Plaza Event Draws Over 450 Guests
Brightpoint Health, a leading nonprofit provider of integrated health care and social support services throughout New York City, celebrated 25 years of serving New Yorkers in need on Monday, October 19th, 2015.
The event, which took place at New York’s historic Plaza Hotel, was also the setting for the inaugural Brightpoint Awards. Over 450 guests shared in an evening filled with joy and inspiration in a magical setting. The Plaza’s Grand Ballroom was transformed into a ‘Brightpoint City” with the stage lit up as the New York cityscape, the ceiling covered with images of the ‘Brightpoint Sun’, and the audience representing diverse elements of positive change and progress in society. Each table’s centerpiece included copies of books authored by the 25 Brightpoint Award honorees and event co-chairs, New York Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand, along with a miniature version of one honoree, the Statue of Liberty.
The festivities began with Brightpoint unveiling a new, 45’ long mobile health care unit that will soon be providing primary health care, preventative screenings and health education in communities most affected by health disparities throughout the city. The unit was open for guests to take a tour and get a feel for Brightpoint’s mobile health services. A similar mobile center will provide dental services.
Brightpoint’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Paul Vitale addressed the audience with the powerful story of Brightpoint’s birth, growth and impact. Vitale spoke about the grave health challenges facing New York City, back in 1990 when the organization started as well as today, and how Brightpoint has worked for the past 25 years to develop and implement its integrated model of care to bring quality health care and support services to the sickest and poorest New Yorkers. His remarks left the audience excited about Brightpoint’s future and upcoming milestones – including the 2016 openings of an additional health center in Brooklyn and one at The Hub in the Bronx.
Master of ceremonies Richard Wolffe, Vice President and Executive Editor of MSNBC.com, led the guests through the program and introduced the Brightpoint honorees and their diverse accomplishments. Twenty-five celebrated individuals and institutions were recognized with Brightpoint Awards in five categories: Advocacy, Arts, Iconic New York, Business, and Health and Human Services.
The highlight of the evening was the premiere of Brightpoint’s new video “The Path To Wellness.” It stars two Brightpoint patients, Gary and Milagros, New Yorkers who, after battling health and societal challenges, turned to Brightpoint Health for assistance. They graciously shared their stories of how Brightpoint’s health and social support services impacted them; helping them turn their lives around and make positive changes. Both Gary and Milagros were present at the Anniversary celebration and they received a prolonged standing ovation when introduced on the stage by Brightpoint’s Board Chair John Russell
The event also featured a performance by folk artist and activist, Peter Yarrow, one of Brightpoint Award honorees, followed by another honoree, actor and activist Alan Cumming who read from his best-selling memoir “Not My Father’s Son.” The program closed with Linda Grier, Bronx songstress and retired Brightpoint Employee, singing “I Am Changing”.