Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Dr. Sandy Halperin to be Honored at 2016 Great Minds Gala

Corporate Partners | January 28, 2016

Sanjay Gupta, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent and advocate Sandy Halperin will both be honored with the 2016 Proxmire Award, which recognizes national figures who have demonstrated leadership and positively impacted public awareness around Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, at the third annual Great Minds Gala presented by LeadingAge and Integrace on March 14, 2016, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 29, 2016
Contact: Amanda Marr, amarr@leadingage.org, 202-508-1219


Washington -- Sanjay Gupta, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent and advocate Sandy Halperin will both be honored with the 2016 Proxmire Award, which recognizes national figures who have demonstrated leadership and positively impacted public awareness around Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, at the 3rd annual Great Minds Gala presented by LeadingAge and Integrace on March 14, 2016, at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

The gala, a fundraising event held in conjunction with LeadingAge’s PEAK Leadership Summit, was created to help improve the care offered to people with Alzheimer’s disease and the support options available for their caregivers. LCS is the event’s Visionary Sponsor.

This year, two people will share the award because of the unique relationship that developed between them. Halperin, who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2010 at the age of 60, agreed to let Gupta and a CNN film crew into his home to document his journey. Over the past 5 years, they have both taught each other about the devastating consequences of the disease.

“It's no small feat to allow films crews to chase you around and camp out in your home to capture some of your most personal moments,” remarked Dr. Gupta. “It took an enormous amount of trust, and I’m so honored by that.”

Dr. Gupta continued, “I'm a journalist, but my day job is still neurosurgery. I love neuroscience and I've studied the brain for a long time. And yet, Sandy still taught me so much medically. I've never had that sustained contact with someone who has Alzheimer’s and was so willing to share so much of themselves.”

Halperin, a dentist and assistant professor at Harvard, has chosen an unusual path as the disease progresses. In addition to sharing his story publicly, he volunteers as an advocate for Alzheimer’s, which has given him renewed energy and purpose.

"It's always been important to me to help others and when facing this challenge, I learned quickly how much still needs to be done,” said Sandy. “I took action with the hope of helping to bring together the different silos of people who are working so hard on Alzheimer's and dementia issues all around the world, so that the missions of better care and a cure can be more quickly achieved."


The award was originally envisioned by the late Ellen Proxmire, who died in August 2015, to honor her husband Senator William Proxmire who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1994. Senator Proxmire spent the last 5 years of his life at Copper Ridge. After his death, Mrs. Proxmire worked to ensure all Americans have access to quality care and created this event with Integrace and LeadingAge.

Find out more about the Great Minds Gala and watch Sandy’s Story.