BOSTON, Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- National patient assistance foundation Patient Services, Inc. (PSI), held their annual gala, themed Hope & Health, last week in historical Boston. Against the breathtaking 180 degree views of downtown Boston via two-story panoramic glass walls, the evening celebrated PSI's patient assistance model and how it has restored hope and health to hundreds of thousands of patients since its inception in 1989.
In welcoming the 100 plus invited guests, PSI founder Dana Kuhn, Ph.D. said, "Through our combined efforts over the past 26 years we have built a bridge and provided a safety net to hope and health. We are 'making the gift of health a lifetime benefit'. Those in the audience tonight, pharmaceutical companies, specialty pharmacies, patient chapters and representatives, have all aided in PSI's success and shared our passion for restoring hope to those in need."
The evening, emceed by Jason Roop of "Style Weekly", began with a cocktail reception at The State Room, Mezzanine overlooking Boston's harbor and city lights, a performance by The Boston Jazz Trio, and a seated dinner in the Great Room of the building. The evening's program included a "wicked" greeting from Boston native, Robert Coughlin, CEO and President of Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, an address from founder Dana Kuhn, and an awards ceremony honoring five different individuals and corporations. John Terrio, Auctioneer, Auction Knights, hosted a live auction featuring luxury trips to Charleston, SC, Lake Tahoe, a Royal Caribbean cruise, and Napa Valley. Other items that were crowd pleasers included VIP access to the annual Rockefeller Center tree lighting as well as the ultimate Boston Red Sox VIP experience.
The highlight of the evening was the Awards program, five in all:
Patient Champion Award
PSI confers this Award upon a community leader whose selflessness and dedication to patient's best represents the values and importance of personal care. PSI presented the award to Pete O'Malley, VP, US Patient Advocacy for Baxalta US Inc. Pete is a true patient advocate with a passion for caring for every patient he meets. Through advocacy, he provides patients with the hope of accessing what they need. If he cannot provide it directly, he helps them resource it, or creates a program to meet the needs. Pete becomes the friend of every patient he meets.
Bradley Cross Lifetime Achievement Award
PSI inaugurated this Award for an individual's specific, positive, extraordinary and enduring accomplishments. The 2015 recipients were Mark and Sasha Zatyrka. Passing on hope is a constant giving in their lives. PSI Chairman of the Board, Gary Cross, his wife Karen Cross, and daughter Jennifer Cross, presented the award. This was an emotional moment as the award is named after their son, the late Bradley Cross. The Cross family lost their hemophiliac son after he became infected with HIV through contaminated blood used for his treatment.
This Award is given to a community leader that honors and best embodies the purpose and goals of ensuring that chronically ill patients receive affordable access to care. This community leader is recognized for their excellence in service, dedication, and ongoing efforts to serve patients in need. PSI presented the award to Jonathan James, Executive Director of Hope for Hemophilia. His organization, Hope for Hemophilia, has helped thousands of families through difficult seasons of crisis caused by hemophilia. Most of all, Jonathan has a "heart" for helping people regain hope and health.
Eugene F. Kuhn Memorial Award
Named for PSI's first Treasurer, PSI bestows this Award on a community leader to recognize their ongoing generosity, support and friendship. PSI conferred this year's award to Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, Inc. for supporting PSI in restoring hope and health to the lives of patients living with an expensive chronic illness or condition. The company's aim is to discover and manufacture products that will improve human health worldwide by diagnosing, preventing, and treating diseases.
Extraordinary Support Award
This Award recognizes a person who has made outstanding contributions of service to ensure that patients living with a chronic illness maintain quality of life and exceptional treatment. PSI presented the 2015 Award to Val Bias, CEO of the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF). While Val could not attend the event he sent his thanks via video and congratulated PSI on its commitment to restore hope and health to those in need. Val has been and continues to be an advocate for the most vulnerable populations achieving the hope and health they long for every day.
In addition to the awards, music, and entertainment, PSI was honored to have two patients in attendance, Charlotte Mattison and Lamont Banks. Each gave a touching testimony and shared how PSI has restored hope and health to their lives. Lamont Banks, PSI Bleeding Disorder Patient, said, "PSI has given me the hope and drive to be more than my illness, to not let my health prevent me from doing what I love." Charlotte, PSI Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Patient, said, "Without PSI I would not be standing in front of you today, defying the odds of survival. PSI has given me hope and health and allowed me to live a life of happiness, experiencing all life has to offer- my children growing up and getting married, the birth of my grandchildren, weddings for my grandchildren, and even the birth of great grandchildren."
Special guest Robert Coughlin, CEO and President of Massachusetts Biotechnology Council, added, "The services that PSI provides to patients nationwide is commendable, I'm proud to stand by their side."
Gary Cross, PSI Chairman of the Board, concluded to the audience, "After 15 years as a member of PSI's Board of Directors, I am still amazed by the staff's gift for putting a smile of hope on the face of a patient. To all of our friends and visitors this evening, thank you for your support, thank you for giving so many hope."
About Patient Services, Inc.
Patient Services, Inc. (PSI) is a groundbreaking 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization, certified as a four-star charity by Charity Navigator and a GuideStar Silver Preferred Status service provider. Back in 1989, PSI recognized the importance of providing a "safety net" for patients with chronic illnesses who were struggling to keep up with expensive insurance premiums and co-payments. PSI has since led the charge to provide much-needed patient assistance, soliciting donations to fund thousands of patients and their families in a myriad of disease areas. Today, the need is as critical as ever. From its original mission serving patients affected by hemophilia and HIV, it has expanded service into over 29 other chronic illnesses after pioneering its Patient Assistance model. PSI was granted the first positive US OIG opinion 02-01 allowing manufacturers to donate to Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) to satisfy premiums and copayments.
Today, PSI provides financial assistance to thousands of patients and their families in numerous disease areas to help ensure that no one goes without health insurance or life-saving treatment.
PSI is also active on behalf of legislation that helps serve its patients. During the current Congress, PSI supports three bipartisan bills whose passage will expand healthcare coverage access to needy Americans and reduce the cost of life-saving drugs and treatments for those with chronic illnesses.
SOURCE Patient Services, Inc.