The inaugural HAS Global Awards took place November 11th at Chelsea Piers in New York City, with the Hudson River serving as a stunning backdrop for the evening. We’re off to a great start! Hosted by the esteemed Anderson Cooper alongside Jean Marc de Matteis, CEO of HAS, the gala was a resounding success. Over 180 distinguished guests were in attendance, gathered to honor and celebrate the exceptional contributions of individuals and organizations whose work has been vital in support of the Haitian cause.
In addition to recognizing their remarkable humanitarian efforts, the event also served as a testament to the collective and unwavering support for Haiti’s well-being. Underscoring this spirit of solidarity, we were tremendously honored by the attendance of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. A longstanding champion of Haiti, Senator Schumer offered heartfelt remarks in praise of the dedication and impact of the night’s honorees.
Haiti Impact Award – Haiti Air Ambulance
Our first award for the evening celebrated the extraordinary efforts of Haiti Air Ambulance, an organization redefining emergency medical services in Haiti. Operating the only air ambulance service in the country, HAA is dedicated to making healthcare accessible to all 11.5 million Haitians, regardless of ability to pay. With many land routes rendered completely impassible by the current security situation in Haiti, their work is more vital than ever. Thanks to the efforts of their amazing team, HAS was able to provide vaccinations for over 30,000 patients at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pat Dolan and David Ellis were in attendance to accept the award on behalf of the entire team at Haiti Air Ambulance.
Global Public Health Pioneer Award – Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Global Health
Our next honoree of the night was the Weill Cornell Medicine Center for Global Health, recognized for its remarkable contributions to healthcare in Haiti. Their incredible legacy dates back to 1982, when they successfully identified the first cases of AIDS in Haiti. Through initiatives that strengthen healthcare infrastructure, train local medical professionals, and conduct crucial research, the center has become a driving force for positive change. Their collaborative efforts with local institutions and Hôpital Albert Schweitzer Haiti have played a pivotal role in advancing healthcare services, ultimately contributing to the overall well-being of the Haitian population. On behalf of Weill Cornell Medicine, Dr. Dan Fitzgerald and Dr. Bill Pape graciously accepted the award.
Global Spirit of Peace Award – Chef José Andrés
Our final award recognized the outstanding contributions of Chef José Andrés, founder and “Chief Feeding Officer” of World Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing meals for communities impacted by natural disasters and humanitarian crises. His innovative model mobilizes existing kitchens in disaster-struck areas, allowing businesses to stay afloat while providing food when it is needed most. This community-driven approach has allowed World Central Kitchen to provide over 300 million meals around the globe. In addition to his work internationally, Chef Andrés has supported the vibrancy of Haitian communities, and used his platform to draw attention to the beauty of Haiti’s landscape and culture. Unable to attend the event due to his ongoing international mission, Chef Andrés accepted the award via video connection.
Haiti Panel Discussion
After the awards ceremony, we were joined by some of the leading voices on Haiti for a Q&A panel discussion. Our team of experts was interviewed by Anderson Cooper and Jean Marc de Matteis for a lively and thought-provoking conversation on the current situation facing Haiti, and the efforts of their respective organizations to provide hope in these difficult times. Featured on our panel were:
- Mitch Albom, internationally best-selling author, founder of Have Faith Haiti Mission & Orphanage
- David Ellis, Executive Director – Haiti Air Ambulance
- Dr. Bill Pape, Director – GHESKIO
- Ulrika Richardson, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Haiti – United Nations
- Jessica Laguerre, Chief Operating Officer – Hôpital Albert Schweitzer
- José Andrés, award-winning chef, founder of World Central Kitchen
Thank you to all who attended, supported, and contributed to the success of the first annual HAS Global Awards! The outstanding achievements of our honorees inspire us all to contribute to Haiti’s growth and prosperity, particularly in this crucial moment for the country. Together, we stand united in our dedication to a brighter future for Haiti.
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