The Pardes Humanitarian Prize in Mental Health was awarded to Judge Steven Leifman, associate administrative judge in Miami-Dade County and Chairman of the Board of the South Florida Behavioral Health Network, for his leadership in reducing the number of people with mental illnesses in jail and prison. The Honorary Pardes Humanitarian Prize was presented to Bob and the late Suzanne Wright, the founders of Autism Speaks, for their unparalleled leadership in advancing autism research and increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder.
The awards were presented to Judge Leifman and Bob Wright by, Dr. Herb Pardes, President of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation’s Scientific Council and Executive Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Dr. Pardes said, “Psychiatry and mental health are important in virtually all aspects of human interaction. While our Foundation’s other awards focus on research for brain and behavior disorders, the Pardes Humanitarian Prize was developed from our Board Chairman Steve Lieber’s original idea to take special note of people and organizations whose humanitarian work is transformative and of great magnitude. This international Prize, selected by an extraordinary committee of psychiatric leaders, celebrates those who have made a profound and lasting impact on mental health.”