Newborn Foundation Honors Leaders in Newborn Health, Technology, Policy and Advocacy at 2014 Awards Gala

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Minneapolis, MN 10/13/14 — – The Newborn Foundation, an international nonprofit leveraging medical technologies to improve outcomes and reduce disparities for newborns, hosted the 2014 Awards Gala in Minneapolis on Friday, October 10. The event recognized outstanding leaders in newborn and pediatric health and was hosted by Emmy Award-winning WCCO journalist, Jason DeRusha, and attended by several current and former members of Congress, legislative leaders and officials from several state and federal health agencies along with special recognition from international ministries of health and the United Nations/MDG Health Alliance.

Among the prestigious awards presented were:

Hubert H Humphrey “Dawn of Life” Award presented by Hubert “Buck” Humphrey IV, grandson of the former vice president to:

Joe Kiani, Founder and CEO of Masimo, for his policy and innovation leadership in increasing the role of technology in improving the health of newborns around the world.

Dr. Ted Thompson Visionary Awards Presented by Senator Norm Coleman & Dr. Jamie Lohr to:

Mrs. Lynette Thompson (honoring Dr. Thompson posthumously)


Dr. Lazaros Kochilas, University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital for outstanding leadership in newborn and pediatric cardiac screening and follow up

R. Rodney Howell Award for Excellence in Newborn Health presented by Dr. Rodney Howell,Professor of Pediatrics and Chairman Emeritus, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami to:

Dr. Michele A. Lloyd--Puryear, MD, PhD, FAAP, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics for national and international leadership in newborn screening, policy and pediatric health followup care

Eve Award for Innovation in Newborn Health presented by Scott Grosse, PhD,Research Economist, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, CDC to:

Dr. Terese Finitzo, CEO, OZ Systems for Finitzo a lifetime of service, advocacy and IT innovation in improving the health outcomes of newborns and young patients.

David R Tesch Advocacy Award presented by Jim Koppel, Deputy Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Health to:

Jolene Tesch, David’s mother & Congenital Heart Disease & Screening Advocate

“The award recipients represent the most talented, most committed individuals dedicated to saving newborn lives and improving the health of young patients around the world,” said Hubert H. “Buck” Humphrey IV, Newborn Foundation board member and Gala Host Committee Chair.
Additionally, former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona offered the following remarks.

“My friend Joe Kiani is deeply committed to patient safety and reducing preventable deaths. When I heard Joe was receiving the Hubert H. Humphrey ‘Dawn of Life’ Award, I was deeply moved. The former vice president was one of the staunchest advocates for the health of those most in need – the youngest, most fragile among us.”

The event also featured remarks from global newborn health dignitaries and performances from survivors of critical newborn health conditions and included guest appearances by recording artist Karen Vieno Paurus, the acclaimed Minneapolis Youth Chorus and former NFL-great Esera Tuaolo.

Proceeds from the event support the continued efforts of the Newborn Foundation and Coalition to leverage technologies in improving early detection of health conditions and access to care for newborns. The awards gala was held on the heels of the Newborn Foundation’s training and implementation of a major newborn screening project in China, impacting some 250,000 newborns. As part of the United Nations’ Every Newborn Action Plan – the Newborn Foundation’s BORN Project was recently highlighted among a handful of programs saving newborn lives at meetings during the UN General Assembly in New York City.

Corporate sponsors included Masimo, Drager, the NFL Alumni Association, Children’s Hospitals & Clinics of Minnesota, Ainsley Shea, the Michael & Brittany Reger Family Foundation,University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, Recombinetics, OZ Systems, Minnesota Monthly,Recombinetics, Rick & Gretchen Jelinek, Julian Design, Smile Network International, the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, American Heart Association, and Morrie’s Luxury Auto, Maserati, Bentley.

For more information or gala photos, visit

List of guests and committee: