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B’nai B’rith National Healthcare Award Focuses on the Industry in Unprecedented Times


Acknowledging the efforts of caregivers on the front line of the pandemic in her acceptance remarks, Marna Borgstrom, CEO of Yale New Haven Health and Yale Hospital in Connecticut, is the 2020 recipient of B’nai B’rith’s Charles S. Lauer National Healthcare Award. Borgstrom says she is proud of helping to build a talented, diverse group of leaders dedicated to improving patient care.
With health issues at the center of the world in the face of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, the B’nai B’rith International Charles S. Lauer National Healthcare Award took on greater significance this year.  

 In place of an award usually bestowed at a dinner ceremony, a virtual event saluted the award winner and global healthcare workers for their efforts caring for people fighting COVID-19.

On Oct. 28, healthcare professionals and B’nai B’rith members and supporters tuned in virtually to hear salutes to the honoree, Marna Borgstrom, CEO of Yale New Haven Health and Yale Hospital, to learn about advancements in the Yale New Haven network and, most importantly, hear tributes to the healthcare heroes who have been fighting the battle against COVID-19, the illness caused by the Coronavirus, since March.

Borgstrom dedicated the award to the healthcare heroes in the Yale New Haven network and to healthcare workers around the world and stressed that, this year, the award is more theirs than hers.

“At [Borgstrom’s] urging, we even more importantly focus our attention in our virtual award ceremony on all those in our field standing up to the COVID-19 challenge,” co-chair Charles Kahn said. Kahn is the president and CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals. “The coronavirus has affected all of us but not like the front-line caregivers in hospitals across the nation that have put themselves in harm’s way to serve all of us. We owe them so much and honor them this year for their healthcare leadership.”

Borgstrom emphasized the heroic efforts of frontline healthcare workers in her acceptance remarks. “Never has that been more evident than in the response of our physicians, nurses, frontline caregivers and others who support them to the unprecedented threat of COVID-19,” she said in her acceptance address. “As most people sheltered in place and as the world as we knew it came to a crushing halt, the heroes among us – the women and men of our healthcare systems – put themselves at risk daily to meet the needs of those afflicted by the novel Coronavirus or other health-related emergencies.”

The B’nai B’rith National Healthcare Award has a rich history: It was established in 1983 to highlight the outstanding work of individuals and corporations that set the standard for health and educational initiatives that better the lives of people throughout their communities and across the globe. The esteemed recipients of the National Healthcare Award have shown a history of dedicated leadership and outstanding civic involvement in the healthcare field and in the general community.  

“The mission of Yale New Haven Health is closely aligned with the work of B’nai B’rith,” Borgstrom said. “As an organization fully dedicated to social justice and civic involvement, B’nai B’rith has been a true leader in our communities. And, like the organization I am proud to lead, it has worked tirelessly to drive change based upon core values of fairness and equity.”

“The date of B’nai B’rith’s Healthcare Award is circled on my calendar every year, because it’s where my personal and professional backgrounds come together in a very meaningful way,” said co-chair Rick Pollack, who serves as the president and CEO of the American Hospital Association. “Since 1843, B’nai B’rith has worked successfully to make life safer, more tolerant and better for everyone. Hospitals share the same mission, and in this pandemic year, when caring, compassion and health care heroes have helped to hold our country together, I am especially proud to have a foot in both worlds.”

To view the tribute video and read the tribute journal visit: