field of health care, and his legacy continues to shine very brightly,” said Ms. Williams-Brinkley. “It is incredibly humbling to be honored with an award named after him. He set the standard for how health care organizations should pursue health equity and work to strengthen the communities we serve. I am grateful to ACHP for this recognition and the work the organization does to further the work of Bernard Tyson and Kaiser Permanente.”
Awardee Dr. Crystal Clark has consistently championed equitable access to affordable health care throughout her career. Her innovative spirit and commitment to quality care led to the creation of the Better Food, Better Health Pilot, which focuses on optimizing a member’s ability and capacity to achieve optimal physical and behavioral practices to manage their health. Dr. Clark serves as a leader to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within UPMC, and she works diligently to explore racial and social inequities impacting communities across the nation.
“I am truly grateful and honored to receive the ACHP 2023 Bernard J. Tyson Health Equity Award,” said Dr. Clark. “Bernard Tyson was profoundly committed to health and well-being for all. This award, given in his honor, is an exceptional recognition of the important work UPMC Community HealthChoices is doing to improve health equity for our members. Achieving health equity requires a commitment to equity, and equity requires a commitment to social justice. This award reaffirms our commitment to unite actors across sectors to generate long-term, sustainable, equitable outcomes for current and future generations.”
The awards were presented at a dinner in Washington, DC on September 28. A charitable donation was made in honor of each award winner. The Bernard J. Tyson Health Equity Award was established in 2021.
The Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) represents the nation’s top-performing nonprofit health companies, which serve tens of millions of Americans across nearly 40 states and D.C. ACHP member plans collaborate with providers on high-quality coverage and care — leading the industry in practical reforms, including MA for Tomorrow, our vision for the future of Medicare Advantage.
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