New York, NY, June 12, 2017

Project HOPE, a global health and disaster response organization, named UnitedHealth Group and the Gaucher Initiative in Egypt as the recipients of the 2017 Project HOPE Global Health Awards.  

The awards, inaugurated in 2012, recognize outstanding contributions to advance health outcomes in the developing world. They will be presented at Project HOPE’s annual gala at the Pierre Hotel in New York City on Tuesday, June 13.

The theme of this year’s gala is HOPE: The Voice of Global Health, celebrating almost six decades of global health programs that have addressed complex issues including infectious diseases, maternal and child health, non-communicable diseases, and humanitarian missions in response to disasters and health emergencies worldwide.

The Project HOPE Global Health Leadership Award will be presented to UnitedHealth Group. The award honors the company and its employees who have supported the NGO’s work for more than 10 years, contributing to projects in Japan, the Philippines, Haiti, and the United States. UnitedHealth Group has also partnered with the Health Affairs journal at Project HOPE.

“The people of UnitedHealth Group are driven by our mission – to help people live healthier lives and help make the health care system work better for everyone. It is a privilege to work with them and to accept this award on their behalf,” said UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen J. Hemsley. “We are grateful for and proud of our long relationship with Project HOPE, which not only creates hope among millions worldwide, it delivers on it every day.”

“We’re extremely grateful to UnitedHealth Group and its employees worldwide who have shown an enormous commitment to improving health care for vulnerable communities and supporting HOPE’s emergency relief programs at the most critical times in people’s lives,” said Tom Kenyon, M.D., M.P.H., CEO of Project HOPE.

The Gaucher Initiative in Egypt, jointly organized by Project HOPE and Sanofi Genzyme, will receive the Project HOPE Global Health Partner Award for providing access to therapy for patients in Egypt with Gaucher disease. These patients have had no other means of obtaining treatment for this chronic, progressive disease. The Gaucher Initiative began in 2000. Today, there are seven treatment centers across Egypt and clinical specialists who can properly diagnose, refer and manage patients with this rare genetic disorder. 

“At Sanofi Genzyme we recognize that serious diseases don’t discriminate. They affect people from all corners of the world. We share with Project HOPE a commitment to providing sustainable healthcare solutions to those in need, and we look forward to continuing our partnership to help the therapies we develop reach patients regardless of their economic circumstances,” said Daniel Gruskin, M.D., Head of Global Medical Affairs, Rare Diseases, Sanofi Genzyme.

“Many lives in Egypt have improved over the past 15 years thanks to the Gaucher Initiative - a transformative program that has helped patients in need, strengthened the local health care system and contributed to a better global understanding of Gaucher disease,” said Dr. Kenyon.

Project HOPE provides both long-term health care and humanitarian assistance during health emergencies for communities around the world. The annual Project HOPE Global Health Awards honor individuals and organizations whose work aligns with Project HOPE’s mission and initiatives. 

About Project HOPE

Founded in 1958, Project HOPE is a leader in global health development and emergency relief programs. An international nonprofit organization, we save lives and improve health, especially among women and children. We accomplish our mission by improving the knowledge, abilities and tools of the health workforce to deliver high quality health services to communities in need. With programs in over 30 countries, we work at the epicenter of today’s greatest health challenges including infectious and chronic diseases, disasters and health crises, maternal, neonatal and child health and the policies that impact how health care is delivered. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @projecthopeorg.

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