Eastern Bank honored Rebecca Haag and AIDS Action Committee with the 24th annual Wainwright Social Justice Award last Thursday. Eastern also honored 30 Massachusetts community health care organizations before more than 500 people in an evening reception in downtown Boston.
Haag is the President and CEO of AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, New England’s largest AIDS service organization. The Social Justice Award recognizes nonprofits and affiliated individuals who have achieved outstanding success in addressing social justice issues.
“Eastern Bank is proud to honor Rebecca Haag and AIDS Action Committee with the 2012 Wainwright Social Justice Award,” said Richard E. Holbrook, chairman and CEO of Eastern Bank. “Under Rebecca’s innovative leadership, AIDS Action has worked to establish fair and effective AIDS policies, and cutting edge HIV prevention.
“Massachusetts is a healthier community because of the work accomplished by Rebecca and AIDS Action. We wish them continued success.”
AIDS Action, the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection, received a $25,000 donation from the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation as part of the Social Justice Award. In 2012, Eastern Bank will donate $725,000 to various organizations dedicated to community health care. Eastern Bank and the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation will donate a total of $4.0 million to charity in 2012.
“From the very start of this epidemic, we have come together as a community to fight AIDS. Gay men, suburban moms, straight black men – you name the demographic and I guarantee that they have been at the table helping. That legacy continues with the critical support provided by the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, which makes it possible for us to do our work,” said Haag. “Public funding for this disease – which is not over, by the way—is rapidly shrinking and the money provided by Eastern Bank and others is critical to our success.”
Since 1999, thanks to the education and prevention outreach of organizations such as AIDS Action, Massachusetts has reduced new HIV diagnoses by 54 percent, which means that more than 5,000 people who might otherwise have become HIV positive have remained negative. This will result in health care cost savings of more than $2 billion for the state, according to AIDS Action.
The Celebration of Social Justice Award was originally created by Wainwright Bank. When Eastern Bank acquired Wainwright Bank in 2010 it pledged to continue the award, and raised the accompanying donation to $25,000 from $10,000.
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection. It provides services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with an HIV diagnosis. These services include HIV counseling and testing; needle exchange; mental health counseling; housing assistance; and legal services. AIDS Action works to prevent new HIV infections, support those affected by HIV, and tackle the root causes of HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and advocating for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is New England’s first and largest AIDS service organization. Learn more at www.aac.org.
Founded in 1818 and based in Boston, Eastern Bank is the largest independent and mutually owned bank in New England, with $8 billion in assets and more than 90 branches serving communities from the Merrimack Valley to Cape Cod. Eastern Bank offers banking, investments and insurance all under one roof, and prides itself on working harder to understand its customers’ needs so it can deliver these services in a committed and personal way. Eastern Bank includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance. For more information, visit www.easternbank.com or www.facebook.com/easternbank.