Millwood, Virginia, June 12, 2012

Project HOPE,  a global health education and humanitarian assistance organization, announced the recipients of its inaugural Project HOPE Global Health Awards to three honorees recognized for outstanding accomplishments and life-changing impact in health worldwide. 

The award recipients are:

  • The Project HOPE Global Health Partner Award: John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D., Chairman, President & CEO, Eli Lilly and Company
  • The Project HOPE Global Health Leadership Award: Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., R.N., Dean and Professor of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing
  • The Project HOPE Global Health Impact Award: Operation Smile

“There are many individuals and organizations making a difference in the lives of those whose voices often go unheard throughout the world. At Project HOPE, we wanted to recognize the unsung heroes like John, Colleen and the people of Operation Smile. Their influence on the health of people in developing countries is at the heart of the Project HOPE Global Health Awards.,” said John P. Howe III, M.D., President and CEO of Project HOPE.

The Partner Award is given to a leader from a company or organization which has donated an expertise or gifts-in-kind such as pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, equipment or other products that benefit the health of others. The Leadership Award recognizes an individual who has been a champion for health issues globally. Finally, the Impact Award is presented to a non-profit organization that has achieved significant advances in one or more of the following areas: non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases, women’s and children’s health, humanitarian assistance and health system strengthening.

The awards were presented at Project HOPE’s annual Gala on June 12 at the Mellon Auditorium in Washington D.C. The Project HOPE Global Health Awards will become an annual tradition for the 54-year-old organization.

The recipients of the first-ever Project HOPE Global Health Awards were recognized for the following accomplishments: 

  • The Project HOPE Global Health Partner Award: John Lechleiter, Chairman, President and CEO of Eli Lilly & Company
    Lilly has been a partner with HOPE since 1959. For more than 50 years, the partnership has resulted in improved medical care for underserved communities in the developing world.  More recently, Dr. Lechleiter has focused Lilly’s expertise and broad research capabilities to help find solutions for pressing health challenges such as diabetes. Last year, the company launched The Lilly NCD Partnership, a $30 million commitment over five years to fight the rising burden of non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, in developing nations.  Through this initiative, Lilly will support the work at the HOPE Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Project HOPE trains health workers in diabetes care and new screening and monitoring methods. In addition, HOPE and Lilly have partnered for five years in India to address the diabetes burden, and recently expanded their partnership to support diabetes patient care and improve access to treatment. Lilly also has been a frequent partner with HOPE to provide humanitarian assistance in disaster-stricken countries such as Indonesia, China, Haiti and Japan. 
  • The Project HOPE Global Health Leadership Award: Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., R.N., Dean and Professor of the Vanderbilt School of Nursing
    Dr. Conway-Welch’s contribution to health education spans five decades, including over 40 years as a nurse and educator. She is the Dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing.  Dr. Conway-Welch has travelled the globe in her efforts to improve medical care in underserved communities, spearheading successful health education programs from Botswana to Bahrain. She served on President Reagan’s 1998 Commission on HIV, the 1998 National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare and the 2002 Advisory Council to Secretary Thompson On Public Health Preparedness.  She is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science and in 2007, was appointment by President Bush to the Board of Regents of the Uniformed University of the Health Sciences. 
  • The Project HOPE Global Health Impact Award: Operation Smile
    An international children’s medical charity, Operation Smile works in more than 60 countries to provide free reconstructive surgery and related healthcare to children and young adults born with facial deformities, such as cleft lip and cleft palate.  More than 5,000 medical volunteers from over 80 countries volunteer with the charity to help improve the health of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 2 million healthcare evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgeries. To build long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their own local communities, donates medical equipment, and provides year-round medical treatment through Comprehensive Care Centers. Co-founder and Executive Chairman, William P. Magee Jr., DDS, M.D.  – a leading plastic surgeon and craniofacial surgeon – founded the organization with his wife, Kathleen, B.S.N., M.Ed., M.S.W., who serves as Co-Founder and President. 

About Project HOPE
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health crises, with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world’s first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now conducts land-based medical training and health education programs in 35 countries across five continents.

Media Contact

Geraldine Carroll,, 540-257-3746

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