7th Annual NHF Gala a Resounding Success

For Immediate Release:
April 11, 2011

The Event Provided a Memorable Evening for More Than 650 Guests

(Alexandria, VA) – The 7th annual National Hospice Foundation Gala was a tremendous success. More than 650 guests celebrated “An American Salute to Hospice Care” at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center National Harbor, MD, as part of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s 26th Management and Leadership Conference.

The master of ceremonies was three-time Emmy Award winning actor and comedian Brad Garrett. Perhaps best known for playing Ray Romano’s big brother, Robert, on the hit CBS television series, Everybody Loves Raymond, Garrett provided a light and deft touch to the evening.

The invocation was given by the Reverend Ann Gillespie, associate rector at Christ Church in Alexandria, VA.  Ms. Gillespie also has Hollywood roots; in her previous career as an actress, she played the ongoing role of Kelly Taylor’s mother on the long-running series Beverly Hills 90201.

During the program, NHF announced that $2.3 million has been raised toward the $10 million five-year goal of the Capital Campaign for the National Center for Care at the End of Life. NHF also paid special tribute to our U.S. military veterans and highlighted NHPCO’s national initiative, We Honor Veterans.

During the evening, four awards were given:

  • Mr. Garrett received the Buchwald Spirit Award for Public Awareness, in recognition of the work he has done through the Maximum Hope Foundation, an organization he founded to help families cope with the financial hurdles that accompany caring for a terminally ill child.
  • In recognition of their groundbreaking efforts to ensure Veterans have access to high-quality hospice and palliative care, the Veterans Health Administration received the Global Vision Award.  William Shoenhard, Deputy Under Secretary for Health Operations and Management for the Veterans Health Administration, accepted the award on behalf of the Veterans Health Administration.
  • Mary Labyak, one of America’s most accomplished hospice executives, received the Healthcare Architect Award. Ms. Labyak leads Suncoast Hospice in Clearwater, FL. She currently serves as the chair of the NHF board of trustees and co-chair of the Capital Campaign for the National Center for Care at the End of Life.  

Dr. Carlos Gomez was honored posthumously with the Humanitarian Leadership Award in acknowledgment of his advocacy efforts to ensure that all children and their families facing life-limiting illness have access to high quality hospice and palliative care.  

The night’s entertainment was rounded out by a silent auction, delicious desserts, and a band playing Motown hits.

Next year’s gala will be held on Friday, March 30, 2012, also at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center, in conjunction with NHPCO’s 27th Management and Leadership Conference.