| The Repository
CANTON The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s work with promoting wellness and better health will be recognized next week by the National Minority Quality Forum.
The Booker T. Washington Award, presented annually by the NMQF, will be given to the Hall of Fame on Monday in a ceremony at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C.
NMQF and the Hall of Fame have been partners in several programs, particularly working together on the Hall’s “Strong Young Strong Communities” outreach effort. It connects Hall of Fame members with youth across the country as part of a partnership with Centene Corp., a national health care provider.
“We have seen the impact that it has had on the students, parents and leaders from Oakland to Orlando,” Gary A. Puckrein, NMQF president and chief executive officer, said the of “Strong Youth Strong Communities” program.
Puckrein will present the award to David Baker, Hall of Fame president and CEO, and Darrell Green, a member of the Hall’s Class of 2008. The award is given as part of the the National Leadership Summit on Health Disparities, which NMQF started 17 years ago.
The Hall of Fame started the Strong Youth Strong Community programs are part its #HuddleUpAmerica initiative, which is designed to bring together people of all races, religions and ethnicities.
“Now is the time for all of America to ‘huddle up’ to help each other and love each other,” Baker said in a statement. “Booker T. Washington and this award in his name represent the spirit and hope that if we can huddle up and learn to trust each other, then there is no limit to what we can accomplish together.”
Puckrein said the Hall has supported the NMQF at its large community health events, while working with students and by visiting prisons to look at the health needs of vulnerable populations.
“The Gold Jackets use their platform and celebrity to truly give back to and improve the lives of others. For all these reasons, we are honored that they are accepting the 2020 Booker T. Washington Award,” Puckrein said in the release.
Last week four Hall of Fame members — Green, Anthony Munoz, Aeneas Williams and Andre Tippett — joined a “Strong Youth Strong Community” program in New Hampshire. They focused on suicide prevention and the message #YouAreNotAlone.
Green helped develop the partnership between the Hall of Fame and Centene to create the wellness program. “For the Hall of Fame, there is an important role that we can play in building healthier and stronger communities across the nation,” Green said.
The NMQF formed 22 years ago. It helps health care providers, researchers, community- and faith-based organizations, and policy makers as they strive to deliver appropriate health care to minority communities. The assistance is based on providing the evidence through science, research and analysis that will lead to effective systems for improving the quality and safety of health care for the nation, including minorities.
Past winners of the NMQF’s Booker T. Washington Award award, named in honor of the acclaimed educator and leader, include U.S. Surgeon Generals Vivek Murthy and Regina Benjamin, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association.
Reach Edd Pritchard at 330-580-8484 or [email protected]
On Twitter: @epritchardREP