Acenda Institute of Health Innovation announces inaugural Momentum Awards Honorees

Acenda Institute of Health Innovation (AIHI) will honor the recipients of its inaugural “Momentum Awards” in a virtual ceremony on April 19. The Momentum Awards recognize individuals and organizations who are paving the way for the future of behavioral health care delivery.

Launched in 2021 by Acenda Integrated Health, AIHI integrates insights from across Health & Human Services to advance the behavioral health sectors in the areas of Innovation, Population Health, Policy & Advocacy and Research.

“As the needs of our communities have shifted in unprecedented ways over the last few years, our delivery system needs to continue to change as well,” said Melissa Fox, chief operating officer, Acenda Integrated Health. “The Momentum Awards shine a light on those who are helping forge the path within our sector, and whose passion, commitment and fortitude are an inspiration to others.”

The highly coveted Advocacy Champion Award will be presented to Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning actor, filmmaker and activist Taraji P. Henson and the Boris L. Henson Foundation for their tireless advocacy in furthering the national focus on the importance of mental health supports for the African-American community, including innovative outreach programming and strengthening the diversity and inclusion of the mental health workforce. The Foundation, named in honor of Taraji’s late father, focuses on eradicating the stigma around mental health issues in the African-American community.

Additional awardees are:
The Sector Innovator Award will be presented to Mozzaz, a leading provider of virtual care solutions for personalized engagement and remote patient management. Co-Founder & CEO, Rini Gahir, founded the company based on the desire to provide individuals, their families and care teams with technology-enabled solutions for chronic illness and disabilities. As Mozzaz has grown, the technology has expanded to become a powerful, versatile tool that reduces the barriers to care for individuals with complex care conditions, and help them live lives of inclusion, participation and independence.

The Research Pioneer Award will recognize Rinad Beidas, founding director of the Penn Implementation Science Center at the Leonard Davis Institute and associate director at the Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics. Beidas has leveraged the strength of data and research to not only propel development and innovation within the sector, but to also demonstrate a true commitment to ensuring high-quality care for vulnerable communities. She and her team exemplify how the intersection of data and compassion can make a difference.

The Population Health Leader Award will honor Steven Carson, senior vice president, Population Health, Temple University Health System and CEO, Temple Center for Population Health. Carson and the Temple Center for Population Health are being recognized for their innovative care models and partnerships to support population health, including an initiative they implemented with Resources for Human Development for the Housing Smart program, connecting homeless individuals to resources and supports rather than utilizing the Emergency Department.

The Partnership Award will be presented to Valerie Mielke, assistant commissioner, Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services, NJ Department of Human Services. Assistant Commissioner Mielke is well-known throughout the provider community in New Jersey as a true partner in care for communities. She is being recognized for her commitment to learning about the issues, providing productive input and being open to innovations which will help improve the health and wellness of individuals and families in the community.