MedAssets (NASDAQ: MDAS) today announced the recipients of the 2011 Norman Borlaug Humanitarian Award and the 2011 George Herbert Walker (H.W.) Bush Pacesetter Award, recognized during the 2012 MedAssets Healthcare Business Summit held April 10-12.
Corporate charitable giving is engrained in the MedAssets culture and core values. Each year the company bestows these two awards to reflect a strong belief that everyone is entitled to treatment that is dignified and loving.
The honorees are:
Elissa Montanti—2011 Norman Borlaug Humanitarian Award. Elissa Montanti founded the non-profit, non-partisan Global Medical Relief Fund (GMRF) for Children in 1997. Its mission is to aid children who are missing or have lost the use of limbs or eyes, have been severely burned, or have been injured due to war, natural disaster or illness. A 501c3 organization, GMRF is supported entirely by private donations and grants.
Colonel George Everette “Bud” Day—2011 George H.W. Bush Pacesetter Award. Col. Day is a retired U.S. Air Force colonel and command pilot who served during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, including five years and seven months as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. While imprisoned, Day was beaten, starved and tortured, but refused to give any valuable information to his captors. He is often cited as being the most decorated U.S. service member since Gen. Douglas MacArthur, having received some seventy decorations, a majority for actions in combat. Day is a recipient of the Medal of Honor and the Air Force Cross.
"Elissa and Bud have shown tremendous selflessness, bravery and dedication. It is our hope this recognition will raise awareness of their important contributions," said John Bardis, chairman, president and chief executive officer, MedAssets. "Their efforts and leadership are inspiring and it is our honor to recognize both of them. On behalf of MedAssets, we believe that it is our corporate responsibility to share our organizational success in ways that empower and enrich those in need."
"God and all merciful people to help me getting prosthetics.” Those were the words that started Elissa Montanti’s journey to found GMRF. The year was 1996, and Elissa had lost her mother and grandparents over a short amount of time. She sought solace from her grief by helping the children of war-torn Bosnia, part of the former Yugoslavia. International organizations estimated that 100,000 people were killed during a three-year civil war conflict. Elissa had reached out to the United Nations ambassador of Bosnia to send toys and school supplies. Instead, he shared a letter written by a Bosnian boy, Kenan Malkic, who had lost both arms and a leg after stepping on a land mine while playing soccer. The plan for school supplies and toys was put aside and Elissa instead called airlines, hospitals and any organization she could think of to assist in bringing Kenan to the United States for treatment. Soon after, Kenan and his mother arrived for a four-month stay at Elissa‘s house in New York to be fitted with prosthetic limbs.
Since its founding GMRF has brought more than 150 children to the United States from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia for treatment, surgery and prosthetic limb and eye fittings.
Born in Sioux City, Iowa on Feb. 24, 1925, Colonel Day dropped out of high school in 1942 in order to enlist in the Marine Corps. He served in the North Pacific theatre during World War II and after the war joined the Iowa Army Reserve where he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. He was called to active duty in 1951 for pilot training in the U.S. Air Force after its formation in 1947. He served two tours in the Korean War, surviving a “no-chute” ejection in 1955. As a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War, Colonel Day was flying a mission in 1967 when his aircraft was struck by a missile. Colonel Day and Captain Corwin M. "Kipp" Kippenhan were forced to eject over enemy territory. Colonel Day was seriously injured during the ejection. He was captured by the enemy, but escaped, only to be recaptured 15 days later with additional gunshot wounds to his leg and hand.
Colonel Day retired from active duty in 1977 to resume his law practice. He had more than 8,000 flying hours to his credit. Years after his retirement, Colonel Day emerged to fight again—this time against the U.S. government for attempting to cut benefits for retired veterans. Due to his advocacy, the planned benefit changes were rolled back by Congress. Colonel Day is the author of two autobiographies focusing on his experience as a prisoner of war, Return with Honor, followed by Duty, Honor, Country.
As part of MedAssets’ commitment to support our nation’s heroes overseas, the company also hosted the assembly of more than 1,800 care packages. Over 1,600 event attendees helped assemble and ship the individual packages to 23 soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to distribute among their respective units.
Today, a great part of the GMRF’s success is owed to Elissa’s passion and abilities to bring together great organizations with similar missions, including, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Long Island Jewish Hospital, Johns Hopkins University Hospital, the Long Island Plastic Surgery Group, Winthrop University Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and Ocular Prosthetics, Inc. The maimed and injured children that benefit from GMRF come from countries or regions that can offer only minimal medical care, poorly fitted prostheses, or none at all. The list of countries includes: Bosnia, China, El Salvador, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Kosovo, Liberia, Mexico, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan and Sierra Leone.
In addition to monetary donations, the organization also accepts airline frequent flyer miles to help bring injured children to the United States for care. To learn more about Elissa’s work and how to donate to help the Global Medical Relief Fund’s mission, please visit the organization’s Website at www.gmrfchildren.org.
MedAssets (NASDAQ: MDAS) helps healthcare organizations to improve financial strength through innovative revenue cycle, spend and clinical resource management solutions that enable improved margins, cash flow, quality of care and patient satisfaction. More than 4,200 hospitals and 100,000 non-acute healthcare providers currently use the company's Web-based technologies and evidence-based solutions to help capture revenue, control cost, increase regulatory compliance and optimize operational efficiency to improve the care delivery process. As a result, the company manages annually $48 billion in healthcare supply spend and touches over $340 billion in gross patient revenues. For more information, please visit www.medassets.com.
For a full list of charities MedAssets supports, please click here.