2016 Foremother and Health Policy Hero Awards Luncheon

This year’s awards luncheon was held at the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC. We honored Judy Woodruff, Elaine Jones, and Nancy Pelosi as Foremothers and Flint, Michigan heroes LeeAnne Walters and Marc Edwards as Health Policy Heroes. It was a huge success and a wonderful honor to be able to hear from such inspirational leaders!

See more photos in our Facebook album. | Thank you to Liz Roll for the photography.


Dr. Diana Zuckerman, Judy Woodruff, and Maureen Bunyan
Dr. Diana Zuckerman, Judy Woodruff, and Maureen Bunyan, WJLA anchor
Elaine Jones
Dr. Zuckerman with Elaine Jones and Maureen Bunyan
Wendell Primus
Dr. Zuckerman, Wendell Primus, Maureen Bunyan
Health Policy Heroes
Health Policy Heroes Marc Edwards and LeeAnne Walters
Former Foremothers 2016
Dr. Diana Zuckerman with former and current Foremothers

Foremothers and Health Policy Heroes Awards Luncheon

Judy Woodruff is one of our nation’s foremost journalists.  Whether she is co-anchoring the PBS NewsHour or a presidential debate, we can always trust her to ask the right questions to inform and enlighten us.  She was one of the few women serving as a White House correspondent during the Carter Administration and has been in the top ranks of journalists ever since – at CBS, NBC, PBS, and CNN.  She co-founded the International Women’s Media Foundation to help mentor and encourage other female journalists to succeed worldwide.  As the mother of a son with spina bifida, she has also become a tireless advocate for people with disabilities.  Her work has improved the lives of millions of Americans.

Judy Woodruff
Judy Woodruff

Elaine Jones has dedicated her life to the Civil Rights Movement.  The daughter of a Pullman porter and a schoolteacher, Jones graduated from Howard University in 1965, joined the Peace Corps, and two years later was one of 5 Black students and the only woman enrolled at the University of Virginia Law School. In 1970, she rejected a prominent Wall Street firm, to take a position at the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, where she argued many discrimination cases and represented a black man on death row who had been accused of raping a white woman.  The Supreme Court decision on that case abolished the death penalty in 37 states for 12 years. In the years since that early success, she has been an inspiring champion for fairness and equality as the first woman to serve as the President and Director-Counsel of NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund.

Elaine Jones
Elaine Jones

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi (invited) is the most powerful woman in Congress and our nation’s first woman Speaker of the House.  She was instrumental in passing and protecting the Affordable Care Act, which gives millions of Americans access to quality, affordable health insurance for the first time. Wendell Primus, Leader Pelosi’s Senior Policy Advisor, accepted her award.

Wendell Primus
Wendell Primus
Our 2016 Health Policy Heroes are successfully working in Flint, Michigan to change policies that have enormous impact the health of thousands of people.
LeeAnne Walters is the Flint, Mich., stay-at-home mother who was getting nowhere trying to convince state and local officials that there was something seriously wrong with their water.  She started investigating the lead levels and possible causes, and contacted Marc Edwards, an environmental engineering professor from Virginia Tech and MacArthur Genius award winner.  In 2004, he helped shed light on lead in drinking water in Washington, DC and has spent thousands of dollars of his own money to investigate the lead disaster in Flint’s water supply and elsewhere across the country.  Together they contacted the EPA, and Miguel del Toral did all he could to make sure the Flint water would be made safe, despite misinformation from official sources.
Marc Edwards and LeeAnne Walters
Marc Edwards speaking as LeeAnne Walters looks on – two Flint, Michigan heroes
NCHR Staff
NCHR Staff

We gratefully acknowledge our 2015 sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor:

AAJ high q

Gold Sponsors:

Catherine Joyce
at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

Kaiser logo

Leadership Sponsor:

The Cooper-Rothenberg Group
at Morgan Stanley


congressional federal

IBEW logo


nesxerox logo

Thank you to the generous individuals who supported this year’s luncheon:
Christopher Cooper
Catherine Joyce
Andrew Rothenberg
Benjamin Gitterman
Nancy Hardt
Janis Manning
Omega Logan Silva in memory of Dr. Joan P. Treuer
Phyllis Wiesenfelder
Susan Wood