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28th Annual Bipartisan Congressional Awards

Heroes in Health: An Event to Celebrate Meaning, Love, and Healthy Aging


September 21, 2021
3-4:30 PM ET




Sarah DiGiovine
VP of Development

While we missed seeing everyone in person, we were excited to have the opportunity to celebrate our commitment to older adults at a virtual Heroes in Health: An Event to Celebrate Meaning, Love, and Healthy Aging.

The Alliance for Aging Research held the 28th Annual Bipartisan Congressional Awards virtually on Tuesday, September 21, 2021, from 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Eastern.

Each year, the Alliance holds the Bipartisan Congressional Awards to honor individuals for their contributions to advance the science of human aging. The Awards also have a deeper purpose: to remind lawmakers of the nation’s bipartisan commitment to advance medical research to improve the lives of millions of Americans.

More Information:
Watch the Awards
2021 Roundtable Discussion


Each year, the Alliance holds the Bipartisan Congressional Awards to honor individuals and companies making great strides to further aging research and innovation in aging. The Awards also have a deeper purpose: to remind lawmakers of the nation’s bipartisan commitment to advance medical research to improve the lives of millions of Americans.

The 28th Annual Bipartisan Congressional Awards featured the following awards:

  • Claude Pepper Award for Advancing Healthy Aging: presented each year to a Democratic member of Congress who is leading the way for policies encouraging medical research, innovation, and care to benefit Americans as they grow older.
  • Distinguished Public Service Award: presented each year to a Republican member of Congress who is leading the way for policies encouraging medical research, innovation, and care to benefit Americans as they grow older.
  • Silver Innovator Award: presented to an individual who anticipates and embraces the evolution of high-quality research aligned with the needs of older patients.
  • Daniel Perry Founder’s Award: presented to an individual or group who is helping to change the paradigm of how we view aging and well-being as we age.
  • Perennial Hero Award: presented each year to honor an older individual who is actively contributing to create positive societal change and serves as a role model for people of all ages.

Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) (Claude Pepper Award for Advancing Healthy Aging)

Elected to the United States Senate by the people of Maryland in November 2016, Chris Van Hollen is committed to fighting every day to ensure that our state and our country live up to their full promise of equal rights, equal justice, and equal opportunity.

Senator Van Hollen believes that every child deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams and benefit from a quality education, and that anyone willing to work hard should be able to find a good job. That’s why his top priorities include creating more and better jobs, strengthening small businesses, and increasing educational and job training opportunities for individuals of all ages and in every community.

Senator Van Hollen started his time in public service as a member of the Maryland State Legislature, where he became known as a tenacious advocate for everyday Marylanders and someone who was unafraid to take on powerful special interests on behalf of working people. In 2002, he was elected to represent Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. In the House of Representatives, he served as a member of the Democratic leadership and was elected by his colleagues to be the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and protect vital interests like Social Security and Medicare.

A tireless fighter for the people of Maryland, Senator Van Hollen has also become known for working hard to find common sense solutions to difficult national issues. In January 2015, he released a comprehensive plan to address the problem of growing inequality in America and provide a blueprint for building an economy that works for everyone, a goal that he will continue to fight for in the U.S. Senate.

Senator Van Hollen is proud to have worked successfully with members of both parties to pass bipartisan legislation whenever possible on issues of common concern, including expanding medical research, protecting the Chesapeake Bay, fighting childhood cancer, and passing the ABLE Act to assist families with children with disabilities.

Chris Van Hollen is a graduate of Swarthmore College, the John F. Kennedy School of Public Policy at Harvard University, and Georgetown University Law Center where he attended night school. He and his wife, Katherine Wilkens, are the proud parents of three children—Anna, Nicholas, and Alexander.

Congressman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) (Distinguished Public Service Award)

Congressman Brett Guthrie represents Kentucky’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Second District is the home of the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Mammoth Cave National Park and Fort Knox.

Guthrie serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The Energy and Commerce Committee is the oldest standing legislative committee in the House with broad jurisdiction over our nation’s energy, health care, telecommunications and consumer product safety policies.

He is the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee. He also serves on the Communications and Technology Subcommittee and the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee. Last Congress, Guthrie was the top Republican on the Oversight and Investigation’s Subcommittee. In this role, Guthrie conducted oversight of COVID-19 response efforts. Guthrie also helped develop recommendations on the health care supply chain, COVID-19 testing, vaccines and more in a series of reports titled the Second Wave Preparedness Project.

Recognized for his proven leadership, Guthrie was also appointed to serve a second term as a Deputy Whip within the House Republican Conference for the 117th Congress. Guthrie was also selected by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23) to co-lead the Healthy Future Task Force to form a solution-based health care agenda.

Guthrie graduated in 1987 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and went on to serve as a Field Artillery Officer in the 101st Airborne Division – Air Assault at Fort Campbell. Guthrie later earned a Master’s Degree from Yale University in Public and Private Management.

Following his military service, he joined Trace Die Cast, the Bowling Green, Ky., based manufacturing business that was started by his father.

First elected to public office in 1998, Guthrie represented the 32nd District in the Kentucky Senate until being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008.

Married to the former Beth Clemmons, they have three children, Caroline, Robby and Elizabeth. In May 2020, Brett and Beth were blessed with their first grandchild Rowan, daughter of Caroline and her husband Ryan.

Kizzmekia S. Corbett, Ph.D. (Silver Innovator Award)

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is an assistant professor of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Shutzer Assistant Professor at Harvard’s Radcliff Institute of Advanced Study, and Associate Member of the Phillip T. and Susan M. Ragon Institute. In 2008, she received a BS in Biological Sciences, with a secondary major in Sociology, from the University of Maryland – Baltimore County, where she was a Meyerhoff Scholar and NIH undergraduate scholar. She then obtained her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology in 2014 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill holding multiple honors, including a director’s scholarship. Prior to Harvard, she was a research fellow and scientific lead at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Vaccine Research Center. Dr. Corbett uses her viral immunology expertise to propel novel vaccine development for pandemic preparedness, including mRNA-1273, a leading vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. The vaccine concept incorporated in mRNA-1273 was designed by Dr. Corbett’s NIH team from viral sequence and rapidly deployed to industry partner, Moderna, Inc., for Phase 1 clinical trial, which unprecedently began only 66 days from viral sequence release. mRNA-1273 was shown to be 94.1% effective in Phase 3 trial and is authorized for use in multiple countries. Alongside mRNA-1273, Dr. Corbett boasts a patent portfolio which also includes universal coronavirus and influenza vaccine concepts and novel therapeutic antibodies. In all, she has over 15 years of experience studying dengue virus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus, and coronaviruses, garnering several prestigious awards, such as the Benjamin Franklin Next Gen Award and the Salzman Memorial Award in Virology. Combining her research goals with her knack for mentorship, Dr. Corbett invests much of her time in underserved communities as an advocator of STEM education and vaccine awareness.

President Jonathan Nez (Daniel Perry Founder’s Award)

Jonathan Nez is the President of the Navajo Nation.

Jonathan Nez was born in Tuba City, Arizona and raised in Shonto, Arizona. He is married to Phefelia H. Nez and they have two children, Christopher and Alexander. He is the son of John H. Nez and Mabel H. Nez. His grandfather, H.T. Donald, was the former Navajo Nation Council Delegate for Shonto Chapter, and his grandmother was Mae Donald from Shonto.

Nez began his public service after being elected as Shonto Chapter Vice President. He was later elected to serve three terms as a Navajo Nation Council Delegate, representing the chapters of Shonto, Oljato, Tsah Bi Kin, and Navajo Mountain. He was also elected as a Navajo County Board of Supervisor for District 1 and served two terms. In 2015, Nez was elected Navajo Nation Vice President.

Nez believes in education. He is currently a doctoral student in political science and completed research on local empowerment and mobilizing local communities of the Navajo Nation to reinstate their inherent local way of governance. His research focuses on the reduction of dependence on the central tribal government, upholding and enhancing the local inherent sovereignty of the chapter areas. He is an alumnus of Northland Pioneer College and Northern Arizona University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from NAU.

Jill Jim, Ph.D., MPH, MHA (Daniel Perry Founder’s Award)

Dr. Jill Jim, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation and fluent Navajo speaker, will be coming home to the Navajo Nation from Albuquerque, N.M. to serve as the Executive Director for the Navajo Nation Department of Health.

Dr. Jim has a Doctorate in Public Health, a Master’s Degree in Health Care Administration, a second Master’s in Public Health from the University of Utah. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Promotion and Community Health Education from Northern Arizona University.

Some of her work experience includes serving as a Health Care Analyst for HealthInsight in Albuquerque, N.M., consultant for Navajo Area Indian Health Service, and Epidemiologist for the Utah Department of Health.

Phyllis Greenberger, MSW (Perennial Hero Award)

Phyllis E. Greenberger, MSW, is Senior Vice President of Science & Health Policy for HealthyWomen. Formerly President and CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research, Phyllis was responsible for getting legislation passed mandating the inclusion of women and minorities in clinical trials and incorporating analyses of sex and ethnic differences into FDA and NIH research.

As a result of SWHR’s work under Ms. Greenberger’s leadership, federal mandates require the inclusion of women and ethnic minorities in medical research and clinical trials; and scientists are researching the ways in which health conditions and diseases affect men, women, and ethnic minorities differently and why.

She has been honored by many organizations. The Medical Herald selected her as one of the 20 most influential women in medicine today. In 2016, Phyllis was given the Trailblazer award by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women’s Health. Women’s Day magazine awarded Greenberger the 2006 “Red Dress Award” in recognition of her work in leading the way in the fight against heart disease in women, and in 2010 named her one of 50 “Women Who Are Changing the World.” She also received the “Award for Research Excellence” by the National Association for Women’s Health, “Journal of Women’s Health & Gender-Based Medicine’s Achievement Award,” “Champion of Women’s Health” by Ladies’ Home Journal, the “Washington Woman of Genius” by Trinity College in Washington, DC, and received an award for public advocacy from the Clinical Research Forum. She was named the 2013 ‘Woman of the Year’ by the National Association of Professional Women. On November 24, 2019, Phyllis received the Moment Magazine Trailblazer Award at the Moment DC Gala & Awards Dinner.

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The Alliance is honored to work with the distinguished members of the Heroes in Health Committee:

Portrait of Jim Scott.

James G. Scott (Chair)

President and CEO
Applied Policy, LLC

Portrait of John Alam.

John Alam

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
EIP Pharma, Inc.

Portrait of Margaret Davis-Cerone.

Margaret Davis-Cerone

Senior Director, Corporate Affairs-US
Pfizer Inc.

Portrait of DeChane Dorsey.

DeChane Dorsey, Esq.

Vice President, Payment and Health Care Delivery Policy

Portrait of Beatriz Duque Long.

Beatriz Duque Long

Associate Director, Federal Government Affairs and Strategic Alliances
Biogen Inc.

Portrait of Karen Gally.

Karen Gally

Vice President and General Counsel
Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Headshot of Dan Leonard.

Dan Leonard

President and CEO
Association for Accessible Medicines

Headshot of Michele Markus.

Michele Markus

Head of Global Health Accounts; Worldwide Enterprise Lead
Omnicom Health Group

Portrait of Janet McUlsky.

Janet McUlsky

Managing Partner
MultiLink Ltd.

Headshot of Michele Oshman.

Michele Oshman

Vice President for
External Affairs
Biotechnology Innovation Organization

Portrait of Dorothy Ouchida.

Dorothy Ouchida

Government Affairs & Advocacy Consultant
Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Portrait of Sara Pescatello.

Sara Pescatello

Vice President, Health Policy and External Affairs
UnitedHealth Group

Portrait of William Tatum.

William Tatum

Public Policy – Grocery

Headshot of Todd Tuten.

M. Todd Tuten

Senior Advisor
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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The Alliance thanks and recognizes the generous sponsors of the 28th Annual Bipartisan Congressional Awards:

35th Anniversary Award Underwriter

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

AbbVie Inc.
BrightFocus Foundation
Edwards Lifesciences Corporation
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
Lundbeck LLC
Peterson Wilmarth and Robertson LLP
U.S. Pharmacopeia

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Media Sponsor

The Alliance thanks and recognizes the official Media Sponsor of the 28th Annual Bipartisan Congressional Awards:

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