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Hunter College

In partnership with Hunter College, the Illumination Fund is proud to honor the leadership and philanthropy of Laurie Tisch’s mother through two components: the Joan H. Tisch Distinguished Fellow in Public Health, an annual appointment of a prominent health care professional to work with faculty, undergraduate and graduate students to educate and contribute to the Hunter community; and the annual Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize, an award that honors not-for-profit organizations and individuals for distinguished accomplishment in the field of urban public health.

Past distinguished fellows have been:

  • 2014 – Dr. Thomas A. Farley, former New York City Health Commissioner
  • 2013 – Dr. Richard Jackson, a leader in examining the impact of the built environment on public health
  • 2012 – Professor Sue Atkinson, was the first Director of Public Health for London and developed the role as Health Advisor to the Mayor and Great London Authority
  • 2011 – Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association
  • 2010 – Dr. John McDonough, a senior advisor on Health to the U.S. Senate and an influential figure in advancing national health care reform

Recipients of the Joan H. Tisch Community Health Prize are:

  • 2015 – Ann-Marie Louison, Co-Director of Adult Behavior Health at CASES and the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center
  • 2014 – Sandra Hagan, former Executive Director of The Child Center of NY and Callen-Lorde Community Health Center
  • 2013 – Robert Cordero, former President and Chief Program Officer at BOOM!Health and Turning Point for Women and Families and Independence Care System’s (ICS) Breast Cancer Screening Project for Women with Physical Disabilities
  • 2012 – Mark Hannay, Director at Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign and LegalHealth
  • 2011 – Dr. Melony Samuels, Founder and Executive Director of Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger and the Union Settlement Associate

The Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund is also a proud supporter of the New York City Food Policy Center at Hunter College. The Center seeks interdisciplinary, innovative, and effective solutions to reducing hunger, food insecurity, food-related environmental problems and diet-related diseases in New York City and other urban areas. Through research, policy analysis, seminars, and evaluation they work with policy makers, community organizations, advocates, and the public to create healthier food environments and to use food to promote community and economic development. The Center leverages the food-related expertise, passion and commitment of the students, faculty and staff of Hunter College and CUNY to help make New York a beacon for smart, fair food policy.

In 2014, with support from the Illumination Fund, the Food Policy Center launched the Healthy Food Plan for East Harlem, a five-year campaign to mobilize human and other resources inside and outside East Harlem in order to make measurable progress in reducing food insecurity and diet-related diseases and creating a food system that promotes sustainable economic growth within the neighborhood. In the first year they have engaged in ongoing dialogues with a wide variety of East Harlem organizations and individuals in order to assess needs, identify partners, create and launch pilot interventions and define priorities for the next four years.