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Eleventh Annual Gala 


An Evening of Infinite Possibilities
The Jed Foundation's 11th Annual Gala

June 7, 2012
Gotham Hall


Patrick Kennedy (Mental Health Visionary Award) served 16 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and is predominantly known as the author and lead sponsor of the Mental Health Parity & Addiction Equity Act of 2008. This dramatic piece of legislation provides tens of millions of Americans who were previously denied care with access to mental health treatment.

Now, Congressman Kennedy is the co-founder of the One Mind for Research campaign, the next step in the effort to bring together scientists working in various domains of brain research toward a common goal.

Congressman Kennedy has authored and co-sponsored dozens of bills to increase the understanding and treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including the National Neurotechnology Initiative Act, the Genomics and Personalized Medicine Act, the COMBAT PTSD Act, and the Alzheimer’s Treatment and Caregiver Support Act.

Congressman Kennedy is a winner of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Distinguished Service Award, the Society for Neuroscience Public Service Award, the Autism Society of America Congressional Leadership Award, the Depression and Bipolar Support Paul Wellstone Mental Health Award, and the Epilepsy Foundation Public Service Award.


René Lerer, M.D., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Magellan Health Services (Corporate Award),  one of the country’s leading specialty health care management organizations, leveraging clinical excellence, innovation and operational expertise to manage behavioral health, radiology, specialty pharmaceuticals and Medicaid benefits. With revenue of nearly $3 billion in 2011, Magellan is a market leader with broad and deep experience. The company’s customers include health plans, employers and government agencies, serving approximately 31.1 million members in its behavioral health business, 15.6 million in its radiology benefits management segment, and 6 million members in its medical pharmacy management product. In addition, the specialty pharmaceutical segment serves 41 health plans and several pharmaceutical manufacturers and state Medicaid programs. The Company’s Medicaid Administration segment serves 25 states and the District of Columbia.

As chairman and CEO, Dr. Lerer is responsible for Magellan’s strategic direction and overall growth. He was appointed CEO in February 2008, and Chairman in February 2009.

Dr. Lerer has more than 30 years of health care experience. Prior to joining Magellan, he was co-founder and president of Internet HealthCare Group, a health care technology venture fund. Earlier in his career he served as chief operating officer of Prudential Healthcare nationally and as president of the Travelers Health Network. He also served as senior vice president of operations, pharmacy and disease management with Value Health, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange-listed specialty managed care organization.

Deeply committed to community issues, particularly related to health care, mental health and education, Dr. Lerer participates in the American Cancer Society’s (New England chapter) CEO’s Against Cancer and has led several initiatives in conjunction with the Connecticut chapters of organizations such as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). He also serves on the board of directors of HAIS, the international migration agency of the American Jewish community.

He holds a bachelor's degree in Psychobiology from Oberlin College and a doctor of medicine degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is board-certified in internal medicine.


Christine C. Quinn, New York City Council Speaker (Voice of Mental Health Award)  has spent her career in public service, fighting for policies and services that are critical to the lives of New Yorkers. Chris started out as a housing organizer, helping low-income tenants stay in their homes and protecting affordable housing. As the director of the Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, Chris worked closely with the NYPD against hate crimes.

Since 1999, Chris has served Manhattan’s lower west side in the City Council. Elected Speaker in 2006, Chris has negotiated on-time, balanced City budgets, reducing government spending, avoiding tax hikes and preventing firehouse closings, teacher layoffs and cuts to key services.

She has exhibited leadership via the NYC Higher Ed Taskforce on Student Wellness and Anti-Bullying, the Respect for All (RFA) program in public schools, and BRAVE (Building Respect, Acceptance, and Voice Through Education), which is actively combatting bullying and creating safe spaces in which students can thrive.

Speaker Quinn has long advocated investment in early childhood education and has worked to expand the City’s universal Pre-Kindergarten program. She has also worked extensively to better our middle schools, and at her urging the Department of Education has funded innovative new programs at the highest-need middle schools in the city.

As the first openly gay Speaker of the City Council, Quinn has worked extensively on issues of justice and equality. She emerged as a leading voice in the fight for marriage equality in New York State, and has made fighting hate crimes a particular emphasis. 


Lauren Ashley Tipton (Student Voice of Mental Health Award) is a recent Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, VA where she was pre- med and majored in Neuroscience. At W&L, she founded a chapter of Active Minds, a national mental health education and advocacy group, pioneered programs including several student support groups, honored the lives of the 1,100 college students lost each year to suicide via a display of 1,100 pinwheels interspersed with excerpts from anonymously submitted student stories related to suicide, and began a series of mental health student panels that students were willing to sit on the floor or stand for 1.5 hours to listen to. Stressed-OUT tables for midterms and exams were also hosted where students were treated to free snacks and presented with #LoveisLouder materials & a corresponding LOVE stamp across their hand. Weekly meetings were structured to brainstorm approaches to better address the emotional health issues students noticed on campus - excessive loneliness, crippling anxiety, hyper-competitiveness, bullying/hazing, eating disorders, and body image/self-confidence problems. Under her leadership, bold posters plastered campus, an “exam monster” piñata was publicly shredded to pieces during Winter Exams by frustrated fraternity members in front of an enthusiastic audience, and mental health events broke attendance records at the University. In only 2 years, she steered mental health awareness and advocacy from its seemingly quiet beginning to a thriving undergraduate entity.

2012 Performance by

Lost in the Trees

2012 Photos of the Event

See pictures of the Eleventh Annual Gala here.