The White House will honor my friend, Dr. Jerry Lowney, of Norwich, Conn., Friday for his tireless work in Haiti.
According to The Day newspaper:
Haitian Health Foundation founder Dr. Jeremiah Lowney Jr. will be honored as a “Champion of Change” along with 11 other Rotarians from around the country in ceremonies at the White House on Friday.
"We've been at this for 31 years, so it's great that this award puts the spotlight on our work," Lowney said Tuesday. "We started out as a mom-and-pop and now we've got a $4 million operating budget. Getting this award from the White House gives us credibility that will be very meaningful to our benefactors and future donors."
The Champions of Change awards are given to Rotary Club members, nominated by their regional governors, who have volunteered their services to help communities in this country and abroad. Lowney, 76, said he has been a member of the Norwich Rotary Club since the late 1960s, and that both the Norwich club and other local clubs have given a lot of support to the Haitian Health Foundation's work in Jérémie, Haiti, over the years."
Lowney will be among 12 Rotary International honorees. Read about all 12 awardees at the White House’s Champions of Change page, where you can also learn more about the program. The event will be streamed live beginning at 1 p.m., EST.
For more on Lowney, here is a brief description of his work:
The Haitian Health Foundation (HHF), which began as a small dental outreach program in 1982, has become the primary health care provider in southwestern Haiti. During one of Dr. Jeremiah Lowney’s regular trips to Haiti to provide dental care in slum clinics and evaluate the health needs in the city of Jérémie, Jeremiah decided to build an outpatient clinic to provide a full range of basic health care to local families. Using his own resources, Jeremiah constructed the HHF building, which housed a clinic, laboratory and X-ray facilities, etc. Over the years, HHF has expanded to offer public health outreach for malnourished children and pregnant women across 104 rural villages, representing approximately 225,000 of this hemisphere’s poorest people. Under Jeremiah’s leadership, HHF also built five food production plants in key villages to produce high-protein food made from local produce, opened five village “hub” clinics, and established an ambulance service to reach patients in remote areas. HHF also provides housing for disabled people; supports a girls’ soccer program (involving nearly 4,000 young village women); and in 2000, built a school in a slum area that now educates 1,200 students in grades K-9.