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Rebecca Haag Received Schweitzer Leadership Award in Boston

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday May 9, 2014

On May 8, Rebecca Haag, a longtime advocate for people living with HIV/AIDS, received the Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award from the Schweitzer Fellowship program in Boston at Fenway Health. The program included a celebration of the dedication and service of the 2013-2014 Boston Fellows and their commitment to underserved communities in Massachusetts.

"Over the last decade, Rebecca Haag brought much-needed attention and resources to people throughout the country who are living with HIV," said Sylvia Stevens-Edouard, executive director of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship. "Here in Massachusetts, under her leadership, AIDS Action Committee helped to significantly reduce the rate of new HIV diagnoses, making our state a national leader in fighting the AIDS epidemic."

Haag recently stepped down from AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts where she had been CEO since 2003. She was a member of the core group of HIV/AIDS leaders that advocated for a national AIDS plan during the 2008 presidential elections. As a result of those efforts, the White House in July 2010 released the nation's first coordinated, strategic approach to managing the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States.

That year, Haag was an invited guest at the President's announcement of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, and her leadership role in its formation was recognized by the White House. From 2005 through 2010, Haag also led the Washington, D.C.-based AIDS Action Council, which served as the federal lobbying force for AIDS service organizations nationwide.

Under her leadership, the AIDS Action Council merged with The National AIDS Fund in 2011 to form AIDS United, which now serves as one of the most powerful voices on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS in the country.

Before coming to AIDS Action, Haag was Vice President of Professional Services at Wheelhouse Corporation; Senior Vice President of WFD Consulting, where she managed elder and child care programs on behalf of blue chip corporations; and a Senior Vice President at Hill, Holliday where she managed human resources.

"I am so honored to get this recognition from The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship," Haag said. "We will never end the AIDS epidemic in this country without addressing poverty, racism, homophobia, and other structural barriers to health care and treatment. The work of Schweitzer Fellows in Boston and elsewhere in the country tackles these issues, and makes a profound difference in the lives of those served. I am humbled to be connected with that work."

The Boston Schweitzer Fellows Program is part of The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship and one of 12 Schweitzer Fellowship programs throughout the United States and in Lambaréné, Gabon, at the site of The Albert Schweitzer Hospital. Fellows are graduate students who commit to a year of service learning effective strategies and leadership skills to address the social factors that impact health. In doing so, they model their service after the life example set by pioneering physician-humanitarian and Nobel Peace Laureate Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who was one of the 20th century's most admired global citizens.

Founded in 1991, the Boston Schweitzer Fellows Program is The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship's oldest program. Fellows have contributed nearly 100,000 hours of service since 1992 to vulnerable populations in Massachusetts. The program is hosted and sponsored by Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center.

Other sponsors include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Boston University School of Public Health, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, DentaQuest Foundation, Eastern Bank Foundation, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Medical Society and Alliance Charitable Foundation, Novo Nordisk, Tufts University, and Walgreens.

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Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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