Tuesday, May 19, 2009

From POZ Editor Laura Whitehorn


Dear friends,

This Thursday evening is the Health GAP awards ceremony honoring Alan Berkman and David Hoos (who co-founded Health GAP with Alan in 1999). You may know that Alan entered the hospital (and isolation) yesterday in preparation for his bone marrow transplant; he is currently undergoing the preparatory chemotherapy. The transplant itself should take place a week from tomorrow or the next day. This is very exciting, although it's also a risky and painful experience for Alan. His spirits going into the ordeal are terrific.

He urges everyone to attend the Health GAP ceremony despite his absence. Before going into the hospital he recorded a video message to the gathering; all of us there will also have a chance to record messages back to him. The event will be filmed (by two different crews) so that he can see it when he's recovering. So please, if you can attend, join us. Great food and drink and an educational and inspiring evening. Alan specifically hopes that people attend to support Barbara, Sarah and Harriet, who will be there representing Alan.

Here are the details:

Health GAP's Global Health Justice Awards
THURSDAY, MAY 21, 6 PM TO 10 PM
at the Marseilles, 230 West 103rd St (just west of Broadway). Donations on a sliding scale.
For more information, or to learn more about the important global health advocacy of Health GAP, please go to http://www.healthgap.org.

I hope to see you there!
- Laura

Dr. Alan Berkman is a veteran civil rights activist and clinician in New York City. Alan's public health activism began in the early 1970s (he braved military sniper fire, for example, to provide medical care to Native American activists during the occupation of Wounded Knee; he has for years treated prisoners such as those injured during the New York state assault on Attica prison in 1971.) In 1999 he brought together fair trade lawyers and economists, progressive clinicians, such as Dr. David Hoos, human rights activists, international health and development advocates, and direct action-oriented AIDS activists willing to confront U.S. government trade policies and the drug lobby. Individuals from groups and institutions joined forces to forge a U.S.-based action-oriented strategy toward reducing barriers to equitable global access to treatment and care. Together, and in dialogue with activists from around the world (especially African nations), this group forged the basis of a new synergistic strategy toward the global epidemic rooted in ideals of the human right to life and health, and committed to social mobilization as key to confronting the epidemic.

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