The New York Academy of Medicine Honors Health Leadership at Its 2023 NYAM Gala: Together for Health Equity

Michael Sneed, Terry T. Fulmer, and Peggy Shepard recognized for their contributions to advancing health for all.

New York, NY, Oct. 25, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) has honored Michael Sneed, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer, Johnson & Johnson (retired), Terry T. Fulmer, President, The John A. Hartford Foundation, and Peggy Shepard, Co-founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, at its 2023 Gala: Together for Health Equity on October 10, 2023. Held at NYAM’s historic headquarters on Museum Mile in East Harlem, the evening was emceed by Emmy Award-winning journalist and author Cheryl Wills. The evening’s awards recognized each honoree’s contributions to advancing health equity. View photos from the event here and the program here.

Welcoming guests to her first NYAM gala as President, Dr. Ann Kurth said, “As NYAM moves into its 176th year and beyond, we resolutely accept the call to continue to innovate for the health of New York City, the nation, and the planet. In a world where there are increasing disparities, compounded by the pressures of climate change impact, we’re up to the challenge.”

NYAM’s work addresses challenges to health across the lifespan—from safe birth to healthy aging to a maximized healthspan (years of healthy life).

Dr. Wayne J. Riley, President, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University, and NYAM Board Chair, expounded on NYAM’s role as a renowned convener and builder of a network of professionals: “Bringing people together to challenge the status quo is a long-standing role that NYAM has embraced across years. Since 1847, our founding Fellows and those who have come since have carried the torch of changing the systems that get in the way of health for everyone. And, I am humbled to be part of the modern-day era of this storied institution and to continue making groundbreaking moves for health.”

NYAM presented its 2023 Health Equity Champion Award to Michael Sneed, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer, Johnson & Johnson (retired), for his career-long dedication to advancing health, including founding Johnson & Johnson’s $100 million Race to Health Equity initiative to rebuild healthcare from a diverse perspective by supporting solutions that systemically address racial health equity. Sneed was introduced via video by special guest Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Director, Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, and Faculty Director, W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute at Harvard University.

“My journey began as a young boy watching his grandparents commit their professional lives to their community on the west side of Chicago for decades…it was their work that inspired public service in me and my siblings. Healthcare has been in me, and in our family for over 100 years. That is the commitment we have made…I like to think that the work (of all of us) has only just begun. I know that you and so many others will remain committed to a world where we continue to close the equity gap and to continue the sense of urgency that we all must have as we go forward,” Michael Sneed, Executive Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs and Chief Communications Officer, Johnson & Johnson (retired).

NYAM presented its 2023 Healthcare Legacy Award to Terry T. Fulmer, President, The John A. Hartford Foundation, a tireless advocate for the health and safety of older populations, for her work to improve the well-being of older communities in the city, the nation, and the world. Her fierce vision of a world that supports everyone to age well has been increasingly relevant as NY rolls out its multisectoral plan for aging, to which NYAM contributed community voice to. The award was introduced by former NYAM Trustee Dr. Jack Rowe, Julius B. Richmond Professor of Health Policy and Aging, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. 

“I’m excited to receive the Healthcare Legacy Award from The New York Academy of Medicine. I’m excited as NYAM has had a special place in my career as well as in the history of health in New York and in the entire field of medicine and healthcare. NYAM has always been on the vanguard of advancing the science of medicine and creating a space for those of us who care passionately about healthcare. It has provided a base for those of us committed to improving the health of older adults in the city and around the world,” Terry T. Fulmer, President, The John A. Hartford Foundation

NYAM presented its 2023 Bold & Brave Award to Peggy Shepard, Co-founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice, a pioneer in providing the people of Northern Manhattan—and the country—with the resources and tools needed to become part of the change-making process. Her impact has reached far beyond New York, inspiring global action in the fight for environmental justice. The award was introduced by Dr. Leslie Hayes, Deputy Commissioner, Division of Family and Child Health, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“WE ACT and I will continue to advocate for environmental public health and climate justice policies here and abroad, in Albany and in Congress, and I look forward to working with the public heath community to improve public health by reducing toxic exposures where we live, work, play and go to school. Only then can we secure health equity for all,” Peggy Shepard, Co-founder and Executive Director, WE ACT for Environmental Justice

The NYAM 2023 Gala: Together for Health Equity was sponsored by the following generous individuals and organizations: 
Advocates for All: James and Kerianne Flynn
Advocates for Change: Michael Sneed; Thomas Jefferson University; and Jefferson Health
Advocates for Progress: Bristol Myers Squibb; The John A. Hartford Foundation; Mount Sinai Heart; Mount Sinai Hospital; Mount Sinai Hospital Nursing Department; Northwell Health; SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University
Advocates for Dreams: APCO Worldwide; Bassett Healthcare Network; Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health; Columbia University School of Nursing; Edelman; Ann Kurth, PhD, CNM, MPH; Mercer; New York University College of Dentistry; Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Sciences; Princeton Area Community Foundation; RiverSpring Living; Janis Smith-Gomez, MBA; WPP
Platinum Sponsor: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital
Silver Sponsor: Johnson & Johnson; Montefiore-Einstein; Valerie & John W. Rowe, MD

About The New York Academy of Medicine
The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) is a leading voice for innovation in public health. Throughout its 176-year history, NYAM has uniquely championed bold changes to the systems that perpetuate health inequities and keep all communities from achieving good health. Today, this work includes innovative research, programs, and policy initiatives that distinctively value community input for maximum impact. Combined with NYAM’s trusted programming and historic Library, and with the support of nearly 2,000 esteemed Fellows and Members, NYAM’s impact as a health leader continues. 

To learn more, visit and follow @NYAMNYC on social media.


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